7 Must Do Outdoor Activities in Utah
Whitewater Rafting the Gates of Lodore on the Green River
The Green River meanders through the Utah/Colorado border but is so spectacular we had to keep it number 1 on our list. Entering through the Gates of Lodore sends you on a 44-mile expedition through technical whitewater rapids like Hell’s Half Miles, lets you sleep on peaceful beaches, watch the stars swirl around the canyon at night, explore vista hikes that will drop your jaw hundreds of feet back to the river, and let you live among the mule deer and bighorn sheep for a few days. Luckily the river is permitted, so although over 9,000 people apply to go down the river every year, it will never be overcrowded and you’ll sure to have an unforgettable wilderness experience. Once you have experienced a Green River Gates of Lodore trip you will have to come back and see the Yampa River another western river gem located in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument.
Hiking in the Uinta Mountains
This is one of the more underrated mountain ranges in Utah. Just a few hours outside of Park City, the Uinta’s are home to Utah’s tallest peak, Kings peak at 13,534 feet. The wooded area is home to beautiful mountain lakes, wild flowers, and crisp mountain air and due to its high elevation, it stays cooler in the heat of the Utah summers. With plenty of trails for day hikes or backpacking, it’s on the list for a Utah must-see.
Canyoneering in Canyonlands
The slot canyons in Southern Utah are worth getting yourself into. Spend a day hiking through one of the wider canyons, like the Narrows, or hire a guide to take you and your friends repelling down a longer more technical canyon. Be sure not to attempt to do this on your own unless you know what you are doing. The canyons and change quickly with weather and you don’t want to be a search and rescue story. You will more than likely spend some time in Moab while you are there stop in to the local owned outdoor recreation and gear experts Moab Gear Traders.
Backpack the Grand Gulch in Bears Ears
This stunning 52-mile backpacking trip will take you into the heart of Bears Ears. The steep canyon takes you out of this world as you walk past ancient pueblo ruins: everything from granaries and kivas to petroglyphs and pottery shards. It’s believed that Bears Ears was a hub for pre-colonized North America, like and ancient city. Ruins from many tribes can be found throughout the hike, but don’t forget to visit Newspaper Rock on your way out, with hundreds of petroglyphs from centuries of Native Americans.
Fly Fishing on the Green River
The A-Section of the Green River attracts Anglers from around the world. With over 1000 trout per-mile and cold crystal-clear waters, just below Flaming Gorge Dam, you’d be hard pressed to find a better fly-fishing zone in Utah. Float the 7 miles section in a drift boat or walk along the banks of the river along a trail that runs the length of the first section. While the A-section is the most popular, the B and C sections also offer amazing fishing with a few less people. Make a weekend of it and float the A, B, and C sections, reserving a campsite on the riverbanks. Want to learn more about fishing or just need some help with your casting? Not to worry, there is a whole city of fishing guides in Dutch John, Utah happy to take you. Fishing is not your thing but you would still love to see the river, we offer a fantastic scenic river rafting day trip give us a call or book online for Utah one day on the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam.
Mountain Biking in Vernal, Utah
Vernal is giving Moab a ride for its money. It has something for everyone; easy beginner trails to learn or ride with kids, self-inflicted suffer fest, flowy downhills with a few drops if you are daring, and everything in between. The city sits on the edge of the North-Eastern Utah desert and the Uinta Mountains giving it a uniquely diverse landscape. Within 20- minutes of Vernal in either direction you can ride on Moab Style slick rock or Montana-esque packed dirt in the woods. There are dozens of well-made trails and not as crowded as Fruita or Moab. Head into the local bike shop, Altitude Cycle, for tips on which trails to ride.
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
This Utah view is iconic for a reason. The three-mile hike takes you along sandstone slick rock, winding through desert half pipes and bowls. It’s a moderately-difficult hike and worth the trek to see the arch in person.