Standing amidst the shapes and landscapes that look like they could have fallen off the surface of the moon, you can’t help but wonder how millenniums of water and wind could twist rock into such a fairyland of geology. No less than five of America’s most unusual National Parks blanket Utah, and in between you’ll discover a multitude of national monuments, historic sites, national recreation areas and scenic byways. Red rock landscapes coexist peacefully with petrified sand dunes, white salt flats, soaring sandstone cliffs and aspen and pine forests. Contrast the craggy peaks and shapes with Salt Lake City, nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, once lying in an ancient sea. Robert Redford’s Sundance, the perfect host for inspiration, is located just a bit south of Salt Lake. The main feature of Capitol Reef is the 100-mile Waterpocket Fold, a wrinkle in the earth’s crust. Highway 12, connecting you to other parks, replaced mules and pack horses on hazardous routes. The slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires at Bryce Canyon are called “hoodoos.” At Zion, the grandeur of natural form unites with brilliant color in absolutely majestic mountains. Arches has over 2,000 arches in all sizes and shapes. In addition to this incredible beauty, Utah is best known for the Mormons, who trekked across the continent seeking a promised land, free from persecution where they could thrive in a self-sufficient economy. They were followed by miners, ranchers and traders, who changed things a bit, but not enough to impact the quality of life you’ll find in the state. Don’t miss the famous Four Corners, where it meets Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona at the same point.