Southern Utah is an amazing place. There are such diverse landscapes within such a small geographic area, it's not hard to find something you'll enjoy. From mountain springs to red rock canyons, Southern Utah has it all. Here's a list of ten of our favorite spots.
Zion National Park is a southwest Utah nature preserve distinguished by Zion Canyon’s steep red cliffs. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive cuts through its main section, leading to forest trails along the Virgin River. The river flows to the Emerald Pools, which have waterfalls and a hanging garden. Also along the river, partly through deep chasms, is Zion Narrows wading hike.
The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is a 44,724-acre National Conservation Area located in southwest Utah, north of St. George at the northeastern-most edge of the Mojave Desert. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System, and was created as part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is part of the larger multi-jurisdictional Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, which was created in 1996 to protect the habitat and populations of the desert tortoise and other species.
Pine Creek is a technical slot canyon that is not only spectacular, but it has an easy off the highway entrance and a fairly easy exit. These two factors make it a popular slot canyon even though the actual slot is just as difficult as many of Zion slot canyons. The lighting in the cathedral of Pine Creek creates a mystical setting in the bowels of the canyon that draws canyoneers through its passage time and time again.
Old Irontown, Old Iron Town, or Irontown, originally Iron City, is an unincorporated community and near-ghost town in Iron County, Utah, United States. It is located in Dixie National Forest, about 22 miles (35 km) from Cedar City. The settlement was founded in 1868 as a second attempt to mine iron from Iron Mountain after a disappointing yield from Cedar City. The colony lasted until 1876 when strife from the Edmunds–Tucker Act and the Panic of 1873 forced its closure. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Cedar Breaks National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located in the U.S. state of Utah near Cedar City. Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater, stretching across 3 miles, with a depth of over 2,000 feet. The elevation of the rim of the amphitheater is over 10,000 feet above sea level.
Falls Park (Sheep Bridge to the locals) was established by the BLM to accommodate the growing number of people visiting the popular swimming and tubing area of the Virgin River. There is about a mile stretch of river that can be enjoyed, with sandy beaches, fun tubing rapids and even places to jump off the rocks into the river. Be sure to always check the depth of the water before jumping in! Because of the nature of the Virgin River, and its flood cycles, there may be sand and other debris under the water that are not visible. There is fun to be had by all ages at this park.
Named not for winter weather but after a pair of pioneering Utahans named Snow, this gem of a state park is filled with natural wonders. Hiking trails lead to lava cones, sand dunes, cactus gardens, and high-contrast vistas. From the campground, you can scramble up huge sandstone mounds and overlook the entire valley. Park staff lead occasional guided hikes. The park is about 10 miles northwest of St. George, and about an hour from Zion.