Brigham Young's map for the predecessor to Utah included parts of southern Idaho. Many parts of Idaho and Utah are so close to each other culturally and historically (as well as geographically), that it makes sense to include both states when sightseeing in this part of the northwest. These states offer numerous attractions and activities for visitors. Here are a few of the magnificent places to see when you visit Utah and Idaho:
Bryce Canyon National Park
This park is located in southwestern Utah roughly 4.5 miles south of the Highway 12 and Highway 63 intersection. It contains some of the most breathtaking views due to its geological structures. The spectacular geology on show here includes its rock pillars (called “hoodoos”) that are the result of frost weathering and erosion over time. Bryce Canyon National Park also offers multiple hiking trails, which are categorized according to their level of difficulty. You can choose from easy, moderate or hard.
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
The strange landscape at this national monument and preserve consists of a large lava field. At Craters of the Moon, you will be able to see a wide range of volcanic features; those features include rifts, lava tube caves and cinder cones. You will also be able to see the various plants and wildlife that have adapted to this environment. In the summer, the activities that are available when you visit Craters of the Moon include guided cave walks; in the winter, it is possible to go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Craters of the Moon is located in central Idaho, southwest of Arco.
Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area
The canyon here is the deepest North American river gorge. Along with that geological wonder, you will also be able to enjoy magnificent vistas that include mountain peaks and vast wilderness that is perfect for hiking or horseback riding. Of course, there is also the Snake River that runs through Hell's Canyon. The entire recreation area spans 652,488 acres. Parts of the recreation area lie in Idaho and other parts in Oregon. Note that while campgrounds and cabins are available, the amenities here tend to be on the rustic side. The wildlife around the recreation area includes bighorn sheep, elk and bobcats.
Massacre Rocks State Park
The park gets its name from an attack in 1862 that was led by Shoshone chief Pocatello who attacked some small wagon trains. The battle and the chase that followed it resulted in 18 deaths. The area includes Register Rock where settlers carved their names. The park also offers a small creek that flows to the Snake River. The Massacre Rocks State Park covers 1,000 acres and is open year-round. It offers hiking trails as well as a visitor center and a 40-unit campground.
Arches National Park
This park is located five miles north of Moab in Utah. When you visit Arches National park, you will find more than 2,000 natural stone arches along with hundreds of pinnacles and balanced rocks. The landscape at Arches National Park offers vibrant color contrasts along with its breathtaking rock formations. If you want to hike, there are trails for that here and the sunsets are amazing.
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
One of the most photographed places on the planet, this valley includes rock formations that tower as high as 1,000 feet. The sand, mesas and buttes that help to provide the valley’s striking colors surround these formations. When you visit Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, you have the option to take the Valley Drive. This allows you to drive 17 miles through the dramatic scenery. The route provides you with numerous views of the many unique geological structures. The Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located on the border between Utah and Arizona.
Canyonlands National Park
This park offers more of Utah's unusual landscape in the form of rock formations like buttes and canyons. The Colorado River and its tributaries shaped these grand formations. Along with the spectacular scenery, the park is divided into different districts. Each district offers its own set of features. Note that there are no bridges or roads to connect the districts to each other. This means that you will have numerous opportunities to hike and to go four-wheeling.
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