Guided Tours

Should i tip my guide how to show your appreciation. find the tour for you.

Situated right in the heart of TEN of America's Most Scenic Wonders, friendly Kanab is the perfect base-camp for exploring the astounding Colorado Plateau. Unpack once, and be free to explore three national parks, five national monuments, a renowned national recreation area and two national forests, as well as a great many colorful local attractions.

Filter Tours

Whoops looks like something went wrong. please try again later..

Plan, Ready, Go

17 Amazing Things to Do in Southern Utah

' src=

As one of my favorite destinations in the west for unparalleled landscapes, southern Utah is a mecca when it comes to incredible things to do, especially if what you’re looking for is desert scenery at its best. These are the best things to do in southern Utah.

If you’re currently planning your trip to southern Utah, chances are you’re wondering what are the best things to see and do in that part of the state.

Plan the perfect trip to Southern Utah. Grab your free travel planner here.

mountain ridges in Zion National Park

From hiking through slot canyons to walking amid seas of red rock to experiencing the desert, here are some of the most amazing southern Utah things to do.

This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See disclaimer.  

Zion National Park

If you’re yearning for a desert-filled adventure, Zion National Park has you covered. Located in southwestern Utah, Zion is one of the most beautiful and popular national parks in the US.

Zion National Park is a perfect go-to for hiking trails, contrasting landscapes, and wildlife spotting.

Most of the best views at Zion can be found along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, making it easy as pie to explore in a short time.

For unique hikes, try The Narrows, Emerald Pools, and a hike up the world-famous trail that leads to Angel’s Landing (if you’re not afraid of heights).

You might enjoy this guided hike of The Narrows , one of the most popular hikes in U.S. National Parks. Equipment provided.

Arches National Park

Rock formations in Devils Garden at Arches National Park

Arches National Park is famous for its eye-popping natural arches (of course!), other-worldly rock formations, and stunning desert vistas. It is much smaller than other national parks, so you can cover it in a day or two.

Hike along Arches’ wonderful trails to take in as many of its fantastic landscapes and viewpoints as you can.

Highlights include quirky rock formations and wondrous arches scattered throughout the park, like the famous Delicate Arch plus Double O, Turret Arch, Landscape, and Sand Dune arches.

If you prefer a guided experience, try this full-day tour of both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is all about peculiar needle-shaped hoodoos, bizarre rock formations, and splendid sandstone pillars.

One day is enough to explore the park if you start out early because it is relatively small compared to the other Mighty Five parks.

Despite its size, Bryce Canyon does not lack natural wonders. Highlights include Fairyland Canyon, Silent City, Mossy Cave Waterfalls, and Queen’s Garden Trail.

Canyonlands National Park

Wide canyon landscape at Canyonlands National Park in Utah

Canyonlands is one of the best national parks to visit if you want to take a deep dive into the desert.

Deep canyons, splendid rivers, sandstone cliffs, sheer red rock formations, tons of hiking trails, and spectacular vistas make Canyonlands one of the most scenic national parks in the United States.

Spanning 330,000 acres of nature, Canyonlands is divided into different sections: Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze. 

It would be impossible to explore everything in one visit, but a few highlights you shouldn’t miss are Grand View Point, Mesa Arch, Shafer Canyon, Grand View Point Trail, Upheaval Dome, and Buck Canyon Overlook, all within Island in the Sky, the easiest section to explore.

mockup image of a free printable travel planner

Capitol Reef National Park

Gifford barn in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is what we’d call a hidden gem of the U.S. national parks system in Utah. 

A lesser-known of the Mighty Five Utah national parks, Capitol Reef features cliffs, canyons, and domes in a geologic monocline known as the Waterpocket Fold, which, put simply, is a big 100-mile wrinkle on the earth.

Must-dos at Capitol Reef include driving Highway 24 scenic road through the park, Panorama Point and Sunset Point, hiking to Hickman Bridge and Cassidy Arch, walking along Grand Wash, and shopping for goodies at the Gifford Homestead.

For more information, read my post about Utah’s “Mighty 5” National Parks (including tips for where to stay).

Goblin Valley State Park

Located between Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park, Goblin Valley will make you feel like you’ve somehow traveled to another world (maybe to Mars?), one made up of eerie-looking hoodoos and rock formations. 

While here, the ultimate way to explore the valley is by hiking the Goblin’s Lair Trail, a 2.3-mile out-and-back trail that will take you through clusters of hoodoos, several canyons, and cavernous formations. Or try a guided 4-hour canyoneering adventure.

Goblin Valley State Park is also a certified International Dark Sky Park. Stargazing anyone?

Grand Staircase—Escalante National Monument and Lower Calf Creek Falls

Spanning 1.87 million acres in southern Utah, Escalante National Monument is home to tons of natural treasures, including its amazing Grand Staircase of cliffs and terraces, monoliths, slot canyons, natural bridges, arches, the Escalante River, and Lower Calf Creek Falls, a set of waterfalls with a natural pool below where you can take a dip and cool off.

The lower falls hike is quite popular and a relatively flat 6-mile out-and-back hike.

waterfall cascading into a small pool at Grand Staircase Escalante

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Monument Valley is a sort of trilogy when it comes to getting the best of Utah: The Old West, Native American culture, and stunning desert landscapes.

The entire Monument Valley region is known for its stunning scenery, mesmerizing hiking trails, and glorious striking red sandstone buttes, making it one of the most emblematic landmarks not only in Utah but also in the entire United States.

Hike the Wildcat Trail, check out Mexican Hat, or do the highly popular 17-mile scenic drive.

road leading into a valley with red rock formations

You might enjoy this extended Monument Valley tour with backcountry access.

Or try this 3-hour sunset tour with a Navajo guide. According to the tour operators, you’ll “see the famous West and East Mitten Buttes, John Ford Point, the Three Sisters, Moccasin Arch, the Totem Pole and more.”

If Monument Valley looks familiar to you, it may be because it has made appearances in many movies, including films like Sergio Leone’s 1968 film ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Forrest Gump, Lone Star Ranger, Mission: Impossible 2, and many, many more.

Red Cliffs Desert Reserve

red sandy hill with ricks and scrubby vegetation

Set in a transition zone between the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert, Red Cliffs Desert Reserve is a convergence of different ecosystems, which makes it a mecca for gorgeous desert landscapes and mixtures of flora and fauna, many of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Red Cliffs Desert Reserve actually became protected in order to provide the desert tortoise, a threatened species, a safe place to live. Moreover, many other endangered reptiles, mammals, and birds also call the reserve their home.

