Utah is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. and offers some of the most incredible national parks, mountains, and nature for explorers to experience. From the red cliffs and canyons to the Salt Lake City; there are endless great things to do in Utah! 

While adventuring in Utah, you may even encounter hidden gems of waterfalls, fountains and sparkling snow capped mountains. Without a doubt, there is plenty to tease your adventure cravings.

The library grounds.

I’ll begin our journey with a trip to Salt Lake City and our venture through downtown. With some strategic planning, our hotel is located only minutes from the airport, and conveniently close to some of the historical attractions in the city.

City Hall – historical building

We thoroughly enjoyed walking through Washington Square, the city library, and indulging ourselves with delicious dining. Here are a few highlights.

Salt Lake City in Utah

Washington Square

The town park is absolutely beautiful, especially in the Fall with all the leaves gently falling to the ground. It made for a very colorful and relaxing stroll through this lovely park.

Big Cottonwood Canyon:


After spending a few days browsing within the city, our curiosity grew and we set to venture out into the surrounding area of Salt Lake City and discovered Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Only about a 20-minute drive Southeast of the city, we found ourselves trekking through a trail as we parked our car essentially along side the highway, and went searching for waterfalls. 

Hiking towards the mountains

We had no idea what we would find or even if there were any streams or water flowing anywhere nearby. Well, luck was on our side again, and we found one of the most beautiful, peaceful hidden waterfalls. I love it when we find incredible hidden gems like this!

We continue our hiking adventure to a couple of mountain ranges where we saw beautiful snow capped peaks. We explored these gorgeous areas for a while until the temperatures started feeling a bit cold, (because we didn’t have appropriate winter clothing that is sufficient for long hiking).

More information about Big Cottonwood Canyon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Cottonwood_Canyon

Capitol Reef National Park : 

If you are looking for an off the beaten path adventure, then Capitol Reef National Park is your place to be. We were scheduled to fly out of Salt Lake City the day we decided to go exploring Capitol Reef National Park, as we hit the road early around 7:30 a.m. The drive was very pleasant and we did not encounter very much traffic going there. (Returning back towards the city was another story).


This park is definitely one that is less crowded and absolutely beautiful. Picture perfect landscapes of red colored cliffs and canyons that would brighten any living room wall if used as an art piece. Many of the points of interest are historical areas where early Mormon visitors came to settle and live.

On the trail to Hickman Bridge
Chimney Rock Utah
Chimney Rock Utah

The geological feature that defines Capitol Reef is a wrinkle in the earth’s crust that extends nearly 100 miles from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell.

The Water pocket Fold was created as a result of deposition, uplifting, and erosion of the rock layers. (Source: Capitol Reef info brochure)

More info below for your next visit:
Capitol Reef National Park
HC 70, Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775

Utah is one of my favorite states to visit! I always enjoy the outdoor activities, the stunning landscapes, and the nature. Do you have a favorite place, state, or country that you absolutely love? Tell me about it!

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  1. Wow, Shannon, looks like you were in Utah at the perfect time to catch these gorgeous fall colors! Beautiful photo upon beautiful photo. Looks amazing, and I love the hidden waterfall you found.

    1. Thank you Cynthia! Yes, we felt we got pretty lucky to be able to have seen some Fall colors, even thought it was nearing the end of Oct. We love those gorgeous hidden waterfalls too!

  2. These are some stunning photos of Utah. I would love to read more about what you enjoyed in Salt Lake City.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, Utah is such a beautiful state, and we really enjoyed our visit to SLC, and love the national parks! We are planning to visit Bryce Canyon later this year too. 🙂

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