Attending college in Utah has many perks: affordability, great food and, most importantly, the views. Utah is home to some of the greatest hiking and swimming places a desert climate can offer. Below is a list of places across the Utah State worth visiting this summer if you dare brave the heat.

Payson Grotto Trail — Payson

If you have little ones along with you, Payson Grotto offers a relatively short but scenic hike to the small waterfall and icy shallow pool making it a refreshing treat after a hike in the sun.

Bridal Veil Falls Park — Provo

This park offers something for the both the beginner and experienced hikers. The hike makes up for the steepness by being short and completely worth it to see the view of the canyon below. For experienced hikers, there’s an option to take the dirt path which is warned to be difficult to climb.

Pineview Reservoir — Ogden

Sometimes, it’s just too hot to take a hike and the only thing that will cool you off the desert heat is a nice dip in cool waters. If you have the appropriate licenses, Pineview is the place to go this summer for fishing and boating.  The many mountains and trees surrounding the water brings out the beauty of the desert.

East Canyon Reservoir —Morgan

The East Canyon Reservoir offers 6 miles of open water for fishing and boating. Surrounded by beautiful green scenery, much like Pineview, East Canyon sets itself apart by offering boat rentals and has the option to camp in luxury with their options of yurts, cabins and hammock camping sites.  Many of the campgrounds and amenities are dog restricted so no furry friends allowed.

Though many of these places are small, they make up for it in beauty and recreation. Utah has several of these small nature gems scattered throughout the state but it’s also home to more than 15 national parks, monuments and historic trails making it the perfect playground for adventurers and history buffs alike.

National Trails

Trails like the old Spanish, Mormon pioneer and the Pony Express trails not only connect Utah to multiple states, but they also offer those brave enough the opportunity to plan a trip along them with key spots marked.

National Monuments

If you have a thing for the prehistoric, the Hovenweep and Dinosaur monuments offer a look at a time long past. If you’re looking more to see the wonders of nature, Cedar Breaks, Rainbow and natural bridges and the hidden underground world that is the Timpanogos Cave will leave you wondering how such places came to be.

National Parks

Utah is known for being home to Zion and Arches national park but have you heard of Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and  Bryce Canyon? Home of the red rock mountains. The vast openness alone will make you want to spend every minute out exploring the desert wilderness.

With so much to explore, boredom should be the farthest thing from your mind. Just make sure to pack the sunscreen!