5 Ways to Discover Utah's Natural & Urban Grandeur
Explore the Arid Wonders of Moab
Dubbed one of America’s coolest desert towns in 2014 by Travel + Leisure, the eastern Utah hamlet of Moab combines breathtaking scenery with hip amenities. Outdoor lovers have long known about Moab thanks to a pair of nearby national parks. The etched and eroded landscape of Canyonlands National Park makes for positively breathtaking geography. Go for a backcountry hike there, try your hand at 4x4ing, and enjoy amazingly clear night skies. Meanwhile, Arches National Park boasts amazing rock formations, including the titular arches, of which there are 2,000 in the park itself.
Moab proper also has plenty of diversions. The Museum of Moab provides perspective on both the human and geological history of the area. (Be forewarned that it’s temporarily closed for remodeling, but should open again in 2019.) Spa Moab will help work the knots out of your muscles after a day of hiking. And Under Canvas makes sleeping one of the most fun things to do in Utah. Spend a night under the stars in an honest-to-goodness teepee or a heated canvas tent with wood flooring, leather furniture and king-sized beds.
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Unwind in a Natural Hot Spring
In 19th century America, the ill and infirm flocked to hot springs to partake of the waters, hoping the mineral-rich compositions would heal their woes. Though a piping-hot bath isn’t exactly what today’s doctors order, the springs are still there and remain popular Utah attractions. You’ll find multiple hot springs throughout the state, some smack in the middle of nature and developed options that will let you soak for a modest fee. Mystic Hot Springs (Monroe), Crystal Hot Springs (Honeyville), Fifth Water (Spanish Fork), and Meadow Hot Spring (Meadow) are all good options.
The most popular, though, has to be Homestead Crater, a 10,000-year-old geological anomaly located on the grounds of Homestead resort in Midway. A beehive-shaped hummock of limestone hides a deep natural hot spring that stays between 90 degrees and 96 degrees Fahrenheit. Visitors can make appointments to swim, scuba dive (it’s the only warm scuba site in the continental US), enjoy paddleboard yoga, or simply soak.