Do Not Visit Utah

By wasatch | Dec 13, 2020
North America > United States > Utah

Apple Blossoms,  Capitol Reef  NP

Apple Blossoms, Capitol Reef NP

In 2016, Trump won 45% of Utah's vote. In 2020, Trump won 58%, That alone ought to tell tourists to stay out of Utah, but wait there is more. Trump's gross mismanagement of COVID-19 combined with that of Utah's equally incompetent Republican state government has turned one of the world's top tourist destinations into a disease ridden cesspool. If you must tour the west in the COVID era, head for the USA's west coast: The COVID-19 infection rate per 100,000 people in these places is (as reported on 11/22/2020):

  • UT: 5818 (state)
  • Salt Lake City: 6555
  • Provo-Orem: 7597
  • CA: 2815 (state)
  • Los Angeles: 3543
  • San Francisco: 1660
  • OR: 1560 (state)
  • WA: 1936 (state)

For the counties along the scenic coastline of OR and WA: less than 500 to 1,200.

For some counties that include National Parks:

  • Olympic NP, WA: 506
  • Crater Lake, OR: 953
  • Redwood, CA: 536
  • Yosemite Valley, CA: 524

In Utah

  • Zion: 5181
  • Bryce: 4445
  • Capitol Reef: 1633
  • Arches: 2756
  • Canyonlands: 2756 & 6459 (big place, two counties)

Not only are Utah's national parks surrounded by disease ridden communities, many of the parks themselves are overcrowded with tourists. Zion's attractions are almost all located along a 6 miles long dead end road and Zion was the fourth most visited national park last year. Of the three national parks with more visitor's than Zion-- Smokey Mtns., Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mtn.-- only the Grand Canyon is, like Zion, a destination park. Visitors to Rocky Mtn. and Smokey Mtns are primarily day trippers from nearby population concentrations.

Is it possible to safely tour in Utah? Maybe. I tried it, but only because I have lived in UT for the last 23 years. Knowing how Utah utterly failed to contain COVID-19, I took special steps.

If you don't know this stuff, so stay out of Utah. For the record, here's how I did it in mid-November when I took a day trip to one of Utah's stellar but least visited National Monuments where I took, not the star attraction road into the Monument, but I went to one of the relatively obscure other roads into the Monument. This road has only 5 pull over scenic overlooks. At the 5 stops, I saw a total of 7 other tourists-- 2 at 2 stops, 3 at one stop, and nobody at 2 stops. Extreme social distancing was easy to do. I stopped at the Visitor's Center to use the WC-- nobody else in sight. Visited a WC at one of the stops, nobody else in sight. Self-service gas stations, and I packed the day's food and drink in a cooler with ice.

COVID-19 Safety

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Written by wasatch
1st international trip: 1965. ~57 EU vacations. Visited 6 continets. Extensive USA travel. You can email me at

There are 3 comments
JR Spartacus

JR Spartacus
Dec 13, 2020 at 11:47

Utah is a wonderful state with kind and caring people. If you believe the garbage in this post, yes, please don't come to Utah. We don't much care for whiny, hyper-political children. We'll just enjoy the beauty and treasures of our state without you.

Dec 14, 2020 at 20:49

Pretending that politics has no role in travel is naive or stupid. Travel always involves politics. Go to the US Sate Department travel advice page and see what trump did to keep you from travel in Cuba or Venezuela or North Korea. You can't even travel to the EU except for one country today because of trump’s political incompetence. The EU won’t let you in, and the EU is right.

Dec 14, 2020 at 16:36


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