During your time here, you’ll get the chance to go on plenty of fun hikes, ranging from easy strolls to tougher desert challenges.

Each trail will provide you with the chance to spot desert tortoises if you get lucky as well as other animals endemic to the area, so make sure you go slowly and keep your eyes out for them!

The reserve includes Snow Canyon State Park (see below).

Snow Canyon State Park

the author kneeling at a scenic overlook at Snow Canyon State Park

Located at the exact intersection of the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert, Snow Canyon State Park mixes completely different ecosystems that together create a fascinating landscape.

Personally, I think the canyon scenery looks quite a bit like Zion National Park.

Known for its Navajo sandstone cliffs, petrified sand dunes, and extensive lava fields, Snow Canyon is a mecca for fun adventures in the outdoors amid other-worldly-looking scenery.

A few of the best things to do at Snow Canyon include hiking, scenic driving, sliding down sand dunes, spotting desert fauna, and rock climbing.

Dead Horse Point State Park

scenic viewpoint overlooking a bend in a river

This beautiful state park offers exceptional vistas of expansive canyons, stunning Colorado River overlooks, and outdoor adventures that will make you feel as though you’re walking over Mars—all without the crowds you’ll usually find at Arches and Canyonlands.

Start at the visitor center to access the miles of hiking and single-track mountain bike trails. There are eight miles of hiking trails leading to various overlooks. All are considered easy hikes.

Enjoy 16 miles of single-track mountain biking trails.

Dead Horse Park has been an officially designated International Dark Sky Park since 2016.

Located close to the border with Arizona, Kanab has been dubbed “Little Hollywood” because of the fact that it has served as a natural stage for many films and series, including John Wayne’s Stagecoach, The Lone Ranger, and Planet of the Apes.

Check out the Little Hollywood Museum, if you’re interested in learning more about the area’s film history.

Kanab is a great base from which to explore some of the area’s most unique natural destinations, including the Buckskin Gulch slot canyon, Thin Wire Pass, Coyote Buttes, and The Wave.

Try a guided hiking tour of Peek-a-Boo Slot Canyon , less crowded than some of the other popular sites in Utah and Arizona. 

Visit Panguitch, Utah

classic looking old west town

This quaint historic town was founded by Mormon pioneers in a truly remarkable location. 

Located just 20 minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park, wondrous towering mountains and mystic lakes enfold beautiful red brick buildings, making the scenery at Panguitch look as though it came straight out of a painting.

As you stroll its streets, you’ll stumble across plenty of antique shops, local art galleries, and craft shops, making it a true treat for creative spirits.

As a fun fact, Panguitch means “Big Fish”, and the town is host to the Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally and the Annual Quilt Walk Festival.

St. George, Utah

More than just a gateway town to Zion National Park, St. George, Utah, offers plenty of wonderful things to do all year round. 

Don’t miss the historic Main Street and Ancestor Square in historic downtown St. George for great dining, shopping, and more.

Other top things to do in St. George include:

  • Top-rated golf courses
  • ​Pioneer Park (don’t miss the view from Dixie Rock)
  • Important historical sites such as Brigham Young’s Winter Home and Mountain Meadow Massacre Memorial 

Sand Hollow State Park

Sand Hollow State Park is one of the newest state parks in Utah, but it’s also one of the most popular. 

Known for its lovely blue water surrounded by stunning red sandstone scenery, Sand Hollow draws OHV enthusiasts from all over the area.

Sand Hollow State Park is also a great place for:

Dixie National Forest

At almost 2 million acres, Dixie National Forest offers visitors a ton of things to do in Southern Utah. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, ATV-ing, skiing, horseback riding, and more.

Don’t miss the forest’s scenic byway Highway 12, Highway 14, and Patchwork Parkway to see more of South Utah’s amazing scenery.

The name of the forest comes from the way that this area was called Utah’s Dixie because of the settlers who traveled there from the Southeastern United States.​

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater that draws visitors in to look at the beautiful red rocks scenery and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. ​

Hikers of all skill levels will find a trail at Cedar Breaks they will enjoy.

Cedar Breaks is also known for its stargazing. The dark sky views are among the things that Cedar Breaks National Monument was created to protect. ​ ​

Final thoughts on southern Utah things to do

There’s no doubt that southern Utah is a truly remarkable place to visit in the United States, especially if scenery and stunning desert landscapes are what you’re yearning for.

Once you visit southern Utah, it will kind of get under your skin and you’ll discover that one visit just isn’t enough.

Utah, especially southern Utah is not a “one-and-done” kind of travel destination.

More articles to help you plan your trip to southern Utah

  • The best national parks in Utah
  • Utah bucket list of the top places to see in the state
  • Essential travel planning resources
  • How to plan a travel itinerary

Pin this post!  

things to do in southern utah

View the web story

' src=

Darcy Vierow is a busy professional and travel planning expert with years of experience maximizing travel with limited time and on a less-than-average salary. Her tips have been published by Forbes,, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Aol, Newsbreak and GOBankingRates. Read more about Darcy Vierow .

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. *

Privacy Overview

Insider's Utah

The Best Things to do in Southern Utah

By: Author Insider's Utah

Posted on Last updated: December 1, 2022

Categories Southwestern Utah

Home » The Best Things to do in Southern Utah

The Best Things to do in Southern Utah

Southern Utah’s vast landscapes, canyons, and red rock formations are some of the most beautiful sights in the western United States. Looking for the best things to do in Southern Utah? Here are the things you shouldn’t miss. 

The region has been a popular destination for travelers since the 1860s when explorer John Wesley Powell first descended the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and into Utah ’s Glen Canyon. 

Today, Southern Utah is home to five national parks – Zion , Bryce , Capitol Reef National Park , Arches , and Canyonlands – as well as several state parks and monuments. 

Ready to explore the must-see spots in southern Utah? Let’s go! 

Top 5 Things to Do in Southern Utah

Explore arches national park.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is one of Southern Utah’s most popular tourist destinations. The park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches and many other unique geological features. 

Visitors can hike, climb, and camp in the park, and it also abounds with various hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. 

