Salt Lake City to Denver

Driving Guide from Salt Lake City to Denver: A Scenic Adventure


7/22/20234 min read

Salt Lake City to Denver
Salt Lake City to Denver

Salt Lake City to Denver: A Scenic Adventure

Embark on a thrilling road trip from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Denver, Colorado, and experience the diverse landscapes, cultural attractions, and natural wonders of the American West. This extensive driving guide will take you on a memorable journey filled with breathtaking views, exciting pit stops, and plenty of opportunities to explore and immerse yourself in the beauty of this region.

Day 1: Salt Lake City to Park City

Distance: Approximately 32 miles / 51 kilometers

  • Start your adventure in Salt Lake City and fuel up for the drive with a hearty breakfast at one of the city's popular eateries, like The Copper Onion or Eva's Bakery.

  • Make your way east to Park City, a charming mountain town known for its world-class ski resorts, historic Main Street, and vibrant arts scene.

  • Spend the day exploring Park City's attractions, such as the Park City Mountain Resort or the Utah Olympic Park, which hosted events during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

  • In the evening, dine at one of Park City's excellent restaurants, like Takashi, renowned for its sushi, or High West Distillery, offering excellent whiskey and Western cuisine.

  • Overnight at a hotel or a cozy Airbnb in Park City.

Day 2: Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway and Midway

Distance: Approximately 50 miles / 80 kilometers

  • Start the day early and take the breathtaking Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway drive, offering unparalleled views of the Wasatch Mountain Range and the surrounding landscapes.

  • Stop at the scenic viewpoints for photos and soak in the beauty of nature.

  • Continue your journey to the charming town of Midway, famous for its Swiss-inspired architecture and relaxing atmosphere.

  • Enjoy a leisurely afternoon exploring Midway's attractions, like the Heber Valley Railroad or the Homestead Crater, a unique hot spring inside a natural limestone dome.

  • Sample Swiss cuisine at a local restaurant, such as The Blue Boar Inn & Restaurant or Zermatt Utah Resort & Spa.

  • Spend the night at a hotel in Midway or head back to Park City for the night.

Day 3: Salt Lake City's Cultural Treasures

Distance: Approximately 40 miles / 64 kilometers

Day 4: Exploring the Outdoors

Distance: Approximately 75 miles / 120 kilometers

  • Begin your day with a scenic drive to Big Cottonwood Canyon, known for its breathtaking canyons, hiking trails, and stunning vistas.

  • Enjoy a hike to popular spots like Donut Falls or Lake Blanche, where you can marvel at the pristine alpine beauty.

  • For a relaxing afternoon, head to Sugar House Park or Liberty Park, where you can have a picnic or stroll around the beautiful green spaces.

  • If you're interested in art and history, visit the Gilgal Sculpture Garden, an intriguing outdoor art exhibit featuring unique sculptures.

  • In the evening, treat yourself to a delightful dinner at Log Haven, a mountain-side restaurant known for its delicious cuisine and serene ambiance.

  • Overnight at your chosen Salt Lake City hotel.

Day 5: Journey to Denver

Distance: Approximately 510 miles / 820 kilometers

  • Today, set off on the longest stretch of your journey as you head toward Denver, Colorado.

  • Break up the drive with stops in charming towns along the way, like Grand Junction, known for its vineyards and wineries, or Vail, a popular resort town nestled in the Rockies.

  • Continue on to Denver, where you'll find an abundance of attractions, cultural landmarks, and entertainment.

Day 6-7: Exploring Denver

  • Spend the next two days exploring the diverse neighborhoods of Denver, such as LoDo (Lower Downtown) and the River North Art District (RiNo), each offering its unique charm and attractions.

  • Visit the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Nature & Science, or the Denver Botanic Gardens to experience the city's vibrant cultural scene.

  • Don't forget to check out the bustling Union Station, a historic transportation hub that has been revitalized into a vibrant gathering place with shops, restaurants, and bars.

  • Indulge in Denver's culinary delights at top-rated restaurants like Fruition Restaurant, Acorn, or Buckhorn Exchange.

  • Enjoy your final evening in Denver, perhaps by catching a show at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an iconic natural concert venue.


As your road trip from Salt Lake City to Denver comes to an end, you'll have experienced the best of the American West, from the majestic mountain ranges to vibrant cities. This journey is more than just a drive; it's an opportunity to connect with nature, immerse yourself in culture, and create unforgettable memories. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history lover, or simply seeking new adventures, this road trip has it all. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime!