The Great 8: The Grand National Monuments of Utah
Utah is one of the best states to visit if you are a fan of the great outdoors. Not only does it have five national parks, but it is also home to no fewer than eight National Monuments. Here are details of the monuments that you can see during your time in the state.
1. Grand Staircase National Monument
Grand Staircase National Monument was created in September 1996 and consists of an area 1.7 million acres in size. It is filled with countless fascinating formations and features, and its paleontological sites are well known. This remote and rugged region is perfect for exploring for those who enjoy the great outdoors, and the geological formations are spectacular.
2. Pipe Springs National Monument
The Pipe Springs National Monument makes for a fascinating day trip. The Paiute tribe used to live in this area, and they were followed by Mormon settlers. You can still see the old Mormon cattle ranch, called Windsor Castle, on a tour.
3. Timpanogos Cave National Monument
This National Monument is the furthest north of the monuments, and if you are staying in Park City Utah lodging you will find it very easy to reach. The others are all accessible by driving a few hours, but this is the best if you don’t want to travel far. It is located in the Wasatch Mountains on Mount Timpanogos, and it comprises three caverns. There is a 1.5-mile hike to the cave, and when you arrive you will find many impressive formations inside, including stalactites and stalagmites.
4. Natural Bridges National Monument
There are only a few natural stone bridges that have been carved by streams in the world, and three of them are found here. They are called Sipapu, Kachina and Owachomo, and you can see them all during your visit. You will also find stunning canyons and a number of hiking trails, as well as a visitor center and a camping ground.
5. Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Rainbow Bridge is the largest natural bridge on Earth, standing at 290 feet tall. It has been carved from red sandstone, and it is sacred to the local Navajo tribes. It attracts 300,000 people every year, and you can see it by either hiking, going on horseback, or on a boat cruise.
6. Cedar Breaks National Monument
Dixie National Forest surrounds this monument, which consists of a natural amphitheater that reveals numerous geologic levels in the Markagunt Plateau and contains a number of impressive limestone formations.
7. Hovenweep National Monument
The ruins of towers at this national monument look like castles. They were built many centuries ago by an ancient culture that was in the area from about 500 BC onwards. They are some of the best examples in the country, and the Square Tower is the most impressive. There are also many hiking trails to enjoy.
8. Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument is a 200,000-acre area where a huge haul of Jurassic-period bones were discovered in 1909, which included new dinosaur discoveries. You can now go to the visitor center and there are also over 2,000 bones still exposed in the wall. You can also go hiking, and whitewater rafting on the Yampa River is also popular.
Discover the Fascinating National Monuments of Utah
Utah is blessed with so many stunning National Monuments, and you can see them all during your time in the state. Wherever you are based, you won’t have trouble traveling to all of these monuments, so discover them for yourself while you are here.
Mary Adams is an instructor at a ski school. She likes writing about indoor and outdoor activities. Her articles can be found on many vacation and travel websites.