Popular trails include the Delicate Arch Trail, which leads to the iconic Delicate Arch, and the Devil’s Garden Trail, a longer hike with several different arches to see along the way. 

Climbing is also popular in the park, with several routes ranging from easy to difficult, depending on your experience level.

Top Tip: Explore Arches and Canyonlands National Park on this thrilling 4×4 Driving Tour 

See The Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunrise Point Bryce Canyon National Park-2

The hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park are some of the most popular attractions in Southern Utah. 

Wind and water erosion created these unique rock formations over millions of years. Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah near the town of Bryce. The park is open all year round, but the ideal time to visit is when the weather is cooler.

Several hiking trails wind through the hoodoos, and visitors can also take horseback rides or Jeep tours. The views from the canyon are breathtaking, so be sure to bring your camera!

Top Tip: Discover the best of Bryce’s hoodoos on this national park hiking experience

Hike Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park


Zion National Park is a must-see for any traveler in Southern Utah. 

The park is famous for the white-knuckle Angel’s Landing hike , which offers stunning views of Zion Canyon and the Great White Throne Mountain Range. The park also features a variety of other attractions, like the Temple of Sinawava and The Narrows .

Another great thing to do in Zion National Park is to hike along the Zion Canyon Trail. This trail offers a challenging but rewarding hike through some of the most beautiful scenery in Utah.

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Staircase Escalante National Monument

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a 1.9 million-acre stretch of land in southern Utah that was designated a National Monument by President Bill Clinton in 1996. 

The monument is known for its unique geology, including the Grand Staircase, a series of cliffs and plateaus descending from Bryce Canyon National Park all the way to the Grand Canyon. 

Other features include the Canyons of the Escalante, an intricate network of canyons and gorges, and the Kaiparowits Plateau, a vast expanse of wilderness.

The monument is popular with hikers and backpackers who explore the many trails and backcountry camping opportunities including the Escalante River Trail – a popular multi-day hike that follows the river through the canyons.

Other popular trails include Spooky Gulch, Zebra Slot Canyon, and Peekaboo Loop. With its remote location and limited services, visitors should be prepared for a backcountry experience.

Tackle The Hell’s Revenge Trail

The Hell’s Revenge Trail is one of the most popular trails in Southern Utah. The trail is located in the Moab area and is a great place to hike or mountain bike. 

Why’s it so popular? The views from the trail are incredible and include Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park , and the Colorado River. 

The trail is 6.5 miles long and has an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. Many different sections of the trail offer different challenges. Ready to go? Just beware that the trail is rated as difficult due to its rocky and uneven terrain.

Brilliant Things to See & Do in Southern Utah 

From picturesque mountains and awe-inspiring red rock formations to bustling cities and small towns, this southern region has something for everyone. 

Let’s explore more brilliant things to see and do in Southern Utah!

Stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park

Stargazing at Bryce Canyon National Park - Astrophotography

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best places in the world to stargaze – not to mention one of the places in Utah that you simply have to visit. 

Still, while so many people flock to the canyon during the day, plan to spend some time at night in Bryce Canyon and you’ll be richly rewarded. The night skies are incredibly clear and full of stars. The Milky Way is often visible, and you might even see a shooting star!

There are several great spots for stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park. One of the best is the Inspiration Point overlook. This spot offers stunning night sky views and is also a great place to watch the sunrise or sunset.

Another excellent spot for stargazing is Sunset Point. This overlook provides panoramic views of the canyon and is a great place to watch the sunset. 

Mountain Biking in Moab

Biking in Moab

Mountain biking is a great way to see Moab. There are many different trails to choose from, so you can find one that’s right for your skill level. 

Be sure to wear proper safety gear, including a helmet and protective pads, and follow all trail signs. Some of the best mountain biking trails in Moab include:

Slickrock Trail: This 10-mile trail is considered one of the best mountain biking trails in the world. It’s challenging, but the views are worth it.

Amasa Back Trail: This trail is shorter than Slickrock, but it’s just as scenic. It’s an excellent option for a less strenuous ride.

Magnolia Lane Trail: This trail is perfect for beginner mountain bikers. It’s gentle and has beautiful views of Arches National Park.

Top Tip: Book onto this mountain bike half-day tour to tackle some of Moab’s stunning trails

White Water Adventures on the Colorado River

White Water Adventures on the Colorado River

Few rivers are as mighty as the Colorado River. Wending its way through Southern Utah, it’s known for its challenging whitewater rafting and kayaking, as well as its beautiful scenery. 

Ready to tackle some rapids? Head to Westwater Canyon – a 17-mile stretch of river punctuated by some of the most exciting rapids in the state. 

The canyon offers Class III, IV and V rapids, so there is plenty of excitement and challenge for even the most experienced rafters or kayakers. It’s not possible to do Westwater Canyon independently, so you’ll need to book onto a tour. 

Take a Peek at the Emerald Pools

Emerald Pools

The Emerald Pools are among the best things to see in Southern Utah. They are located in Zion National Park and offer a stunning view of the surrounding area. 

There are three different pools to choose from, each with unique features. The Upper Emerald Pool is the largest and most popular, offering a beautiful view of the canyon below.

The Middle Emerald Pool is smaller and more intimate, surrounded by cliffs that make it feel like you’re in your own little world. The Lower Emerald Pool is the smallest – and still very pretty – though often the busiest of the three. 

Unique Things to See & Do in Southern Utah: Hidden Gems That are Off the Beaten Track

Let us take you through some of our favorite hidden gems in Southern Utah!

Warrior’s Walk

In the heart of Southern Utah’s red rock country lies a hidden gem known as Warrior’s Walk. This secluded spot is located in the town of Kanab and is the perfect place to explore the area’s natural beauty.

The trailhead for Warrior’s Walk is located just off Highway 89 and is marked by a small sign. The trail is only about a mile long, but it packs a lot of punch in the scenery. 

The trail winds through towering red cliffs and provides breathtaking views of the desert landscape. Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to see some petroglyphs carved centuries ago by the area’s Native American inhabitants.

If you’re looking for an adventure that will take you off the beaten path, look no further than Warrior’s Walk. This hidden gem will leave you with lasting memories of Southern Utah’s stunning red rock country.

Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

Natural Bridges National Monument is home to three natural bridges, all formed by the erosion of rivers.

The first bridge, Kachina Bridge, is named after the Native American kachina dolls found near the bridge. The second bridge, Owachomo Bridge, is the thinnest of the three bridges and spans 275 feet. 

