A horse statue painted with union station logo stands on Historic 25th Street in Ogden, Utah. Image credit PureRadiancePhoto via Shutterstock

9 Most Underrated Cities In Utah

Mountain landscapes, striking red-rock formations, amazing natural parks, and vibrant cities make Utah one of the most visited states in the US. The "Beehive State" definitely has something to offer everyone looking for adventure no matter what the season. However, places like Salt Lake City and Park City frequently steal the spotlight, while there are a plethora of hidden marvels that deserve your attention as well. Embark on a quest to find Utah's most underrated cities — locations where the great outdoors, culture, and history come together to create an unforgettable experience.


Provo, Utah, downtown on Center Street at dusk.
Provo, Utah, downtown on Center Street at dusk.

Provo is a charming city that lies along the Provo River between the Wasatch Range and Utah Lake in north-central Utah. It combines spectacular nature, cultural and religious past, and a developing reputation for innovation. It is a starting point for rock climbing, hiking, and skiing. Outdoor enthusiasts can access great opportunities in Provo Canyon, including Bridal Veil Falls. After hiking, check out downtown and visit the best establishments in the area. Top attractions include the Art Stroll, Provo Farmers Market, and the annual event, Taste of the Valley.


Homes around Utah lake and mountain in Orem Utah
Homes around Utah Lake and mountains in Orem, Utah.

Orem city is next to Provo, so you can include both cities in one trip. It is the fifth largest city in the state and one of the US's economic regions with the highest growth. Education plays a significant role in the city's identity as it hosts Utah Valley University (UVU), the largest public university in Utah. Art fans would love to visit The UVU Museum of Art at Lakemount, which exhibits 600 pieces of modern art by notable Utah painters, sculptures, and several examples of frontier oil paintings by Native Americans. For outdoor activities, you can try Murdock Canal Trail, which connects several other walking and cycling trails in the area.


Aerial drone view high above the neighborhoods of North Ogden and Pleasant View Utah with an incredible orange winter sunset and fresh fallen snow.
Aerial view of Odgen, Utah, in the winter.

Ogden is a city that lies at the confluence of the Ogden and Weber rivers in the north of Utah. While Mormon pioneers settled most of the Utah communities, Ogden was a permanent Anglo settlement known as Fort Buenaventura. Nowadays, you can visit this fort in town at Fort Buenaventura Park. Ogden also played a significant role in the development of the transcontinental railroad. The Union Station, formerly a significant transportation center, is now a museum highlighting the city's old west, pioneer, and railroad history. The attractive architecture, active art scene, and galleries in Ogden's historic downtown make it a popular destination. It is also a fantastic jumping-off point to the Wasatch Mountains from the city.

Eagle Mountain

Eagle Mountain, Utah houses near golf course
Eagle Mountain, Utah, houses near a golf course.

Eagle Mountain lies at the western base of the Lake Mountains. It is a less-known yet lovely tourist spot that is worthwhile a visit. The city offers stunning natural beauty and a family-friendly atmosphere. If you are looking for easy hikes, try climbing the Turtle Hill on the Lake Mountain Road. It offers breathtaking views of the valley and the mountains around it. Outdoor enthusiasts will discover countless chances for adventure, from boating and fishing to hiking and bicycling, thanks to the proximity to Utah Lake and neighboring hiking trails. A favorite picnic location for families and kids is Liberty Farms West Park. The site features a walking track, a large playground, a grassy field, and a covered pavilion.

St. George

White temple and red rock mountains in St. George, Utah, USA. The white "Mormon" Temple stands out in stark contrast to the beautiful red rock mountains in southern Utah.
White temple and red rock mountains in St. George, Utah.

In the southwest, consider visiting St. George, a vibrant college city of red rock landscapes, providing a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. St. George mixes a rich history with a contemporary urban lifestyle, featuring landmarks like the Brigham Young Winter Home. The city has a booming arts scene, golf courses, and a busy downtown. One of the highly recommended places to visit is Pioneer Park. It is a famous location for climbing and hiking since it offers breathtaking views of the city. The Pioneer Park Arches, St. George Narrows, and Dixie Rock are just a few of the sites that may be reached quickly and with little walking. The city also provides access to Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park, which both feature spectacular canyons, hiking trails, and rock formations.


View from Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah.
View from Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Millcreek is a vibrant city in the Salt Lake Valley. It offers a unique blend of urban amenities and natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy different activities, from hiking and exploring nature to visiting cultural city attractions. Outdoor adventurers may appreciate traversing Millcreek Canyon through the Pipeline Trail, providing a breathtaking panorama of the Salt Lake Valley below. For fun and sports activities, visit the Millcreek Recreation Centre, which is the ideal location for a game with friends or family. It has numerous basketball and pickleball courts and even a full-sized soccer pitch. If you come in winter, be ready to test out nearby ski resorts like Brighton and Solitude.


Aerial photo of new shopping center in Herriman, Utah and view of Wasatch Mountain and Salt Lake City, Utah
Overlooking Herriman, Utah, and the Wasatch Mountains.

Herriman is another fast-growing city in Salt Lake Valley, south of Millcreek. The area has a long history that goes back to its agricultural roots, and it is now a vibrant suburban community with a multicultural population. Millcreek's convenient location makes it simple to reach Salt Lake City's bustling downtown, top-notch ski resorts, and stunning mountain scenery. Herriman offers trails of varying degrees of complexity. You can ride a bike on more challenging trails that will take you into Herriman's picturesque valleys and spectacular mountains, or you can choose an easier course along the city's paved highways. For instance, the Midas Creek route is a great beginner-level route that passes through northern Herriman.


View of Adams waterfall in the canyon area near Layton, Utah
Adams Waterfall near Layton, Utah.

Layton is an up-and-coming tourist destination between the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Range. Parks around the city, like Adams Canyon and Layton Commons Park, are havens for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Adams Canyon offers a picturesque route that ends up with a 40-foot-tall waterfall. Everyone will enjoy this walk because it has so many sights and things to do, especially for kids. Layton Commons Park is one of the most breathtaking places in Utah. It is the ideal place surrounded by trees and bordered by a creek where visitors get in touch with nature without doing any strenuous hiking or climbing. The picturesque Antelope Island State Park, a refuge for hiking, wildlife viewing, and breathtaking sunsets over the Great Salt Lake, is also close by to Layton.


Lehi, Utah, Thanksgiving Point Museum in small Utah town
Thanksgiving Point Museum in Lehi, Utah. Image credit Uladzik Kryhin via Shutterstock

Lehi is one more worthy attention community on the northern shore of Utah Lake. It is home to the iconic Thanksgiving Point, a vast complex of gardens, museums, and educational sites. The Ashton Gardens, Butterfly Biosphere Insect Zoo, Museum of Ancient Life, Museum of Natural Curiosity, and Mammoth Screen 3D theatre are just a few of the many things Thanksgiving Point provides. There are also numerous spectacular drives and treks near Lehi. The Alpine Loop Scenic Byway offers numerous breathtaking views and is the starting point for challenging and family-friendly hikes to places like Stewart Falls, Horsetail Falls, and Cascade Springs.

Utah has numerous undiscovered gems, and each city is worth attention. Ogden, with its historical significance, the breathtaking panorama of the Salt Lake Valley in Millcreek, red rock landscapes in St. George, and Orem, with its art museum, there is something for everyone. It is just a question of your preferences, but no matter your choice, each of these cities in Utah offers spectacular natural beauty all around. So, outdoor enthusiasts will have an opportunity to explore new paths.

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