5 Free Things to Do in Utah

Sunset Point in Capitol Reef Utah
  1. Purple Mountain

      • Location: 38.41511313932268, -110.78464931247503
      • Best & Cheapest Place to Stay: SkyRidge Inn
      • Accessibility: It’s a rough 4 mile drive on a dirt road through a very remote area. We highly recommend a 4×4! Bring lots of water and food. The Mars research center is 1 mile from Purple Mountain.
      • Information: There are no hikes, but the entire area is free to visit. You can walk up to the purple mountains and look around. The best way to see the full beauty of this place is by drone.

    Purple Mountain Utah

  2. Capitol Reef National Park

      • Location: Between Torrey and Caineville along Highway 24
      • Accessibility: Easily accessible by any vehicle
      • Best & Cheapest Place to Stay: SkyRidge Inn
      • Information: You only have to pay for the scenic drive in Capitol Reef, which is a road off the main road through the park. Therefore, all hikes that start at the main road or other roads that are not the scenic route, are completely free of charge.

    Best free hikes and things to see in Capitol Reef:

        • Sunset Point: 0.4 mile easy hike with amazing views

    Sunset Point in Capitol Reef Utah

        • Hickman Natural Bridge Trail: 1.7 miles moderate round trip hike leading to a beautiful arch and amazing views

    Hickman Natural Bridge Trail in Capitol Reef Utah

        • Chimney Rock Trail: 3.3. miles difficult round trip hike with great views of the chimney rock and the surrounding area

    Chimney Rock in Capitol Reef Utah

        • Burro Wash Trail: 7.6 miles moderate hiking trail through a narrow slot canyon

    Burro Wash Slot Canyon Utah

  3. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

      • Location: Between Boulder and Escalante of off Highway 12
      • Best & Cheapest Place to Stay: Grand Staircase Inn
      • Accessibility: Main highway through the park easily accessible by any vehicle. Dirt roads going off the main highway only accessible by 4×4.
      • Information: The park is completely free of charge. Camping is free as well. You can get a free camping permit at the visitor center.

    Best free hikes and things to see in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

        • Lower Calf Creek Falls ($5 fee without any National Park Pass): Easy 5.7 miles out and back trail to a beautiful waterfall with a natural pool to swim in

    Lower Calf Creek Falls Utah

        • Devil’s Garden: Easy 1 mile hike to see lots of different rock formations like hoodoos and arches

    Devil's Garden Utah

        • Peek-a-boo and Spooky Slot Canyons: Difficult 4.2 miles hike to see these two beautiful slot canyons with narrow passages and rock scrambling

    Peek-a-boo slot canyon Utah

        • Cosmic Ashtray: Difficult unmarked 8.3 miles round trip hike to a big hole filled with beautiful orange sand and rocks

    Cosmic Ashtray Utah

  4. Dixie National Forest

      • Location: Large area of forest in the south-west of Utah with various access points and hikes
      • Best & Cheapest Place to Stay: Sweet Bedroom Nook
      • Accessibility: Easily accessible by any vehicle

    Best free hikes and things to see in Dixie National Forest:

        • Cascade Falls Trail: Moderate 1.2 mile out and back hike with amazing forest views leading to a beautiful waterfall.

    Cascade Falls Trail Utah

        • Yant Flat Trail: Moderate 3.4 mile out and back hike which leads to incredible sandstone formations with amazing views.

    Yant Flats Utah

        • Arches Trail: Easy 0.7 mile loop with 15 Arches along the way and awesome rock formations
        • Deer Creek Lake Trail: Easy 5.7 out and back trail that leads through beautiful forests to a secluded and gorgeous lake for relaxing and fishing

    Dixie National Forest

  5. Monument Valley

      • Location: On highway 163 on the border to Arizona
      • Best & Cheapest Place to Stay: Blue Sage Inn
      • Accessibility: Easily accessible by any vehicle
      • Information: Monument Valley is free to see and admire from the main highway. There are multiple pull-offs and a visitor center where you can stop and take in the view of the surrounding pinnacles. If you want to get closer, you’ll have to pay $20 per vehicle.

    Best picture spot:

    You’ll find the best and most famous picture spot at the Monument Valley Overlook pull out (37.10630468545503, -109.98266766569151)

    Monument Valley Utah

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Bonus: Best free campgrounds in Utah

If you are looking for free campgrounds for your Utah trip, here is the perfect list: Free Campgrounds in Utah

Free Camping Utah

About the Authors

Authors Ryne Cook and Denise Braun from He Said or She Said

Ryne and Denise Cook: Utah was one of our bucket list destinations for a long time. That’s why we were so excited to finally check it off of our list with an epic road trip. We hope our insights will help you plan your own amazing trip to Utah.

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