Looking for unique things to do in Utah this year? You’ve come to the right place.
After road tripping around Utah for nearly a month, I witnessed some of the most otherworldly, bizarre and jaw-dropping landscapes of my entire life.
Between these Salt Lake City hidden gems, Moab hidden gems and southern Utah hidden gems, your Utah trip itinerary will be filled to the brim with some of the most unique things to do in the entire nation.
Without further ado, here are the 12 most unique things to do in Utah.
1. Rainbow Mountains
The legendary rainbow mountains of Utah, also known as “Mars” and the “Bentonite Hills,” consist of blue, red, purple, and green clays.
Created by Jurassic Era volcanic ash, the regional clay gives the hills an intergalactic rainbow pattern, which is exactly why this mountain range is No. 1 on this list of unique things to do in Utah.
The rainbow mountains in Utah are scattered between Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park, with the most colorful hills northeast of Capitol Reef and just west of Hanksville, Utah. You can read more about where to find Utah’s rainbow mountains here.
2. Goblin Valley State Park
Similar to the rainbow mountains, extraterrestrial sandstone rock formations nicknamed “goblins” (scientifically known as hoodoos) flood Goblin Valley State Park.
The otherworldly ambience of Goblin Valley State Park seemingly transports you to another planet.
Plus, you can easily visit Goblin Valley in an hour or two, making it an excellent quick stop on any Utah road trip itinerary.
3. Bonneville Salt Flats
Likewise, you can expect a ton of unique scenery at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Bright white, dried patches of salt stretch from east to west as far as the human eye can see, which is why this free tourist spot has spread a viral wildfire across social media in the last couple years.
However, despite the immense beauty found here, you should be prepared for any kind of weather at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
4. Pink Lake
Pink Lake is, believe it or not, a pink-colored lake located just outside of Salt Lake City.
Between the Bonneville-like salty lake floor and the naturally rose-tinted waves, this dreamy body of saltwater is straight from a fairytale.
Clearly, Pink Lake is one of the most unique things to do in Utah, so it ought to be on your radar for hidden gems near Salt Lake City, Utah.
5. Dugway Geode Beds
Next, fulfill your childhood rockhounding dreams (and/or share this nostalgia with your own kids), by hunting for geodes at the Dugway Geode Beds.
These Utah geode beds are completely free to visit and excavate, and I personally could have spent an entire day there, even as an adult, without feeling bored.
For tips on amateur geode hunting and where to find the Dugway Geode Beds, click here.
6. Canyonlands National Park
Everyone knows about the legendary Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. But, believe it or not, there is another national park located in Moab with equally stunning landscapes: Canyonlands National Park.
As the name suggests, Canyonlands is home to thousands of marvelous Utah canyons.
Even if you are only able to spend a few hours in Canyonlands National Park, stopping here is essential on your Moab trip.
7. Corona Arch
Corona Arch is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful natural arch rock formations in the entire United States. Although Delicate Arch inside Arches National Park may be the most famous Moab arch, Corona arch comes as a close second.
You can expect a moderate round-trip hike under 2.5 miles to get to Corona Arch. The trail is marked; however, the markings are wearing. For more information about the hike to Corona Arch, you can check out my guide for the best free things to do in Moab.
Also, unlike Delicate Arch, Corona Arch is located outside the national parks on BLM land, which means the arch is completely free to visit year-round. (Photographers, this also means you can fly your drone here.)
8. Potash Road
Furthermore, on Potash Road, the same street where the Corona Arch trailhead is located, you can have numerous other unique free Moab adventures.
For example, you can rock climb up natural rock walls, discover ancient petroglyphs and even witness fossilized dinosaur tracks.
Because Potash Road is situated outside of the Moab national park boundaries, there are no fees for any of the exciting things to do along the road. You can learn more about these free things to do in Moab here.
9. Moab Instagram Spots
Besides the Moab hidden gems just mentioned, you can also visit any of the epic Moab Instagram spots for more photogenic unique things to do in Utah.
Whether you visit the Moab Instagram spots inside or outside the national parks, you’re sure to discover some of the most iconic views in the entire state.
Of course, you’ll want to take a ton of photos, so be sure to bring your best travel camera gear.
10. Zion National Park’s Non-Hikes (Unique Things To Do In Utah)
Moving on to a few southern Utah hidden gems, Zion National Park offers a few under-the-radar things to do in Utah that surprisingly don’t require any strenuous hiking.
For instance, if you’re not a fan of hiking long distances, you can ride through Zion’s scenic drive, take a flat leisurely walk alongside Zion’s mountains or drive through the notorious Mt. Carmel tunnel instead.
For more details on things to do in Zion National Park besides hiking, tap here.
11. Moqui Sand Caves (Unique Things To Do In Utah)
Next, just outside of the southern Utah national parks lies two of the most unique things to do in Utah: the Moqui Sand Caves and the Belly Of The Dragon.
First, the Moqui Sand Caves are a group of caves that are, as the name alludes to, filled with bright orange sand.
Despite the short yet deceivingly difficult 5-minute hike to the caves, the Moqui Sand Caves are a must-stop on your way through southern Kanab, Utah. Like many of the other unique things to do in Utah listed here, these caves are free to visit. All you have to do is park in the small lot across the street and hike to the caves.
12. Belly Of The Dragon (Unique Things To Do In Utah)
Finally, the Belly Of The Dragon, also located in Kanab, is a walk-through tunnel that was accidentally manmade from a highway water drainage system.
The draining water carved the walls of the tunnel in a unique shape that resembles the inside of a dragon’s belly.
Like the Moqui Sand Caves, you can walk through the Belly Of The Dragon for free. Thankfully, the walk to the tunnel is much easier than to the Moqui Sand Caves. Although, if you’re visiting with young kids, you may need to lift them down into the tunnel entrance.
What is the coolest place in Utah?
Overall, the coolest place in Utah is Utah’s rainbow mountains. You will never see anything anywhere else in the world like the rainbow mountains in Utah.
From the hills’ remote location to the brilliantly colored bentonite clay, being at the Utah rainbow mountains truly feels like being on another planet.
Again, you can check out the ultimate guide to Utah’s rainbow mountains here.
Have any questions about these Utah hidden gems? Let me know in the reply section below. I’m happy to help!
More Unique Things To Do In Utah
Utah Road Trip Itinerary: 7-Day Ultimate Tour Of Utah (With Map)
7 Insanely Easy Hikes In Arches National Park
Half Day In Canyonlands National Park: How To See Everything In A Few Hours
Capitol Reef National Park Half Day Itinerary: How To See Capitol Reef In A Day Or Less
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