Escalante area is likely best known for its stunning backpacking opportunities. There are also plenty of hiking and canyoneering adventures. This makes a great spring and fall destination and would take a lifetime to fully explore.
Stretching almost 280 miles in length, averaging a mile deep, and 10 miles wide, perhaps calling it the big ditch is a little understated. To truly experience the canyon, you need to descend one of its side canyons, or hike one of the many trails that descends below the rim.
Canyoneering is king in North Wash, and likely the reason most visit. North Wash canyons tend to be short, narrow, and physical. This is the place to bring long sleeves and long pants. With easy access, next to the highway, this makes a good choice for groups.
The Roost is a very remote area of south eastern Utah. Canyoneering adventures in Robbers Roost tend to be fairly dry, and have long exits. The area was used in the late 1800's and early 1900's by outlaws, hence the name.
Nevada is a bit of a paradox. Home of the infamous Las Vegas, most of the states population resides in the Las Vegas or Reno areas. The rest of the state is very wild and rural. In fact, 67% of the land in the state is managed by the BLM.
The Wasatch Front offers excellent hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and skiing all within a short drive of Utah's major population centers. There are many world peaks to hike, climbs to climb, and routes to ski.
Quite possibly the canyoneering capital in the US, Zion offers canyoneering, climbing, and hiking among towering sandstone walls. The park itself is a destination, but within a short distance of the park are many additional wonders to be visited.