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7-Day Guide to Southwestern Utah


I took my second southwestern Utah trip a few summers ago, and although this one was a little different than my first trip, both trips were amazing, so I am going to share the itinerary we followed to give some ideas of possible places to check out if you are in the southwestern Utah area! Feel free to check out my other post which incorporates some of Arizona as well.




My first trip, we stayed in Kanab, Utah at the Grand Circle Getaway at the Crimson Cliffs. The second time around, we stayed in Santa Clara, Utah, an up and coming town about 15-minutes outside of St. George. We stayed at WRITE AIRBNB NAME . Both places were beautiful, and convenient to what we were planning on doing!


If you are flying for this trip, I recommend flying into McCarren Int'l Airport in Las Vegas, NV as this is the airport that offered the best rates, and most flexibility. McCarran is only about a 2-2.5 hour drive from most of the towns in Southwestern Utah. Another option to fly into is the St. George Airport, however, there are typically less flight options, and they are a little more expensive as it is a much smaller airport.


Here is a suggested itinerary based on both of my trips that seemed to work out for us pretty well! I will also include some places that were recommended to me that we didn’t get a chance to check out.


Disclaimer: This is a very hiking heavy trip, and definitely an itinerary geared for those looking for outdoor activities!


Day One: Explore Snow Canyon State Park Snow Canyon State Park is a beautiful state park that was located in St. George. Snow Canyon is known for having similar views to Zion National Park without all of the crowds. There are so many trails to choose from at this park, and it definitely cannot be covered in one day. I recommend the Petrified Sand Dunes Trail and make sure to check out the rock where you can see some of the Pioneers wrote their names on the rock with oil. . Another trail I recommend is Johnson’s Canyon Trail. However, check out the alltrails app because there are so many trails throughout the park!


Petrified Dunes Trail




Day Two: Take a hike and watch sunset at Red Cliffs Reservation Area

This reservation area is pretty big, and you definitely need to research which trail you want to do before heading there. For us, it worked to park at Pioneer Park, and explored around that area (a great spot to watch sunset too!)



Sunset at Pioneer Park


Day Three: Head into Arizona for the Day

Parts of Arizona are pretty close to southwestern Utah, and are definitely doable for a day trip. There are a few options depending on what you are looking to do! First, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is about a 2.5 hour drive from St. George/Santa Clara/Kanab area. The North Rim is located within Kaibab National Forest, so the sights going into the park were wonderful. We decided to do a portion of the Bright Angel Trail, stopped by the visitors center, did a scenic drive and then did part of the Rim Trail. We even saw a coyote on our way out of the park! Another option is to head to Page, Arizona where you can go to Antelope Canyon (you need to book a tour through 1 of 2 tour groups though), check out Horse Shoe Bend and Lake Powell. Page is about 1-2 hours away from different parts of southwestern Utah.


Tabernacle (Grand Canyon-North Rim)

Bright Angel Trail (Grand Canyon-North Rim)


Horseshoe Bend

Day Four: Zion National Park / Eat at Zion Brew Pub (check name)

Zion is about 1.5 hours away from where we were staying both times. This was my second time at Zion, so my brothers and I did the Angel’s Landing hike (Check out my Guide to Hiking Angel's Landing) while my parents did the Pa’Rus and Emerald Pools Trails. Zion has so many trail options for all different hiking interests and skill levels. Check out my 1-Day guide to Zion National Park for a recommendation of how to spend 1 day at the park. After a long day of hiking, we stopped in the visitors center, and sat down to eat at Zion Brew Pub, a restaurant recommended to me that I would also recommend to others visiting the park!

Angel's Landing

Pa'rus Trail

Day Five: Bryce Canyon National Park / Dixie National Forest

Bryce Canyon is one of my favorite National Park that I've been to so far. Bryce Canyon is located about 2.5 hours away from southwestern Utah, but in my opinion is so worth the drive! I’ve already been to all three of the parks we visited this trip, and if I could have only done one national park this trip, I would have chosen this one. We did the Sunset Point-Wall Street-Queen’s Garden-Two Bridges-Sunrise Point trail both times I've been here, which is about 3.5 miles, but gave us some great views within and on top of the canyon. Check out my 1-day Guide to Bryce Canyon to read more about it. After finishing the hike, follow it with the scenic drive and stop at some of the viewpoints along the way. We did not stay for sunset the most recent time, however, my first time we did. Many people think Sunset Point is the best place to watch sunset, however, last time we visited, a park ranger told us Sunset point gets very crowded, and it is actually better to see sunset from Inspiration Point (Just a little tip!)


Natural Bridge Lookout



Day Six: Go Cliff Jumping at Sand Hollow State Park

So day six for us was personally more of a relaxation / stay at home day, however, this was one placed we missed the opportunity to see that was recommended to me, so I did some research anyway. Sand Hollow State Park is another local state park near St. George that offers kayaking, paddle boarding, boat rentals, fishing, cliff jumping and more. If you’re looking to be in the water, this is definitely the place to check out!

Some Places to eat in these areas:

These are a combination of places I personally ate at, as well as some places that were recommended to me that we didn’t get a chance to check out. Feel free to leave a comment with any suggestions on things to do/see and places to eat!



Mexican:

Café Rio (Santa Clara)

CHECK FB GROUP


Drinks:

FeelLoveCoffee (St. George, & Zion area)

Swig (St. George)


Ice Cream:

That one ice cream place (St. George)

Iceberg Drive Inn (excellent milkshakes!!) (St. George)


I hope this itinerary gives you some ideas if you are planning a trip to the southern Utah area. There is so much more within such a short drive depending on which part of southern Utah you are in, these are just some of the things we did that we enjoyed. I hope you enjoyed reading, and got some ideas! As always, there’s always more to be explored!


-nicole elizabeth


Comments


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hi! nic here

Welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time Recreational Therapist, in grad school and still trying to find time to explore! Follow my journey as I continue to embark on adventures near and far. I look forward to sharing my life with you, and remember, there's always more to be explored!

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