The third and final bridge, Sipapu Bridge, is the largest of the three bridges, spanning 290 feet.

All three bridges are accessible via hiking trails and offer breathtaking views. If you’re looking for a fun and adventurous way to spend a day in Southern Utah, check out Natural Bridges National Monument!

Goblin Valley State Park 

Goblin Valley State Park 

Goblin Valley State Park is located in Emery County and is known for its unique rock formations. The goblin-like rock formations result from years of erosion and are popular for hikers and photographers.

The park also has a variety of other activities to offer visitors, including camping, picnicking, fishing, and exploring the many hiking trails. 

Goblin Valley State Park is a great place to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of Southern Utah. 

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Southern Utah is home to some of the country’s most beautiful and unique national parks. Capitol Reef National Park is one of these hidden gems. Capitol Reef is a nature lover’s paradise in the heart of red rock country.

The park has incredible hiking trails , stunning views, and fantastic wildlife. The park is home to various landscapes, including canyons, cliffs, and desert terrain. 

Visitors can explore the park on foot, by bicycle, or by car. There are also plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, camping, and picnicking.

Like all of Utah’s national parks , Capitol Reef National Park has minimal light pollution, making it the perfect place to stargaze. The Milky Way can often stretch across the sky on clear nights.

One of the most popular attractions in Capitol Reef National Park is Chimney Rock. This towering rock formation is a great place to hike and climb. 

There are also several petroglyphs (ancient rock art) near Chimney Rock that are worth checking out!

Things to Do in Southern Utah: Practical Tips for Your Trip

As you plan your trip to Southern Utah, remember that the region is full of natural beauty and adventure. Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your time in this amazing place:

  • Southern Utah can have extreme temperatures, so pack clothes for hot and cold weather.
  • Be prepared for hiking and other activities by bringing comfortable shoes and clothing, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Don’t forget your camera! Southern Utah is full of photo-worthy landscapes.

How Long to Visit Southern Utah?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on several factors, including your interests, the time of year you plan to visit, and how much time you have available.

However, we typically recommend spending at least 5-6 days in Southern Utah to get a good sense of the region. 

Best Time to Visit Southern Utah

There are a few things to consider when deciding what time of year to visit Southern Utah. 

Southern Utah is known for having sweltering summers and cold winters. If you are not a fan of either extreme, you may want to consider visiting during the spring or fall when the temperatures are more moderate.

The second thing to think about is the crowds. Southern Utah is a popular destination for both national and international tourists. If you would like to avoid the crowds, you may want to visit during the shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October). 

However, if you don’t mind the crowds and are looking for the best deals, visiting during the off-season (November-March) may be a better option.

Where Should I Stay in Southern Utah?

There are many great hotels to stay in for a while visiting Southern Utah. Depending on your budget and preferences, there are plenty of options.

Quality Inn & Suites in St. George (Mid-Range)

The Quality Inn & Suites in St George, UT is an affordable but great option. This hotel offers comfortable accommodations at a great price, making it a perfect option for budget-minded travelers. 

Check Rates and Availability for Qual ity Inn & Suites in St. George on

Lake Powell Luxury Home (Luxury)

If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay in Southern Utah, look no further than the Lake Powell Luxury Home. This five-star resort is nestled in a remote canyon and offers stunning views of the desert landscape. 

Check Rates and Availability for Lake Powell Luxury Home on

Recommended Tours in Southern Utah

Some other recommended tours in Southern Utah are:

  • Sand Hollow State Park ATV Adventure
  • Private 4×4 Tour of Arches and Canyonlands National Park
  • Full Day Canyoneering Experience from Moab
  • Hiking Tour of The Narrows, Zion National Park

Things to do in Southern Utah: Map

Places to Visit in Southern Utah: Read Next

  • Incredible Things to do in Utah
  • Time to Explore: Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Time to Explore: Zion National Park
  • Time to Explore: Arches National Park
  • Time to Explore: Canyonlands National Park
  • Time to Explore: Capitol Reef National Park

51 Incredible Things to do in Southern Utah

Published by sarah vaughan on march 14, 2023 march 14, 2023.

Something about the bright orange sandstone, unique textures and shapes, and the rugged remoteness of southern Utah keeps drawing us back. From narrow slot canyons to towering spires and deep canyons, there’s an awe-inspiring natural wonder waiting around every corner and no shortage of incredible things to do in Southern Utah.

We’ve spent months living in various small towns throughout southern Utah, exploring all the ins and outs of this amazing landscape. In this mega-article, we’ve rounded 51 of the best things to do in Southern Utah!

We hope this list will spark your adventurous spirit and help you plan an epic southern Utah road trip.

visit southern

51 best things to do in southern Utah

Here’s an overview of our mega-list of the best things to do in Southern Utah. You can use the links below to jump around the article.

  • Road trip through Utah’s Mighty 5
  • Explore a slot canyon
  • Tackle Utah’s most thrilling hike: Angel’s Landing
  • Go rock climbing in Moab
  • Take a backpacking trip through Coyote Gulch
  • Hike the Figure 8 Loop in Bryce Canyon
  • Try a fresh baked apple pie in Fruita
  • Take a guided canyoneering trip in Capitol Reef
  • Watch a sunrise at Sunrise Point and a Sunset at Sunset Point
  • Camp in one of the most remote protected areas of the United States
  • Go glamping at Yonder Escalante
  • Drive the Scenic Highway 12
  • Hike the Zion Narrows
  • Go horseback riding at Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Take a guided fly-fishing trip
  • Explore the Toadstool Hoodoos
  • Hike through a slot canyon to Kanarra Falls
  • Explore the otherworldly landscapes of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
  • Backpack the Boulder Mail Trail
  • Hike through the world’s largest slot canyon: Buckskin Gulch
  • Go on a backpacking trip through Paria Canyon
  • Watch the sunset from Coral Pink Sand Dunes
  • Climb through Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons
  • Eat at a James Beard award winning restaurant
  • Visit the Moqui Caverns & Belly of the Dragon off Highway 89
  • Try to score permits for the famous Wave
  • Explore the otherworldly landscape of Coyote Buttes South
  • Hike to Druid Arch in Canyonlands’ Needles District
  • Climb through a narrow slot canyon to see the striped walls of Zebra Slot Canyon
  • Backpack the West Rim Trail in Zion
  • Catch a sunrise at Delicate Arch
  • Visit Snow Canyon State Park: a mini-Zion
  • Embark on a epic adventure to Golden Cathedral
  • Find as many arches as you can in Arches National Park
  • Explore the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef
  • Visit Zion’s Kolob Canyon
  • Watch the sunrise at Zion Canyon Overlook
  • (Respectfully) admire ancient petroglyphs
  • Go on a backpacking trip in the Needles District
  • Drive the Cathedral Valley Loop
  • Go off roading in the Maze
  • See a sunrise at Mesa Arch
  • Cool off in a desert oasis at Lower Calf Creek Falls
  • Visit Cedar Breaks National Monument: a mini-Bryce Canyon
  • See petrified wood at the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
  • Feel like a kid again exploring nature’s playground: Devil’s Garden
  • Explore the Red Cliffs
  • Drive through Monument Valley
  • Visit Dead Horse Point
  • Explore the Dixie National Forest
  • Go skiing in Brian Head

