Canyon Country is a region in the state of Utah in the United States of America. It is a wild, sparsely populated area along the southern boundary of the state, with an extraordinary concentration of national parks (refered to as "The Big 5") and monuments offering scenic opportunities galore and an inexhaustible array of hiking trails and canyoneering routes. It includes the counties of Kane, Garfield, San Juan, Wayne, and Grand.
- 1 Big Water — a middle of nowhere hamlet with a Libertarian and polygamist history, by the southwest end of Glen Canyon.
- 2 Boulder — a pretty cowboy town west of Capitol Reef National Park that is right by some of the most spectacularly beautiful stretches of highway in the world.
- 3 Blanding — a small gateway town to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (south) and Natural Bridges and Bears Ears National Monuments (west).
- 4 Kanab — the only real desert town for miles in the Vermilion cliffs and the only piece of civilization south of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; on the way south to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, east to wild canyoneering opportunities, or northwest to Zion National Park.
- 5 Escalante — a small town on the northern border of in Grand Staircase with some good eatin', located near beautiful canyons.
- 6 Hanksville — you know you're nowhere when you arrive to Hanksville, far to the east of Capitol Reef, where you can refuel, eat, sleep, and get on your desert way.
- 7 Mexican Hat — a small village about 20 miles north of Monument Valley.
- 8 Moab — a desert tourist hub for visitors to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park and a good place to buy gear or rent an ATV, also a mountain bike "cult spot".
- 9 Monticello — a very small town north of Blanding which boasts the region's sole Mormon Temple.
- 10 Mount Carmel Junction — an often overlooked junction town east of Zion, near some very beautiful wilderness lands.
- 11 Panguitch — a small town that is the largest in Garfield County and is surrounded by spectacular, mountainous National Forests.
- 12 Thompson Springs — a small town that is home to the Sego Canyon Pictographs and Petroglyphs.
- 13 Torrey — a small tourist town at the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park.
- 14 Hildale — Also known as Colorado City, Hildale is the largest and best known polygamist community in the United States. This city straddles the Utah/Arizona border.
- 1 Arches National Park, Moab — Contains hundreds of sandstone arches, including the famous Delicate Arch, an icon of Utah. Like the nearby Canyonlands, it's one of the more popular National Parks, despite being a long way from major cities.
- 2 Bears Ears National Monument, west of Blanding — a pair of buttes, rock climbing, and Native American history.
- 3 Bryce Canyon National Park, near Panguitch — A geological amphitheater with hundreds of tall red rock hoodoos that make up a spectacular landscape in the midst of a pine forest.
- 4 Canyonlands National Park, Moab — A maze of dramatic red rock canyons and mesas carved by the Colorado and Green Rivers. It is the meeting point of these two rivers, and therefore some excellent views of the canyons are possible.
- 5 Capitol Reef National Park, near Torrey — A wonderland of red rock features including monoliths, arches, gorges, and sandstone domes.
- 6 Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, between Mount Carmel Junction and Kanab — Piles of coral pink sand blew through between the Moquith Mountains and Moccasin Mountain; offers recreation for both motorized and non-motorized users.
- 7 Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, north of Page, Arizona — a vast canyon in deep red rock country, filled with North America's largest man made lake, Lake Powell.
- 8 Goblin Valley State Park, Green River — Features thousands of hoodoos, refered to as goblins.
- 9 Goosenecks State Park, Mexican Hat — Overlooking the tight turns - goosenecks - of the San Juan River.
- 10 Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument — Deep sandstone canyons, impressive waterfalls and acres of road-less wilderness.named
- 11 Kodachrome Basin State Park, Cannonville — Multi-hued standstone layers of sedimentary stone spires.
- 12 Natural Bridges National Monument, west of Blanding — A set of spectacular natural bridges, including the second and third largest natural bridges in the world, carved from sandstone.
- 13 , Montezuma Creek — Lies primarily within neighboring Arizona but extends into this region.
- 14 Rainbow Bridge National Monument accessible through Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, south of Blanding and northwest of Page, Arizona — The world's highest natural bridge, carved from red sandstone in a canyon just off Lake Powell.
- 15 Zion National Park, Kanab along boundry of Canyon Country and the Dixie (southwest) region — Contains the spectacular Zion Canyon, with its sheer sandstone cliffs and dramatic rock towers, as well as beautiful red rock desert country.
Highways I-15 (connecting Salt Lake City and St. George and US-70 (intersecting with I-15 on the west and leading into Colorado on the east) flank the region on the west and north, respectively. Few highways actually lead into this region because of its rugged topography, and most of the ones that do (e.g. US 191 and state roads 24, 95, 72 and 12) are reached from I-70 or from similarly minor highways on the east side. Access from the south is very limited owing to the impassable Grand Canyon just across the Arizona state line.
Drive. If there was ever an area that justifies having a 4-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicle, this is it, but don't make the mistake of believing that an "urban" 4WD will suffice to get you everywhere you want to go. Many of the "roads" in this area, particularly in Canyonlands and Grand Staircase-Escalante, are almost unimaginably rough. Know your limits as a driver, and those of your vehicle, before venturing into the boonies here.
Pay attention to the weather. It can be hot in the summer, often exceeding 100 °F (38 °C), and late summer monsoon season brings violent thunderstorms which often cause flash floods. Winters are cold, with daytime highs often around freezing 32 °F (0 °C) and lows towards 0 °F (−18 °C); even small amounts of snow or ice can make roads impassable.
- Four Corners, where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. Visitors can twist their bodies so that they are in four states at once.
- If you're looking for still more canyoneering, just cross the state line into Arizona, Colorado or New Mexico, as the canyon-and-mesa terrain continues into all three.
- Navajo Nation is primarily in Arizona, and a number of interesting sites there are fairly near the state line, including Monument Valley and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
- More along the Colorado River upriver (east) into Colorado or downriver (south) into Northern Arizona, including the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.