A Travel Guide to Utah
Utah is bordered by the arid state of Nevada to the west with Arizona to the south. The southeastern tip touches New Mexico with Colorado taking up a substantial part of the eastern border. Wyoming overlaps forming a boundary on the northeastern edge with Idaho capping it on the rest of the northern border completing the embrace. The capital and most populous city of Utah is Salt Lake City formed by the founders of the Latter Day Saints.
Salt Lake City is named after one of the greatest salt lakes in the world – Great Salt Lake – it is second only to the Dead Sea in the amount of salt contained in its water. Its geographical qualities make it a habitat favoured my many bird species including the very rare wader Wilson’s Phalarope. The volume of salt in the Great Lake helps spawn the brine shrimp that lures the many flying visitors.
Utah’s tourism is mostly based on outdoor activities and with many parks, forests and bureau land managed areas it is hardly surprising. To the northeast of Salt Lake City is Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest - home to seven wilderness areas that offer splendid scenic views. In winter it boasts the “Greatest Snow on Earth" with five resorts offering great skiing opportunities.
On the opposite angle of the state in the southwest is Dixie National Forest with a huge range of activities including the much sought for panoramic eye candy of awesome natural phenomena such as Hell’s Backbone Bridge and Death Hollow. These can be seen through hiking or on horseback. Fishing is popular with over 500 miles of abundant lakes and streams containing amongst others brook and varieties of trout. Besides the fishing the waterways are also popular with canoes and boats and in the winter like the opposing angle forest - it is also popular with snow enthusiasts skiing or sledging.
Other national parks with visual legends are the pillars of eroded rock that gives Bryce Canyon National Park a sense of eeriness with their legend of those who misbehaved being turned into stone. They lie in posture, standing to attention or in repose in rows holding onto each other. Zion National Park offers massive imposing walls of stone that rise to enormous heights almost as if it to reach its heavenly counterpart. The Virgin River falls creating the rushed water composition of The Narrows. The rock with a twist forms the aptly named Arches National Park, naturally weathered in age in all shapes and sizes. Bordered with Arizona is the Glen Canyon Dam that also has a recreation area with lush hanging gardens and the azure of Lake Powell. Bordered with Colorado is Canyonlands National Park– a meteorological masterpiece of climate crafted rock formations that make this over 500 square miles of park – a popular tourist destination.
There is plenty of self-catering vacation rental accommodation available in this prolific rural state from vacation homes and condos in the larger urban areas to rustic log cabins located in the forested countryside.