Remember to Leave No Trace . Pack out what you pack in, stay on trail, be well-prepared, leave nothing behind, take only photos and memories with you, treat the area with respect and help preserve this beautiful spot for generations to come.

visit southern

Map of the best things to do in Southern Utah

The map below displays the locations of the best things to do in Southern Utah that we will cover in this article, including trailheads, national and state parks, camping areas, scenic drives, viewpoints and more!

  • To view more details about each location, click on the marker on the map.
  • To save this map for future use, click the star next to the title. From your phone, open the Google Maps app and click the “saved” tab, followed by the “Maps” icon. From your Gmail account, navigate to Maps –> “Saved” –> “My Maps” –> “Maps” tab.
  • To email this map to yourself, click the three dots in the upper right corner.

1. Road trip Utah’s Mighty 5

visit southern

Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Southern Utah is to embark on a road trip through the state’s “Mighty 5” National Parks :

  • Bryce Canyon National Park | Bryce Canyon is an amphitheater known for its towering spires of pink and orange rock, known as “hoodoos”, that give the park a fairyland-vibe.
  • Zion National Park | Zion is Utah’s most popular National Park, but experiencing its famous landmarks, like the Narrows and Angel’s Landing, is well worth battling the crowds.
  • Capitol Reef National Park | Utah’s least visited and most remote national park, Capitol Reef is full of sandstone arches, colorful badlands, canyons, natural bridges, domes, and the 100-mile long Waterpocket Fold.
  • Canyonlands National Park | Made up of four distinct districts, Canyonlands is home to a unique assortment of orange sandstone canyons.
  • Arches National Park | Home to over 2000 sandstone arches of every shape and size, the park rightfully earns its name!

If you have at least one week in Utah, you can see all 5 national parks. If you have more time, we’d recommend planning for 10 days or even 2 weeks to really experience the parks.

2. Explore a slot canyon

hiking through Spooky Slot Canyon in Grand Staircase Escalante

Utah has the highest concentration of slot canyons in the United States, if not the entire world, boasting more than 1,000 narrow passageways of every shape and size! Slot canyons are tall, narrow channels carved by rushing water over millions of years, typically through sandstone or limestone.

Some slot canyons in Utah require technical skills and canyoneering equipment to access, while others can be reached with hiking and mild rock scrambling. Either way, exploring at least one slot canyon should be at the top of your bucket list of things to do in southern Utah!

13 Stunning Utah Slot Canyons

13 Stunning Utah Slot Canyons

Utah is full of hidden gems and otherworldly landscapes, but there is something especially captivating about the rippling orange walls of Utah’s many slot canyons! Not only are slot canyons one of the most unique and beautiful geological formations you will find, but they also allow you to feel like a kid again, romping around…

3. Tackle Utah’s most thrilling hike: Angel’s Landing

view of Angel's Landing from Scout Lookout in Zion National Park

  • Hiking distance | 4.4 miles
  • Elevation gain | 1,600 feet
  • Difficulty | Hard
  • Estimated time | 2 – 3 hours

Sometimes referred to as the “most dangerous hike in America”, Angel’s Landing is an (in)famous hike in Zion National Park.

The hike is known for a series of 21 winding switchbacks, appropriately called Walter’s Wiggles, and the steep climb up a very narrow, exposed ridge to reach the summit.

Sure, the final stretch is exposed and can be a bit scary but the views from Angel’s Landing looking down Zion Canyon are worth the challenge! If you have a serious fear of heights, you can always turn back at Scout Lookout , just before the narrow section.

Angel’s Landing is one of the best things to do in southern Utah and a very popular way to spend a day in Zion National Park . Permits are required to climb up the final ridge starting in April of 2022.

You can find more information about how to get permits on the Zion NPS website .

4. Go rock climbing in Moab

  • Cost | $220 per person for full day of climbing
  • Book your Moab rockclimbing adventure here!

Moab may be best known as the central hub for exploring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, but it’s also one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the United States.

With massive sandstone towers and red cliffs that stretch as far as the eye can see, we can’t think of a more beautiful location to rock climb! Popular climbing areas include Fisher’s Tower, Castle Valley, and Indian Creek.

There are many local guide companies that offer full or half-day guided climbs. Red River Adventures offers a variety of guided tours and rock climbing classes for climbers of all skill levels.

5. Go on a backpacking trip through Coyote Gulch

visit southern

  • Distance | 14 miles
  • Elevation gain | 550 feet
  • Estimated time | 6 – 9 hours

An entire world hidden below the otherwise barren crust of the desert, Coyote Gulch is an oasis of lush green trees, otherworldly rock formations, and a variety of wildlife located in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

If you want to get into the backcountry, backpacking through Coyote Gulch is one of the best things to do in southern Utah!

There are several different trailheads and routes you could take into Coyote Gulch for a total trip distance between 6 and 27 miles.

The most notable landmark inside Coyote Gulch is ​​Jacob Hamblin Arch , a stunning 150-foot wide and 100-foot tall arch that towers over the gulch. If you aren’t up for backpacking, you can also visit Jacob Hamblin via a 14-mile round trip day hike from the Hurricane Wash trailhead.

