Utah: Land of Many Different Views

Utah was a spur of the moment trip that I had to take. It offered the chance to see an area of the United States that I had never seen before, and also to reunite with a friend I hadn't seen since we met in Costa Rica. To the rest of you, we will meet again soon! As a kid who grew up in New England, I knew what to expect when it came to Utah, or so I thought, but lets start off with the views while flying to Utah.

Finally being able to see Colorado for the first time, and from 40,000 feet, was probably one of the coolest ways to see the state. Flying north from Texas over the flat surface, and then flying into the mountain ranges that stretch through Colorado and seeing it from above certainly got me in the mood for an adventure. There was nothing like seeing these snow capped (after leaving the 70 degree temperatures in West Texas only an hour earlier) mountains rising up out of the landscape for the first time, and being able to see just how far the range stretched from the air trumped seeing it from the ground for the first time easily. 

 Park City Olympic Training Facility

Park City Olympic Training Facility

As someone who loves winter sports and was hoping to be able to ski/snowboard in Utah for the very first time on this trip, it was a bit disappointing that the most snow we really saw was in this photo. At the same time it was amazing to finally be able to see where the Olympians train in the same spot where I would have been able to experience west coast skiing.. Although we did not get to, meaning I have to return!

Park City was an amazing place to be able to spend the day just walking around, and looking at the immense amount of photography that is sold in the area, featuring photographs from around the great state I was so happily exploring for the first time. The main street and little shops brought me right back to some of the places I first skied, and to some of the places where I first worked on a ski mountain. The views of the mountains brought me right back home to spending the winters in New Hampshire with my brothers and parents, although luckily my brothers were not complaining the entire time on this trip.

 Dead Horse Point State Park Viewing Area

Dead Horse Point State Park Viewing Area

Now going a little bit out of order, I think, we stopped at Dead Horse Point State Park. As a New Englander, I don't have the chance to seem a canyon like this anywhere close to home, and certainly not one that can take your breath away like this one did. From the shear drops along the edges that we were standing on to the immense distance that the park covered, there was nothing like it that I have seen before. The views had me in awe and wishing that I had more time to hike in the area, which I was not prepared for if I even wanted to that day. Capturing these views on camera doesn't do this beautiful park justice, and I would say that it is a must see while on your way to Arches National Park.

Speaking of Arches National Park... we arrived just in time to hike out to the Delicate Arch to capture the sunset and make it back to the car after snapping a few photos. Special note to anyone wanting to do this, bring water and don't wear jeans and running shoes, especially if you have to hike from the farther of the parking lots due to flooding. Special note aside, the views that I saw made the hike easily worth it. 

Sometimes the best trips are the ones that you don't plan out, and just go with the flow. For a trip that was planned out in under and hour with about 10 texts, and using the motto "we will figure it out", this trip was one of my favorites so far. A trip I will never forget, but soon hope to repeat while spending more time in this beautiful state. My photos and story are only a small glimpse into this state and all that its national and state parks have to offer, and I hope this makes you want to get out and explore Utah.

Joseph Hallgren

Boston, MA

Full time student, adrenaline junkie, and traveller.