Utah's great variety of beautiful scenery is one of the state's outstanding tourist attractions. Rugged areas of colorful mesas, cliffs, and mountain peaks provide tourists and residents with excellent opportunities for hiking, camping, and riding.
In the Wasatch Range and Uinta Mountains are many winter sports areas. A favorite activity for the more adventurous is boating on the Colorado and Green rivers.
The National Park Service administers a large number of units in Utah. The national parks in Utah preserve several areas of great natural beauty. In Bryce Canyon National Park, in southern Utah, are some of the world's most colorful and unusual rock spires, pinnacles, and domes.
Canyonlands National Park, in southeastern Utah, covers a rugged area of high mesas and towering rock pinnacles. Zion National Park, in the southwestern part of the state, is noted for its canyons and mesas. Arches National Park lies in a region of red sandstone that has been weathered into natural bridges, arches, and other spectacular rock shapes. Capitol Reef National Park covers other areas of brilliantly colored sandstone formations.
Cedar Breaks National Monument has a spectacular amphitheater formed in bright pink cliffs. Three huge natural sandstone bridges formed by erosion are included in Natural Bridges National Monument. The largest-known natural bridge in the world is in Rainbow Bridge National Monument.
A number of limestone caves on the side of Mount Timpanogos are preserved in Timpanogos Cave National Monument. Within Hovenweep National Monument are pre-Columbian Native American towers, pueblos, and cliff dwellings. Dinosaur National Monument is the site of a quarry containing numerous fossils. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, one of the nation's newest protected areas, is an area of scenic canyons, cliffs and rock formations.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, in southern Utah and northern Arizona, and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, in northeastern Utah and southeastern Wyoming, are popular recreation areas that have facilities for swimming, boating, and camping. In northern Utah is the Golden Spike National Historic Site, commemorating the completion in 1869 of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.