Coyote Gulch, Utah: Hike & Backpacking Guide

Coyote Gulch, Utah: Hike & Backpacking Guide

An entire world hidden below the otherwise barren crust of the Utah desert, Coyote Gulch is a lush oasis carved into the orange sandstone filled with hidden arches, swimming holes, waterfalls, and more! In the article below, we have outlined everything you need to know to plan your own epic Coyote Gulch backpacking trip.…

6. Hike the Figure 8 Loop in Bryce Canyon

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 6.3 miles
  • Estimated time | 3 – 4 hours
  • Difficulty | Moderate

The Figure 8 Loop is the most comprehensive hike in Bryce Canyon, giving you a nearly full tour of the park over the course of 6 breathtaking miles. Of all the national parks in Utah, Bryce Canyon is the smallest and you can see most of the park’s highlights on this loop.

The Figure 8 Loop combines several popular shorter trails, including the Navajo Loop and the famous “Wall Street” area, Queen’s Garden and Queen Victoria, and the Peekaboo Loop. 

Each section of the trail offers views that are a little different. With everything from massive hoodoos to natural arches and window views, you can’t possibly get bored on this trail! We think it’s the best hike in Bryce Canyon and certainly one of the best things to do in southern Utah. 

7. Try a fresh baked apple pie at the Gifford Homestead in Fruita

visit southern

Nestled below the Waterpocket Fold in the heart of Capitol Reef National Park lies a little desert oasis known as the Fruita Valley. Since the early 1900’s the Fruita Valley has been used as farmland, producing a range of fruits including apples, peaches, and cherries.

Today the Gifford Homestead continues to bake fresh pies, homemade ice cream, jellies, and jams. The pies are particularly delicious, and the Gifford Homestead’s convenient location in the heart of Capitol Reef makes it easy to stop by for a tasty bite.

We picked up an apple pie from Giffords after backpacking the Lower Spring Canyon, and we have to say, it was the perfect treat after spending a night in the backcountry.

8. Take a guided canyoneering trip

visit southern

  • Cost | $180 to $350 per person for a half to full day trip
  • Book your Canyonlands canyoneering trip here!

Looking to take your slot canyon adventure to the next level and explore even deeper into southern Utah’s canyon country? Canyoneering will get your adrenaline pumping while exploring some of the more beautiful and rarely visited areas of the state.

Guided canyoneering trips are available in many places around southern Utah, including Moab, Zion, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef. It’s one of the best things to do in southern Utah if you’re up for a real adventure!

9. Watch a sunrise at Sunrise Point and a Sunset at Sunset Point

visit southern

Seeing the sun light up the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon is a can’t miss experience in southern Utah! The park is home to two famous viewpoints, aptly named Sunrise Point and Sunset Point.

While in Bryce Canyon, we spent a very frigid 15-degree morning at Sunrise Point, but it was well worth the chattering teeth and frozen fingers to watch the sun slowly illuminate the hoodoos. There may be no more iconic viewpoint in southern Utah than Bryce Canyon’s Sunrise and Sunset points!

10. Camp in one of the most remote protected areas of the United States

visit southern

Dispersed camping is one of our favorite things to do in southern Utah. You can often find free spots to camp with amazing views!

While there is an abundance of free dispersed camping areas in southern Utah, these spots can be a bit difficult to find and are often located down rough dirt roads. You can use apps like the Dyrt and Campendium to find dispersed camping areas in southern Utah.

Perhaps our favorite spot to dispersed camp in southern Utah is Hole in the Rock Road. Unlike many dispersed camping areas, awesome spots are not hard to come by here.

Although there are no amenities along Hole in the Rock Road (ie. no bathrooms, running water, RV hookups), you’ll have a front row view to the beautiful sunsets and star-filled night skies and likely won’t have any neighbors (besides cows) for several miles.

Hole in the Rock Road: Camping, Logistics & Things to Do

Hole in the Rock Road: Camping, Logistics & Things to Do

Interested in hiking and camping on Hole in the Rock Road in Grand Staircase Escalante but having trouble deciding what to do or if you are prepared to take on this off-road adventure? We’ve got you covered! In the article below, we have created a complete guide to Hole in the Rock Road in Grand…

11. Go glamping at Yonder Escalante

visit southern

If you want to get the southern Utah camping experience without having to sleep on the ground, look no further than Yonder Escalante !

Yonder Escalante is a luxury RV park and campground located in Escalante, Utah, offering small modern cabins and beautifully renovated Airstreams in addition to RV hookups and tent campsites. Cabins sleep 2 for $260 per night and Airstreams sleep 3 for $330 per night. 

One of the coolest things about staying Yonder Escalante is the drive-in movie theater. Grab a seat in an antique automobile and prepare to be transported back in time! Yonder’s drive-in theater gives you a little taste of the classic American West.

Movies are played every night just after dark and free popcorn is available at the concession stand.

If the outdoor showers, resort-style restrooms, onsite food truck, stunning modern cabins, and renovated Airstreams don’t entice you, the drive-in movie at Yonder may be reason enough to stay for a night (especially if you have kids!). 

12. Drive the Scenic Highway 12

visit southern

Designated as an “All-American Road”, Scenic Highway 12 stretches nearly 123 miles starting in Panguitch, UT and ending in Torrey, Utah, with stunning hoodoos, red rock vistas, swirling petrified dunes, and mountain views.

Scenic Highway 12 passes directly past many of Utah’s treasures, including Bryce Canyon, the Dixie National Forest, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Grand Staircase Escalante, Capitol Reef, and more! Driving Scenic Highway 12 offers many opportunities to tick off some of the best things to do in southern Utah.

One of the most beautiful sections of Scenic Highway 12 is the 29 mile stretch from Escalante to Boulder, which features incredible views overlooking Grand Staircase Escalante. A particularly nail-biting stretch of road runs atop a narrow ridge, surrounded on all sides by stunning views.

13. Hike the Zion Narrows

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 9 miles
  • Elevation gain | 700 feet
  • Estimated time | 4 – 6 hours
  • Difficulty | hard

We have a love-hate relationship with this hike, but there is no way we could have a list of the best things to do in southern Utah without the Narrows!

The picturesque river flowing through the towering orange canyon walls is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen!

But keep in mind that the water in the Narrows can be very cold! If you’re hiking in the spring or fall, the water is freezing and the canyon is so narrow that it doesn’t get much sun. Additionally, its almost always very crowded. You’re unlikely to find a spot where you can’t see another group of humans, even if you start early. 

