The Best Parks in Utah for Baby Boomers

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What are the best parks in Utah for boomer travelers? All of them! Seriously, depending on interest and ability level, there’s a Utah National Park, state park, or national recreation experience for every active boomer.

What you'll learn about Utah parks from this page

  • What are the best parks in Utah?
  • Tips for planning a Utah National Park Trip
  • Utah Park adventures for you to try

What are the best parks in Utah?

With 5 national parks, 9 national monuments, and 46 state parks, Utah is an active boomer traveler’s dream destination. On our Utah national parks road trips, we’ve soaked in sweeping vistas, photographed mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets plus enjoyed unique adventures without the crowds typical of the national park scene (most of the time). And, of  course, we included state parks, national recreation areas, and national forests.

Come back often as we continue to publish first-person reports on Utah national park travel adventures from ourselves and hand-picked guest writers. Be sure to subscribe to the My Itchy Travel Feet Weekly Broadcast to be the first to know!

Tips for planning a Utah National Park trip

What makes a Utah national park good for boomer travelers? In our experience that means beautiful scenery, moderate hikes, fun dirt roads to drive plus an unexpected adventure or two.

When is the best time to visit a national park in Utah? We prefer visiting Utah parks in the spring or fall (shoulder seasons) when the temperatures are pleasant. And, as boomer travelers, we’re all about avoiding crowds. Although uncrowded experiences in U.S. national parks is becoming increasingly hard to find, traveling during the shoulder season helps.

Boomer Travel Tip

Check out our Utah Travel Planner for more resources and tips.

Where are the best places to stay in Utah National Parks? When we’re on a Utah national park road trip, Alan and I leave our luxury ways at home. If there’s a national park lodge, we stay there for the history and proximity to trails and scenery. But you’ll need to book those types of accommodations well in advance.

We’re happy to spend the night in a comfortable bed and breakfast, inn or an occasional luxury resort. We start our search here, then head over to read the reviews at TripAdvisor.

We dream of booking a vacation rental to use as a headquarters (or maybe two or three spread out across the region) to allow for plenty of time for exploring. And this is one area of the country where traveling in an RV travel is a definite plus.

Utah Park adventures for you to try

Check out the Utah parks that Alan and I, along with our guest writers, have experienced first-hand. There’s a lot more of Utah waiting to be explored. We’re going to get there!

Sunrise at Mesa Arch in Utah

Discovering Canyonlands National Park

Canyons, mesas, two rivers, deep gorges—boomer travelers won’t know where to look first when visiting Canyonlands National Park. Four distinct areas, Island in the Sky, Needles, Maze and the rivers, both the Colorado and the Green, provide active travel adventures combined with photographic opportunities galore.  Situated in Southeastern Utah on the high desert of the Colorado […]

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Sunrise Canyonlands National Park

Try a self-guided Canyonlands National Park Photography Tour

Is a fall National Park road trip filled with spectacular photography opportunities on your boomer travel list? If sunrises and sunsets glowing over a vast, rugged landscape inspire you, Alan and I recommend our tips for a self-guided Canyonlands National Park photography tour near Moab, Utah. I think fall is the best time for a […]

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Mesa Arch Canyonlands

Mesa Arch Sunrise Photography Tips for Boomer Travelers

Are you planning a trip to Canyonlands National Park? During your research, did you see the iconic photo of Mesa Arch framing distant sandstone formations as the rising sun casts an illuminating glow on everything? Did it inspire you to take the same photo? You don’t have to become a photography professional to capture a […]

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More Arch in Arches National Park

Peeking Through Nature’s Window at Arches National Park

At Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, boomer travelers will discover 2,000 sandstone arches — the world’s largest concentration of nature’s bridge-building handiwork. Paved roads lead to parking areas where 10-minute walks end at stone formations or arches with names like Balancing Rock, North and South Window or Skyline Arch. Visited at sunrise or sunset, […]

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Delicate Arch

Photo Essay: Nature’s Windows At Arches National Park

Over 2,000 natural sandstone arches fill Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. Active baby boomers will discover them while hiking, biking or car touring in this easy-to-explore national park. And boomer photographers will click that shutter repeatedly to capture the beauty of the arches and surrounding landscape. To photograph the most famous arch in the […]

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Waterpocket Fold

Capitol Reef: Utah’s Forgotten Park

Have you visited Capitol Reef National Park in Utah? It’s been on our boomer travel list for a long time. After reading today’s guest post by Kate Convissor of WanderingNotLost, Alan and I are wondering what took us so long. For sheer natural beauty, southern Utah is an embarrassment of riches. From Arches to Zion, […]

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Hiking to Lower Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante

Waterfall hikes are a treat while on an American Southwest adventure in the rugged high desert. Nothing’s better than feeling the spray from a waterfall after a traveling along a hot, sunny trail. And it’s a special treat when that waterfall is located in one of the off-the-beaten path national parks that Alan and I […]

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Driving the Burr Trail is a fun experience in southern Utah.

Driving the Burr Trail on a Boomer Road Trip in Southern Utah

Alan and I are huge fans of exploring the country lanes and dirt roads of the United States. And when it comes to finding adventure in the American Southwest, a bumpy dirt road is the place to be. On a visit to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, we had our pick of dirt roads […]

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Metate Arch in Devil's Garden

Walking Around a Devil’s Garden in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

While roadtripping through southern Utah on Highway 12 Scenic Byway, Alan and I discovered an enchanting land of hoo-doos on a short excursion to Devil’s Garden Escalante. It’s a landscape for wandering and wondering. Come along as I show you how to make the most of this Grand Staircase-Escalante travel experience. One of our favorite […]

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Muddy river winding through a canyon surrounded by cliffs at Dead Horse Point Overlook

Explore Dead Horse Point State Park on a Scenic Drive

As beautiful drives go, a Dead Horse Point State Park scenic drive is on the short side. It’s a little over a mile from the Visitor Center to Dead Horse Point Overlook where visitors look down for a gobsmacking view of a gooseneck in the Colorado River while contemplating how this Utah destination got its […]

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How to Visit Valley of the Gods in Southeastern Utah

Let me take you on a Valley of the Gods tour, one of my favorite off-the-beaten-path Utah destinations. Alan’s, too. It’s the very best kind of do-it-yourself adventure. If you’ve hung around My Itchy Travel Feet for very long, you know that Alan and I enjoy nothing better than to take the road less traveled. […]

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Tips for a Natural Bridges National Monument Scenic Drive

Natural Bridges National Monument, located 35 miles west of Blanding, definitely qualifies as a hidden gem in southeastern Utah. It’s a fun American Southwest adventure. The national monument offers hiking opportunities to three sandstone land bridges, as well as amazing stargazing. But if you’re short on time, the 9-mile scenic drive is a great way […]

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