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For those wishing to take a longer road trip this summer, consider taking a swing through southern Utah. Utah has extensive incredible public lands and famous national parks. Below we list places that are off the beaten path, where peace is as prevalent as beauty.

Just 75 miles south of Moab lies the new Bears Ears National Monument. Here you can visit red rock landscapes and unique archaeology without the crowds. To avoid the heat, the best time to go is March through mid-June then September through October. Bears Ears is less developed than nearby parks, so call the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in advance to plan your trip at (435) 587-1500.

From Bears Ears, consider traveling to Interstate 95 and going north to Capitol Reef National Park. Bring your hiking shoes, bicycle, and tent for a range of outdoor activities. During the day, check out the white rock domes shaped like the U.S. Capitol. At night, look up to see the Milky Way from one of the best places in the country to see the stars. To learn more, contact park staff at 435-425-3791.

Next, drive to the south to access the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. As the Escalante-Boulder Chamber of Commerce explains, “colorful sandstone canyons, arches and mesas are found in abundance” in the eastern portion of the monument. In addition to these amazing geological formations, the monument protects Mormon Settler and Native American cultural sites.  For more information, contact the BLM at (435) 644-1200.


Photo Credit Top Image: Josh Ewing

Photo Credit Bottom Image: National Parks Service