Visit the Parks

There are five national parks within a few hours drive Of Cedar City. Believe it or not, there are people here who don’t go outside and visit them. This concept is almost unfathomable for someone like me who moved to Utah exclusively for the national parks.

I’ve been in Utah for well over a year now and it still amazes me. Every time I meet someone who grew up in Utah and has never visited a national park, it astounds me.

On a recent trip to Bryce Canyon with the International Student Affairs (ISA) office, I talked with Olivia Talamantez, a freshman exploratory studies major from Layton.

Talamantez is an advisor for the ISA who grew up in Utah, yet had never visited a national park before the trip to Bryce.

Talamantez said her family never did outdoorsy things when she was growing up. They were more likely to drive to the beach than they were to go to the parks in their own backyard. She said she had the urge to go to the national parks but never got the chance to. She loves being an international ambassador because it gives her the opportunity to go on trips and experience new things.

Talamantez said she was amazed when she stepped out and saw Bryce for the first time. Her favorite part was the colors and hiking down the switchback trials. She was so bewildered by her first trip to a national park that she is now planning a trip with her friends to go visit all of the national parks in Utah.

The national parks are, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful places on earth—and they are right in our own backyard. For more information on national parks in Utah visit

Story By
Mitchell Quartz