Go outside and play. Isn’t that what parents used to say? In Utah, it could well be a marketing slogan. The rugged terrain of this little-populated state really does beg to be biked, hiked, skied and otherwise actively explored. Its dazzling display of geographic grandeur leaves visitors a bit awestruck and dumbfounded. The panoply of colors, colors everywhere, as far as the eye can see, is more varied than a 64-pack of crayons. The temptation to simply sit still and watch the ever-changing kaleidoscope runs in opposition to hiking where no one (literally) has hiked before. This haunting topography is that vast.
The southern Utah landscape is defined by five national parks, featuring towering mountain peaks, plunging canyons, sweeping sandstone domes and seemingly endless expanses of undulating desert. Northern Utah is marked by the Great Salt Lake, forested mountains in the snow-covered Wasatch Range (where the 2002 Olympic Winter Games were held) and the wild Uinta Mountains.
Utah is also defined by modern Mormons, whose social and political influence reverberates throughout the state. When the Mormon pioneers reached the area in 1847, they, too (like the Native Americans 7000 years before them), felt a spiritual response and claimed it as their new home (their Zion). No matter what your belief system, the magical landscape of Utah will feel like heaven on earth.