17 Reasons Why Utah Is Pretty Much Another Planet

I’ll admit it: prior to going to Utah, my knowledge of the state was entirely gained from South Park parodies of Mormons.
But this state, with its five national parks — the third most national parks in a single state after California and Alaska — and countless under the radar state parks and hidden hikes, deserves more.

The landscape in Utah is like nowhere else on Earth. Combined with the desolation of the beautiful backroads, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d somehow transported yourself to another world. I can’t believe I’m about to say this… Utah’s Martian landscape and hidden gems have wrested the title of most photogenic state in the country from my dear California. Forgive me, Golden State. It’s all Utah’s fault.

Because Utah has its own Grand Canyon with a decidedly Martian twist.
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Because it’s perfectly normal for the desert to kiss the mountains.


Because oddly shaped rocks that look like faces are dime a dozen.


Because it’s perfectly normal to find Sahara-esque orange sand dunes next to purple-hued mountains


Because a 10 minute walk off a major highway will leave you feeling like you’ve been shot to another world


Because even when the landscapes seem to defy physics, wildflowers still shoot forth from the red earth


Because a color of purple that seems to exist nowhere else in nature is basically everywhere


Because the rocks here have windows with brilliant blue eyes.


Because even the less popular national parks are some of the most stunning in the entire country


Because the improbable bushes growing out of red rock only add magic to the rusty landscape


Because when they call something Angel’s Landing, they’re really not fucking around


Because even the clouds look like perfectly-placed UFOs


Because sometimes it’s just too good to be true.


Because who knew that the simple combination of snow melting and freezing millions of times could create this?


Because the colors of the sun setting low on the horizon is completely surreal.


Because mile by mile, the landscape changes, impossible to predict but so easy to love.


Because where else can you see the Milky Way from your front door?

Utah, the land of hikes, national parks, and more activities than you can ever dream of doing. From Moab to Zion and Bryce and beyond to the smaller hikes and hidden spots, there’s no place on Earth quite like Utah.

6 thoughts on “17 Reasons Why Utah Is Pretty Much Another Planet”

  1. Stunning photos Allison – it truly does look like a Martian landscape. Although in answer to your last question… Australia 😉

    • Thanks LC! I need to get myself back to Australia and actually get outside the cities for a change. I just went to Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns (for the GBR) and felt pretty meh about Australia but as everyone tells me — I missed all the best parts!!

  2. I’ve been to Utah a number of times since I moved to Arizona. The land is so vast, I’m sure I’ll never explore all of it – but I’ll try 🙂

    • You’re lucky to have it so close by! It is insanely vast — we spent 8 days exploring Utah and definitely didn’t see close to all of it — and I can’t wait to go back 🙂 Hope to see the Salt Flats and Monument Valley next time.


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