Welcome to Southern National Parks
Situated in southern Utah are five national parks of spectacular
beauty, each with unique geological formations, cliffs and canyons
of every imaginable colour, and mighty rivers.
The most well-known parks are Bryce Canyon, with its weird
orange 'hoodoo' pinnacle formations, and the magnificent lush
canyons of Zion National Park. Canyonlands is the largest national
park in Utah, a largely inaccessible landscape eroded into
countless canyons and plateaus by the Colorado and Green Rivers
that divide the park into three districts. The most accessible area
of the park is the Island in the Sky District offering breathtaking
views, while the Needles Region features spires, arches and red and
white striped rock pinnacles that hold numerous opportunities for
hikers. The rugged Maze District is the most remote section and is
The more visitor-friendly red desert landscape of Arches
National Park features thousands of natural sandstone arches and
other fantastic rock formations such as pinnacles, balanced rocks
and spires that can be reached by short trails or roads, making the
major sights easily accessible, including Fiery Furnace, Balanced
Rock and the park's most famous feature, Delicate Arch. In the
centre of Utah is the state's newest park, Capitol Reef. Its main
feature is the multi-layered orange, red and white cliff walls that
formed a seemingly impassable rock barrier to early pioneers,
stretching for hundreds of miles and known as the Waterpocket Fold.
Lifted up by forces within the earth's crust, the peaks and
pinnacles formed sandstone sections that reminded them of the white
domes of capitol buildings.
There are very few roads bisecting the southwestern region and
it is difficult to access most of the backcountry, even within the
national parks, where roads are limited to high-clearance vehicles,
hikers and mountain bikers. One of the best ways to experience the
landscape is by river and there are numerous companies offering
whitewater rafting and gentle river trips with plenty of
opportunities to admire the scenery.
Information & Facts
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.