Lonely Planet Writer

The greatest American road trip? Utah launches campaign to entice tourism onto scenic routes

One US state is hoping to turn itself into the ultimate destination for the classic American road trip as part of a new tourism campaign.

Sweeping sunset panoramic view of famous Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah (HDR).
Sweeping sunset panoramic view of famous Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah (HDR).

Utah’s latest plan is a follow-up to their successful Mighty 5 campaign, which centred on the fact the state is home to no less than five different national parks (only Alaska and California have more).

The people behind the campaign told Lonely Planet: “The new campaign portrays people experiencing a road trip to national and state parks, monuments and scenic byways throughout the region. While the Mighty 5 was about what to see, the Road to Mighty [campaign] is about how to see it.” They have launched a new website which has a nifty feature that will automatically plan out a suggested itinerary for you based on how much days you want to spend in Utah.

It also lets you filter according to which of the national parks you want to visit and what your main interests are – whether it’s hiking, scenic drives, or dining. Utah is targeting families, young professionals looking for adventure, and millennial “experience seekers” looking for iconic classics, hidden secrets and epic adventures around the Beehive State.

The state is not short of attractions, not least those five national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Mount Zion. On top of that there is Monument Valley – the location for innumerable old Western movies – as well as state capital Salt Lake City.

The new campaign however, is about more than the main sites and aims to get travellers out on to the highways and byways of the picturesque state. Utah has been doing well in tourism with revenue up by 53% since 2005 and the number of visitors from overseas, particularly from China, on the rise.