Getaway Guide: 6 Stunning National Parks Near Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the go-to destination if you’re looking for a getaway within easy distance from some of the most beautiful national parks this country offers. Whether you’re flying into Salt Lake City Airport for a family vacation or flying solo, Affordable Rent-A-Car And Sales can help you find the perfect rental car to get you on the road to one of the sixty state and national parks nearby. To help you plan your trip, here are our top six national park recommendations near Salt Lake City.

Affordable Rent A Car And Sales Salt Lake City visit National Parks

1. Arches National Park

3 hours 30 minutes from Salt Lake City Airport

With a landscape like no other, Arches National Park boasts over 2,000 natural stone arches, towering pinnacles, and colossal fins. We recommend stopping at our favorite park arches, the Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch.

You’ll need to pay an entry fee to enter the park, and depending on the time of year, you may need to reserve a timed entry for the day you plan to visit. Also, parking at popular trailheads fills up quickly during peak seasons. If you can’t find a parking place or your mobility is limited, consider a scenic drive through Arches in one of our reliable rental cars.

2. Canyonlands National Park

3 hours 40 minutes from Salt Lake City Airport

Divided into three districts by the Colorado River and its tributaries, Canyonlands invites adventurers to explore its vast wilderness. Island in the Sky offers one of the most popular destinations, with breathtaking panoramic views from an easily accessible plateau. The Needles and Maze areas present a more rugged, backcountry experience.

Park entrance fees are required, and various passes are available. Note that distances are vast, and services are limited within the park boundaries. Also, each district is disconnected from the others, so you must access each area separately.

3. Yellowstone National Park

5 hours from Salt Lake City Airport

As the first national park in the world, Yellowstone is famous for its geothermal features, including the iconic Old Faithful geyser. Its vast ecosystems are home to abundant wildlife, from bison herds to lone wolves. While you may need to travel farther to see certain parts of Yellowstone, the West Entrance is the best way to access the park from Salt Lake City.

Entrance fees apply, with options for both single-day and annual passes. Parking can be challenging during peak visiting months, so arriving early or exploring less frequented areas can enhance your experience. We also suggest coming early to the park daily to beat the crowds.

4. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

3 hours 30 minutes from Salt Lake City Airport

This lunar landscape on Earth is a must-visit for those intrigued by volcanic formations. Craters of the Moon showcases vast lava fields, cinder cones, and many cave trails. These lava tube caves are free with a permit, and it’s recommended that you bring closed-toed shoes and a flashlight so you can safely experience all the caves have to offer.

Entry is ticketed, offering an affordable adventure into a unique national monument. While here, you can drive the scenic loop or take several short walks to see the unique beauty of this other-worldly park.

5. Grand Teton National Park

4 hours 45 minutes from Salt Lake City Airport

With its majestic peaks, serene lakes, and wildlife, Grand Teton National Park offers a tranquil retreat for nature lovers. Highlights include the Jenny Lake area, Signal Mountain Summit Road, and the historic Mormon Row. Keep in mind that grizzly and black bears are active in the area, so read up on safety tips before your visit.

Like other parks, plan to pay an entrance fee. Parking is available throughout the park but limited to popular destinations like Jenny Lake during the summer.

6. Zion National Park

4 hours from Salt Lake City Airport

Zion, known for its steep red cliffs and forest trails along the Virgin River, is a hiker’s paradise.  The Narrows and Angels Landing are two of the park’s most famous hikes, offering extraordinary views and challenging terrain. (The canyon in the park is over 2,000 feet deep!) If hiking isn’t on your bucket list, bring your swimsuit to swim in the river during the warmer months.

Entrance fees are required, and parking is limited within the park. However, a shuttle service operates most of the year, giving visitors access to key points of interest. Take a look at the park website for the shuttle’s seasonal operational hours.

Ready to Explore?

A visit to these national parks will give you a unique window into the beauty and grandeur of the American landscape. By flying into Salt Lake City and securing your airport car rental from Affordable Rent-A-Car And Sales, you position yourself at the gateway to these incredible natural wonders. To start your next national park journey with a car, truck, SUV, or van rental, contact Affordable Rent-A-Car And Sales at (801) 288-2277 or reserve a rental online today!

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