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A Guide to Staying Safe on Your Trip to Utah

Utah Arch

Utah is a great place to take a vacation in the United States with its diverse environment and a wide variety of things to do. There aren’t many destinations where you can ski, go white-water rafting, and see dinosaur fossils in one state. And you can find the perfect cozy cabin rentals in Utah on the mountains. But, you need to be careful and keep your safety as the number one priority. Here’s how to have a safe trip to Utah.


Tourists tend to get out of the cities and spend their time in the outdoors. Several trails lead through the canyons and national parks, which are favorites with hikers, mountain bikers, and those who just love nature. But, Utah also houses a host of deadly insects and animals that easily cause a severe injury.

Rattlesnakes live in the deserts and plains of Utah as well as many other venomous types. As you’re hiking, snakes may be in the surrounding undergrowth or near the rocks. Typically, they come out to feed on small rodents and birds at either dawn or dusk. Venomous snakes often have a broad head that has a distinctive triangular shape and long pupils resembling thin slits. Take care when you’re on the trails.

Snakes only attack when you disturb them, or they feel threatened. If you see a snake, leave it alone and keep as far from it as possible. Spiders and scorpions are also active during the late evening and night.

The next concern for people enjoying the outdoors, especially campers, are bears. Black bears are common in areas of dense forest. Most of the time, they won’t bother humans unless they’re scavenging for food. Dispose of waste and garbage correctly and always to store food away from the tent if you’re camping.

There are also wild moose and a few mountain lions roaming around Utah. These rarely cause any problems, but it’s always a good idea to use common sense if you spot one and stay away from them.

In any case, it’s always important to have a fully equipped first aid kit.

Staying Safe on Mountain Trails:

The wilderness can be both exciting and dangerous at the same time. Exploring the numerous trails and getting far off the beaten path to discover hidden areas and beautiful scenery is very tempting. But, it’s also easy to get lost or disoriented when you’re trekking, especially if you’re out after dark. Always tell someone where you’re planning to hike if it’s far away from the main routes.

You should also bring a hard copy of a map (and know how to read one!) before you leave. Mobile phone signals aren’t reliable when you’re far away from civilization. GPS may not work. It’s also a good idea to bring plenty of water, especially during the summer.

Avalanche Dangers:

Utah has many mountains and several ski resorts such as Park City, Brighton, and Alta. Snow starts from the middle of fall to spring, and it’s not unheard of for it to get to a depth of several meters. When there’s lots of snow, and it’s packed together, the risk of an avalanche increases. The ski resorts usually monitor the sturdiness and have measures in place to reduce the risk towards skiers and snowboarders. But you may be at risk on the pistes that get few skiers. Chances are low, but there’s still danger, and a few people get caught up in avalanches each year.

Driving in Icy Conditions:

When the winter comes, people load their cars with skiing equipment and head off to the mountains. Snow and subzero temperatures make driving conditions more treacherous. Roads are usually cleared after heavy snowfall and gritted to reduce the risk towards motorists. However, blizzards can happen with short notice, which causes a complete whiteout. Some people are inevitably on the road in the storm. If you do get caught out in a blizzard, pull over and wait for it to pass. Drivers lose their lives when they continue in poor visibility on slippery roads along steep inclines or declines.

You need to be confident to drive in the snow and icy conditions before attempting to get to some of the mountain resorts in the winter. A top tip is to check for updates on road conditions and always keep the radio on low when you’re driving for up to the minute weather reports. If you’re inexperienced at driving on icy roads, it may be better to take public transport to the ski resorts.


The final point to mention about staying safe in Utah is in regards to crime. Utah itself isn’t notorious for high levels of criminal activity, though Salt Lake City does have a bad reputation in some of the suburbs. Exercise the same degree of caution as you would in other cities in the United States. The most common types of crime are burglary, assault and robbery. But, murder and rape aren’t unheard. Take care to protect yourself and your property and use common sense to avoid confrontational or risky situations, especially after dark.

Staying Safe in Utah:

Utah is becoming a popular tourist destination in the United States as visitors flock to enjoy its natural beauty, canyons, and ski resorts. But, you should remember that Utah is has a harsh environment and is home to several types of wildlife including venomous snakes, black bears, and mountain lions. Tourists also need to make sure they take precautions while travelling in the winter and to be wary of crime. Most visits are entirely safe, but it doesn’t hurt to be alert!

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