Spring is not exactly the finest season for ski towns. Yes, there’s spring skiing and sunny days, but we also get our fair share of late-season snow and mud. In this seasonal limbo, sometimes the best thing to do is sneak away for a weekend in pursuit of summer. Luckily for us Utahns, that’s pretty easy to do. Southern Utah enjoys a much warmer desert climate than we do here in the Wasatch.
For those who want to chase Vitamin D in April, May, and early June, here are a few getaways right here in Utah.
For Adventure Seekers: Moab
This cute town in Eastern Utah is the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. With hotels and campgrounds alike, there are plenty of ways to make Moab your base camp for sightseeing and adventures. The area also has lots of hiking and mountain biking over red slickrock, as well as ATV and dirt bike rentals. Be sure to check out the Moab Brewery and the Love Muffin Cafe for its gigantic cinnamon rolls.
For Stargazers and Solitude: Capital Reef National Park
Sweeping rock formations in pink and orange, orchards, and an impressive night sky await at this national park in central Utah. The views of the stars are so good, they’ve been certified gold by the International Dark Sky Association. And unlike Arches, Zion, and St. George, this lesser known national park doesn’t get crowded, especially in spring. Camp under the stars or stay in the charming nearby town of Torrey.
For Agoraphobics: Zion National Park
If you love small spaces, a trip through the slot canyons of Zion is for you. Utah’s first national park brings in the crowds, so spring is a great time to enjoy a little more solitude here. Canyoneering through narrow passageways and water is what this park is known for, but there are tons of other ways to experience the area, from hiking to road biking.
For Golfers: St. George
This oasis in the southern Utah desert is a destination for golfing, but it’s also much more. You can make it your base for experiencing nearby Zion, mountain bike through desert terrain, or visit one of the four state parks in the area. Sand Hollow offers a gorgeous reservoir where you can cool off from a day in the dunes with a dip. The town also has a great selection of restaurants and some hot real estate to check out while you’re in the area.
For the Arthounds: the Sun Tunnels
Where better to seek the sun than the Sun Tunnels in Great Basin Desert? A three-and-a-half hour drive from Park City, this epic piece of land art was built in the early ’70s by artist Nancy Holt. The tunnels line up with the sunrise and sunset during the winter and summer solstices. While you won’t catch this incredible alignment in the spring, you will have a great time playing around and within the Tunnels, which also make for an excellent photo opp. While you’re out and about, turn this pilgrimage into a longer trip and visit Holt’s husband’s famous land art: the Spiral Jetty in Great Salt Lake.
Have you had an experience worth sharing that I neglected to mention? Email me and your suggestion will be featured in a future newsletter.