As Utah begins its slow post-COVID reopening, many of you may be having the same urge to be anywhere that isn’t the roof you’ve been quarantined under for the past several months. We hear you.
If a trip to Moab is in your future, don’t beeline to your destination. Instead, make the most of your journey — and newfound freedom — by checking out one of these pit stops along the way. From delicious eats to natural wonders, there’s a little something for everyone on this road trip adventure.
Young Living Lavender Farm and Distillery / Mona
Though not directly on the route to Moab, a pit stop at the Young Living Lavender Farm and Distillery is a must.
June and July are the best months to check out the 1,400-acre farm with its vibrant purple flowers. For a fee, you can pick lavender yourself, take a self-guided paddleboat tour around the reservoir, or head to the visitor center to stock up on bath salts, oils and soaps.
Strawberry Reservoir / Heber Valley
If you opt for the northern route along US 40, stop to stretch your legs, take a dip, or cast a line in Strawberry Reservoir, arguably Utah’s top trout fishery, known for producing record-setting fish. Sitting at 7,200 feet in the open mountain valley, the water is still chilly, but that may be just what you need to keep you sharp for the road ahead.
Fifth Water Hot Springs / Spanish Fork
Hike to Fifth Water Hot Springs for scenic waterfalls and numerous hot-water pools. The 4.5-mile, out-and-back trail is moderately strenuous but pays off once you find the pool with just the right temperature to relax in while taking in the surrounding falls and lush trees.
Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum / Price
Dive into Utah’s rich 3-billion-year history of geology, archaeology and paleontology at the Prehistoric Museum in downtown Price. With an impressive collection of dinosaur bones and other artifacts, it’s a unique destination that educates visitors on everything from the first humans in Utah to the fascinating natural forces that shaped Utah’s iconic landscapes.
Ray’s Tavern / Green River
Ray’s Tavern is a hole-in-the-wall joint where the question of what to order is simple: the charbroiled burger. When phrases such as “best burger” are tossed around, you know you can’t miss it. Served alongside fresh-cut fries and ample fry sauce, then rounded out with a heaping slice of apple pie a la mode, it’s just the fuel you need to get back on the road.
Crystal Geyser / Green River
On the east bank of the Green River lies a rare example of a cold-water, carbon dioxide-driven geyser that erupts without any geothermal activity. The geyser was created in 1935 during an oil drilling operation, and its spouts can reach upwards of 60 feet. The eruptions are erratic and hard to predict, but worth it if you happen to catch one!