While you are visiting Utah’s national parks, plan some time for Utah’s 43 state parks. These parks are much less crowded and have some amazing views, geology, and history. Below are a few of the parks.

Kodachrome Basin State Park

Utah is known for its unusual rock formations. There are arches, bridges, hoodoos, goblins, and sand pipes. The only place in the world where you can find sand pipes is at Kodachrome Basin SP.

There are several theories on their formation that you can read about at the visitor center. Enjoy the trails and the picture-perfect views while you look for some of the 67 sand pipes. Camping is available.

Enjoy the colors of petrified wood.

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

While it doesn’t have the amount of petrified wood as the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, this state park is worth a visit. If you just have a short time, look at the 50-foot-long petrified tree near the parking lot and stroll the short Petrified Wood Cove trail for more fossilized wood.

If you have more time, hike the trails to more petrified wood sites, kayak or paddleboard the reservoir, or stay overnight at the campground.

Goblin Valley State Park

Bryce Canyon National Park has the tall hoodoos. Locals call the shorter and fatter version rocks “goblins,” which fill the three square miles of the Valley of the Goblins. This park is a must-see for fans of the movie Galaxy Quest, where it was the setting of the battle with a rock monster.

You can wander the goblin area or take one of the trails within the park. You are free to play among the rock formations but please take care so you don’t damage a formation for future guests. The park has camping and is an International Dark Sky Park.

Dead Horse State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse State Park has outstanding views on the Colorado River. Look for the blue solar evaporation ponds that are used to process potassium chloride. The color really stands out from the red rock.

Besides Dead Horse Point Overlook or the view from the visitor center, there are several trails to additional overlooks. In addition, there are 17 miles of mountain bike trails. The park has camping and is an International Dark Sky Park.

Edge of the Cedars State Park

This park is about history and culture. The artifacts on display in the museum include an extensive Ancestral Puebloan pottery collection along with baskets, arrowheads, fiber artifacts, and other pieces. Personally, I loved the details of the pottery.

Outside, you can climb into a kiva or check out the solar sculpture. The park is relatively small with no camping.

Goosenecks State Park

This park is basically a parking lot (no camping), but the view is everything. Practice your panorama shots before you get here since there is no way a single shot shows the view. The park is an entrenched river meander where it takes six miles of the San Juan River to go 1.5 miles to the west.

The view at Goosenecks.

In another state that didn’t have Utah’s amazing national parks, these state parks would be must-see stops. Don’t miss them in your Utah tour.