There are many places in Utah that can seem as much like another world as another state. From massive rock arches to oddly shaped pillars to sheer river gorges, it's a land that has been bent by weather and time into strange, fantastic shapes.

Accordingly, many visitors to Utah will do anything—hike, bicycle, paddle, rock climb, ski or snowboard—to experience the natural wildness the state has to offer. If these kinds of adventurous activities are for you, you'll find Utah one of the premier destinations in the U.S.

There also are plenty of less arduous ways to get the lay of the land. The many national parks have well-maintained roads and moderate hiking trails that will let you take in the natural splendor without breaking much of a sweat. Or you could gaze at the red-rock canyons from the comfort of a houseboat on Lake Powell. Whatever method you choose, plan on being outside: This is a place where the most significant sights are made of sky and stone, built by wind and water rather than humans.

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