April 13, 2015 - 9:15 pm
Driving from Vegas to Salt Lake is relatively simple. If you plan it just right, you can make it to the capital city just before dinner time, and only stop a few times for fuel and a quick break. In fact, if you leave early in the morning, you can easily make it there in about 6 hours.
If you’re looking to break away from the “get there as fast as we can” mentality, there are plenty of natural wonders and photo-worthy attractions just off the beaten path of I-15.
Here are 5 must-see stops next time you find yourself driving through the “Beehive State”.
1. Kolob Canyons, Southern Utah
Located in Zion National Park, this quick five-mile drive around the canyons will give you a glimpse at some incredibly diverse rock formations and colors.
There are 2,000 foot cliff walls and narrow canyons cutting into the Colorado Plateau. Make sure your camera is charged up, because you’re bound to see wildlife. To enter Zion National Park, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee or show your pass.
2. Leeds Market, Leeds
I found this gem completely by accident during my last trip back to Salt Lake. You probably have a similar story– you’re making great time, the kids are all settled in the back seat with a movie and snacks, and all of a sudden you hear a little voice, “I have to go potty!” You can’t pull over on the freeway, so you take the next exit. For us, that was Leeds. I would never consider stopping here for any other reason, but what I discovered was “Leeds Market.” The restrooms were clean, the people were friendly, and my attention was immediately caught by the scent of a Crock Pot simmering in the back, which they serve daily.
Located at 261 N. Main St., Leeds.
3. Parowan Gap Petroglyphs
As you make your way through Cedar City, take Exit 62 to Highway 130. Parowan Gap is about a 25-mile detour, but it’s well worth the extra distance and time in your road trip.
Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans chiseled their stories into the rock faces, and seeing them is like stepping back in time.
4. Historic Fillmore City
Fillmore City was named after Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States, and was once the territorial capital of Utah. Here, you can tour the old Territorial Statehouse, which is now a museum full of historical treasures about Utah and the pioneers.
5. Nebo Loop Scenic Byway
Tucked between Payson and Nephi is the Nebo Loop, which offers incredible views of the Wasatch Mountains, including the byway’s namesake, Mount Nebo. Take a drive through Devil’s Kitchen to see breathtaking red rock cliffs and spires, and make a stop at Payson Lakes Recreation Area for hiking trails, camping and picnic facilities. Nebo Loop can be accessed by taking I-15 Exit 225 from Nephi, and traveling east on State Route 132. You can also travel the byway from Payson by taking I-15 Exit 248.