Lastly, hiking the Narrows takes a lot of planning . You will need to rent a dry bib, water shoes, neoprene socks, and hiking stick to hike the Narrows, especially if attempting earlier in the spring season.

14. Go horseback riding at Kodachrome Basin State Park

visit southern

  • Cost | 1 hour rides for $54 per person or 2 hour rides for $75 per person.
  • Book your Kodachrome Basin trail ride here!

If your feet are aching from too much hiking, give them a rest and explore the area by horseback! Kodachrome Basin State Park offers guided horseback rides along the Panorama Trail, one of the best hikes in the park with awesome views of the backside of Bryce Canyon.

Horseback riding is also available in and near Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. Canyon Trail Rides is the only company that offers rides inside Bryce Canyon, so we’d recommend booking with them for the best experience.

15. Take a guided fly-fishing trip

visit southern

Although it might seem counterintuitive due to the hot desert climate, there are actually many great fly fishing spots throughout Southern Utah.

This guided fly fishing trip in East Zion is an awesome option if you’re looking for an experienced guide to show you the waters in a picturesque part of Zion away from the crowds!

16. Explore the Toadstool Hoodoos

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 1.8 miles
  • Elevation gain | 150 feet
  • Estimated time | 1 – 2 hours
  • Difficulty | Easy

Located in the southern section of Grand Staircase Escalante, about 40 minutes east of Kanab, visiting the Toadstool Hoodoos is a surreal experience.

Many places in Utah are described as “otherworldly,” but these odd rock formations truly deserve that title! Thin needles of sandstone in every shape, size, and color are topped with a layer of dark rock, perfectly balanced to withstand the test of time.

From serious photographers to small children, the Toadstool Hoodoos are sure to please any crowd! The short hike to the Toadstool Hoodoos makes for a great quick thing to do in southern Utah if you have just a few hours to kill.

Toadstool Hoodoos: an Underrated Adventure

Toadstool Hoodoos: an Underrated Adventure

Toadstool Hoodoos | Hike Overview Visiting the Toadstool Hoodoos in southern Utah is a surreal experience. Thin needles of sandstone in every shape, size, and color are topped with a layer of dark rock, perfectly balanced to withstand the test of time. Wandering through the Toadstool Hoodoos, it’s hard to believe these wild rock formations…

17. Hike through a slot canyon to Kanarra Falls

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 4 miles
  • Elevation gain | 800 feet
  • Fees | $12 permit required, permits often sell out in advance

In many ways, Kanarra Falls reminds us a bit of the Zion Narrows, on a smaller scale. The hike to Kanarra Falls is located just an hour from Zion National Park and under two hours from Bryce Canyon, and is a great chance to escape the crowds and explore a lesser-known gem in Utah.

This 4 mile round trip hike follows Kanarra Creek upstream into a beautiful slot canyon with two waterfalls, and includes some moderate rock scrambling, a climb up a ladder and hiking through ankle-deep water. 

Ultimate Guide to the Kanarra Falls Hike

Ultimate Guide to the Kanarra Falls Hike

Kanarra Falls reminds us of a mini-version of the Zion Narrows, and involves hiking through a stream into a beautiful slot canyon.

18. Explore Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

visit southern

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is one of the largest areas of protected land in the United States, filled with many of the best things to do in southern Utah.

We’ll be honest, Grand Staircase is our absolute favorite area of southern Utah. It’s remote, rugged, and mind-blowing. From afar, the landscape may look like an endless expanse of barren red hills. But take a peek below the surface, and there are countless hidden gems to explore.

Slot canyons, beautiful gulches, waterfalls, arches and unique rock formations await those who come to hike in Grand Staircase Escalante.

19. Backpack the Boulder Mail Trail

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 15.4 miles (one way)
  • Elevation gain | 2,800 feet
  • Total time | 2 days/1 night or 10 – 12 hour day hike
  • Permits/fees | Free permit required for overnight backpacking (available at trailhead)

Traversing over 15 miles through Grand Staircase Escalante, the Boulder Mail Trail connects the town of Boulder to Escalante and makes an epic 1-night backpacking trip, or very ambitious day hike.

Before Highway 12 was paved back in the 1970s, the route was used to deliver mail via mule between Escalante and Boulder, hence where the trail gets its name!

Tackling the Boulder Mail Trail isn’t easy, with about 2,700 feet of total elevation gain including an extremely steep drop into and climb out of Death Hollow, a stunning canyon with crystal clear blue water flowing through. It’s hard to imagine trusting a mule’s footing to carry you safely across this rugged terrain!

20. Hike through the world’s largest slot canyon

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 5.6 miles (plus option to continue farther into Buckskin Gulch)
  • Elevation gain | 600 feet
  • Cost | Day use permit required, $6 per person

Often considered the longest slot canyon in the world, Buckskin Gulch stretches for nearly 16 miles with walls that reach a height of over 400 feet. Many people skip right over Buckskin Gulch but we think that hiking through the stunning orange walls is one of the top things to do in southern Utah.

The most popular way to access Buckskin Gulch is via a smaller slot canyon called Wire Pass. Hiking through Wire Pass is a great way to see two awesome Utah slot canyons in one hike, and provides the most direct access to Buckskin Gulch.

In addition to being the longest slot canyon in the world, Buckskin Gulch is also known as one of the most dangerous hikes due to extreme flash flood risk. Do not attempt this hike if there is any precipitation in the forecast!

Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch Trail Guide

Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch Trail Guide

Southern Utah is known for its vast array of magnificent desert hikes, but no trek is comparable to the journey through Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch. Commonly considered the “longest slot canyon in the world”, Buckskin Gulch stretches roughly 16 miles in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in southern Utah near Kanab. Reaching up to…

21. Go on a backpacking trip through Paria Canyon

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 40 miles
  • Elevation gain | 900 feet
  • Total time | 3 – 5 days
  • Difficulty | Hard (involves hiking in sand and many river crossings)

Located near Kanab , Paria Canyon stretches for 40 miles from Utah into northern Arizona. For a shorter taste of the canyon, you can hike roughly 14 miles out and back from the White House Trailhead to the Paria Canyon-Buckskin Gulch confluence.

However, to see the canyon in all its glory, start from White House Trailhead and hike the full 40 miles down to the Lee’s Ferry trailhead, typically done as a 3-night, 4-day backpacking trip.

