Exploring America in Your Car – Utah

Exploring America in your car can be an amazing adventure to either take alone, with a friend or with family. Whether you camp, stay in kitschy retro 70s style motels or high end five star hotels with all the accouterments, the sights you will experience along the way will be memorable, educational and at times, down right breathtaking. And it’s not always the most obvious tourist attractions that are the highlights – but find out for yourself, climb in your car and get to know this fair land we call America.

Before you take any trip across this massive country of ours, you of course need to be sure you have the proper insurance coverage for your car. Check with your agent to make sure you are covered out of state, off road, on Native American land and wherever and whatever else you plan to do during you explorations.

In this first blog of the Exploring America series, we delve into picturesque Utah.  I’ve driven through the salt lake state several times and Monument Valley, for me was definitely awe inspiring. It’s like art carved by the earth itself – red rocks of all shapes, heights & circumferences. Monument Valley was formed when the southern edge of the rocky mountains were eroded over time by wind, water and ice. The unique rock formations that you can see in this rareified valley were formed by wind and water’s erosion of the land, leading to formation of deepening cracks that expanded into the picturesque valley that millions enjoy today. And being that the rock formations are made of quickly eroding sandstone, if you go back every ten years or so, you will notice a noticeable difference as the rock formations themselves continue to shrink and the valley itself deepens.
Other Utah highlights include the Arches, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef to name a few. And that’s just in the wilderness. In Salt Lake City itself there is of course the globally known Mormon Tabernacle in the downtown area that is certainly worth a visit if you are in the city. If you are traveling in winter there is great skiing and snowboarding just minutes from Salt Lake City at Snowbird and various other small and large ski resort areas.

If you do want to explore Utah, you may want to get off the roads a bit, so you may consider renting a vehicle with all wheel drive to you can really explore all that is out there. There are some areas designated for off roading and some that are not – so talk to a ranger, get a map, and respect the rules, so that we can preserve this beautiful and fragile land.

Though you will see countless promotional billboards on rock walls and such driving in southeastern Utah for this unique and mysterious tourist attraction, I am sad to inform you that “The Thing” is actually just outside of Utah in northwestern Arizona.  So stay tuned for a future Exploring America blog to find out more about that funny item.

Photo via Alaskan Dude

Mike Machina has written for 944 Magazine/944.com, Comcast, The Onion and Westword and has been a car enthusiast since he was first able to get behind the wheel of a truck on his friend’s farm in elementary school. He specializes in blogging about classic cars, everyday driving tips, maintenance, insurance and car humor.

Leave a comment