If you ever have the opportunity to take an adventure vacation in southern Utah, take it. The area is home to number of national and state parks offering breathtaking scenery and adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities you can’t find anywhere else.
We recently partnered with Visit St. George and Travel Mindset to experience some of the best outdoor activities in the area. Using St. George as your base, you can easily explore these ten amazing outdoor adventures.
10 Amazing Outdoor Adventures in Southern Utah
Explore Snow Canyon State Park
Snow Canyon State Park is about a 15-minute drive north of St. George. Animal lovers will be particularly interested in this park, as it is located in part of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve—a protective reserve for the area’s desert-dwelling tortoise. Peregrine falcons and Gila monsters also call the park home.
Visit Zion National Park
If you are into unique hiking experiences, a visit to Zion National Park is a must. Besides its infamous Angels Landing hike, a five-mile hike that starts gentle and paved and then thins to a sheer drop on all sides, the park also offers hiking up the Virgin River’s canyon.
Hike in Kolob Canyon
Technically, Kolob Canyon is still a part of Zion National Park, but it sees considerably less traffic than the more famous parts of the park. Hikers who are more interested in a solitary experience free from other tourists can enjoy the canyons’ many wilderness trails, perfect examples of the area’s untouched terrain.
Experience a Wellness Retreat
Along with its fantastic parks, the St. George area is also famous for its spas and wellness resorts. Many resorts, like the Red Mountain Resort and Green Valley Spa & Resort, take advantage of the area’s inspiring views to help you attain your fitness, weight, and holistic wellness goals. These retreats mix daily hikes with personalized diet plans, relaxing massages, yoga with a canyon view, and more.
I stayed at the Red Mountain Resort and all of the food options were not only healthy, but extremely tasty. The resort is within walking distance of Snow Canyon State Park, which makes it perfect for exploring that park and the surrounding area.
Kayak in Sand Hollow State Park
The warm-water reservoir at Sand Hollow State Park offers an enjoyable experience for kayakers. The large reservoir creates a lake with soft sand beaches, perfect for a day on the water. The red rock cliffs so iconic to the area create a particularly striking and beautiful contrast to the lake, so make sure to bring a camera!
Take a Guided Canyoneering Trip
Canyoneering is a fun, creative exercise combining hiking, swimming, rappelling, rock-climbing, and more. Taking a guided canyoneering trip from a local guide like those from Zion Adventure Company will let you experience the area’s landmarks in new and interesting ways.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management lists over 130 hiking trails local to the St. George area. Zion National Park itself has over 90 miles of ideal backpacking trails. You will need to get a permit beforehand, so make sure to stop by the permit office.
Camp in the Parks
Of course, nothing soothes the adventurous spirit quite like full-immersion into nature. Zion, Snow Canyon, and Sand Hollow parks all offer overnight camping.
Visit Toquerville Falls
After a six-mile drive down bumpy dirt roads, the multiple sandstone terraces of Toquerville Falls offer a peaceful, soothing soak. This swimming hole is a sadly overlooked must-see on the Kolob Canyon side of Zion and offers great swimming and sunbathing.
If you want to experience St. George from a brand new angle, try skydiving! Learn to dive and perform aerial tricks from an expert while enjoying a spectacular birds-eye view of the area’s phenomenal canyons and mountain peaks.