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More and more people are turning to the Mountain West for travel, adventure, and fun. In 2021, four of Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks broke all-time visitation records. Combined, the “Mighty Five,” which include Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park, had over 11 million visitors. Those numbers are projected to continue to grow. There have also been increased travel and congestion along sought-after scenic drives, popular locations along the Colorado River, and more.

So how can you have an incredible experience in Utah and the Mountain West but avoid the crowds? It is possible if you are willing to go a bit off the beaten path. Below are five underrated destinations that will help you get there.

4 Mountain West Destinations Off The Beaten Path

fall colors in Utah mountains near Midway, Utah

Midway, Utah

If you are looking for top Utah travel spots in the Great Salt Lake area but want to avoid the crowds, explore Midway, Utah. The town is nestled in the idyllic Heber Valley on the east side of the Wasatch Mountains, offers many outdoor and cultural activities, and is a springboard for world-class hiking, skiing, and other snow sports.

Midway’s small-town feel has a distinct Swiss influence in many of the homes and architecture. It is home to the renowned Zermatt Utah Resort and other Midway, Utah restaurants, hotels, and resorts. It also boasts some of the best spas near Park City.

Midway is also home to unique events, such as the Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship, Midway Ice Castles, and warm water crater swimming. It’s located near Park City, Salt Lake City, Sundance, and Provo, which are all popular destination hubs.


scenic mountains near Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Great Basin National Park is located in eastern Nevada in the Great Basin Desert. This national park offers scenic mountain drives, primitive camping, hiking, lookout points, and cave exploring. It protects several ancient bristlecone pine groves, lakes, and marble caves. The park is a great destination in autumn, where you can experience cooler temperatures and unique fall foliage.


Aspen trees near Duck Creek Village

Duck Creek Village, Utah

Duck Creek Village is a small community located in the heart of Dixie National Forest. At a higher elevation, Duck Creek Village has cooler temperatures in the summer and excellent snow in the winter. It is surrounded by excellent outdoor recreation opportunities year-round, including fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, off-roading, caving, and snow sports.

Duck Creek Village is also a gateway to several state parks, national parks, and national monuments, including Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park. Duck Creek Village offers an enchanting escape with its mountain vistas, pristine lakes, and sandstone cliffs.


North Park Colorado - underrated places to visit in mountain west

North Park, Colorado

North Park is located just under three hours northwest of Denver and is a remote valley nestled in the broad highland of Colorado’s High Country. It is a rugged, untamed, scenic home for moose, trout, and migratory birds. North Park offers outdoor recreation year-round and is one of the last frontiers of Colorado.

If you go, you can experience State Forest State Park, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and the Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge. Whether passing through on your way to Steamboat Springs natural hot tubs or visiting Walden, North Park is worth the visit.


Fall colors at Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah

Get Your Travel Plans Started By Booking with Zermatt Utah!

Adventure is calling. If you feel inspired by these out-of-the-way vacation destinations, take the leap and book a room at Zermatt Resort, one of Midway, Utah’s top resorts. Conveniently located between Park City and Sundance, Zermatt Resort is the perfect year-round getaway offering world-class spa treatments and exquisite in-house dining options. Combined with the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains and the endless opportunities for mountain adventures surrounding Midway, Zermatt Resort offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure off the beaten path for your visit in Utah. Book your stay today!