National Parks and Forests

You could spend a lifetime exploring the natural beauty and geologic wonders of southern Utah. The San Rafael Swell is a hidden gem away from the crowds but there are plenty of more well known places in the vicinity that are amazing. These are within a few hours drive of the San Rafael Swell.

Arches National Park

Over 2,000 natural stone arches as well as other amazing landforms.
http://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm

Canyonlands National Park

Amazing canyons and buttes carved by the Colorado River.
http://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm

Capitol Reef National Park

Explore the geologic wonders of the Waterpocket Fold and learn about the historic settlements of the area.
http://www.nps.gov/care/index.htm

Fishlake National Forest

You can cool off with a trip to the mountains in the Fishlake National Forest. Things to see include Fishlake, a popular large alpine lake, and nearby to the shores of Fishlake is "Pando", a clonal stand of aspens, considered to be the heaviest single living organism on earth.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/fishlake/

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Over 1.2 million acres of water and land based recreation, including Lake Powell. A very popular boating area.
http://www.nps.gov/glca/index.htm

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

The massive area encompassed by the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has plenty of recreational opportunities and great scenic beauty.
http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/grand_staircase-escalante/Recreation.html

Manti-La Sal National Forest

Mountains, meadows and canyons await in the Manti-La Sal National Forest. There are various areas near the San Rafael Swell.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/mantilasal/

Natural Bridges National Monument

Utah's first National Monument. There are three fascinating natural stone bridges.
http://www.nps.gov/nabr/index.htm