The entire hike is incredibly beautiful and backpacking the full 40 miles is absolutely one of the best things to do in southern Utah.

22. Watch the sunset from Coral Pink Sand Dunes

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 1 mile
  • Elevation gain | 100 feet
  • Estimated time | 1 hour

While Utah’s “Mighty 5” National Parks draw the biggest crowds, we think its state parks deserve a little attention too. Like the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, located in southern Utah between Hurricane and Kanab .

This little state park is home to bright pink rolling sand dunes that truly live up to the name, nestled at the base of a red sandstone ridge.

There is no defined trail through the sand dunes – simply head out and wander as far as you’d like. That being said, be sure to remember where you entered, as it’s easy to get turned around once you’re further into the dunes.

The sand dunes are also used for driving ATVs, so you’ll need to walk a little way to find the undisturbed dunes. Pack a snack and cold drink and head out to Coral Pink Sands at sunset for one of the best things to do in southern Utah during the evening!

23. Climb through Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 4.2 miles (+0.8 miles including Dry Fork Narrows)
  • Elevation gain | About 600 feet
  • Difficulty | hard (requires some challenging rock scrambling)

With some minor rock scrambling, a remote location on the iconic Hole-in-the-Rock road, and extremely narrow passages – sometimes down to 10 inches – the Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons hike is one of the top things to do in southern Utah for those seeking an adventure!

This one-of-a-kind experience will take you through two incredible slot canyons as part of an epic 4.2-mile hike. While the hike is relatively short with minimal elevation gain, the rock scrambling and tight squeezes required to navigate the canyon certainly make for a challenging adventure!

The unique striped walls and beautiful colors of Peekaboo and Spooky slot canyons make the hike 100% worth the effort.

Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons: a Unique Grand Staircase Adventure

Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons: a Unique Grand Staircase Adventure

If you are visiting Grand Staircase Escalante, you can’t miss the one-of-a-kind hike through Peekaboo and Spooky slot canyons!

24. Eat at a James Beard semifinalist restaurant

visit southern

You certainly don’t visit southern Utah for its culinary prowess, but if you’re interested in a taste of luxury to break up your week of adventuring, hear us out.

Located just 30 minutes from Escalante , in the tiny town of Boulder, lies Hell’s Backbone Grill and Farm , a James Beard-nominated restaurant known for taking farm-to-table quite literally (they operate a farm that provides the ingredients for the restaurant).

A James Beard award-winning restaurant in a remote town of 200 in southern Utah? It sounds as unbelievable as the delicious melt-in-your-mouth biscuits this family-owned restaurant serves.

At Hell’s Backbone, you’ll find a selection of wines, craft cocktails and delicious dishes with farm-fresh ingredients – a luxury that’s tough to find in southern Utah.

25. Visit the Moqui Caverns off Highway 89

view inside the Moqui Caverns, sand caves in Kanab, Utah

The Moqui Caverns, a.k.a. Kanab Sand Caves , are conveniently located just 7 minutes outside of Kanab, right off Highway 89. Originally, the Moqui Caverns were created as a sand mine, but today they offer a fun, short adventure with nice views looking through the “windows” to the rocky, orange cliffs in the distance.

The name “Moqui” refers to the Hopi tribe of Native Americans (previously known as the Moqui Native Americans) who inhabited the area centuries ago.

The hike to the Moqui Caverns is one of the most popular quick things to do in southern Utah between Zion and Kanab, requiring just a short half-mile round trip hike. That being said, the hike is fairly steep and requires a short scramble to reach the caves.

26. Try to score permits for the famous Wave

The elusive “Wave” is one of southern Utah’s most picturesque landscapes, a view you’re likely to have seen on a computer background or screen saver.

Visiting the unique wave-like formation is a bucket list worthy experience, but will require some patience to check off. Permits to visit the “Wave” are given out via a lottery system and are notoriously difficult to obtain!

To get permits for the Wave, you have two chances: an advance lottery that opens 4 months in advance of your hike, or a day-of lottery. We have personally entered the lottery at least 6 times, to no avail!

Nonetheless, we feel a spot on this list of the best things to do in southern Utah is well-deserved, and we wish you better luck than we’ve had in snagging a coveted permit!

27. Explore the otherworldly landscape of Coyote Buttes South

visit southern

If you weren’t able to get permits for the Wave, don’t fret! Because there’s an epic alternative right next door at Coyote Buttes South .

There are only 20 daily permits to this incredibly remote area, located deep in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, so you’re likely to find solitude in one of the few truly untouched areas in the Southwest.

Located just south of the Coyote Buttes North, home to the Instagram-popular “Wave”, Coyote Buttes South gets much less attention. Coyote Buttes South is home to the same swirling rock formations and breath-taking color spectrum. And yet, permits are way easier to get!

Getting to this very remote area requires a 4WD vehicle and preparation to ensure a safe visit.

28. Hike to Druid Arch in Canyonlands Needles District

View of Druid Arch in Canyonlands the Needles District

  • Location | Canyonlands National Park
  • Hiking distance | 10.5 miles
  • Total time | 5 – 7 hours
  • Epic-ness rating | 9
  • Difficulty | moderate-hard

Even in southern Utah, where the landscapes are incredibly diverse, the hike to Druid Arch in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park is unlike anything you’ve seen before.

We were completely blown away by the sheer size of Druid Arch , and perhaps more so, the stunning view looking down Elephant Canyon from the base of the massive stone monolith.  

If you are up for it, you can take an optional detour from Druid Arch to hike through some of Chesler Park, which will add 3.1 miles round trip.

A Complete Guide to Druid Arch: Canyonlands National Park

A Complete Guide to Druid Arch: Canyonlands National Park

Located in the often-overlooked Needles District, the hike to Druid Arch in Canyonlands is amazing and one of the best in the park!

29. Climb a narrow slot canyon to see the striped walls of Zebra Slot Canyon

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 5.2 miles (+1.4 miles for Tunnel Canyon)
  • Elevation gain | 400 feet
  • Difficulty | moderate (requires some challenging rock scrambling)

Southern Utah is home to some of the most amazing slot canyons in the entire world and Zebra Slot Canyon is probably our all-time favorite. 

Named after the stripes that line its walls, visiting Zebra Slot Canyon involves a 5 mile hike that can be tricky to follow and a challenging climb through a very narrow canyon, which is often filled with ankle to waist deep, freezing cold water.

While the entrance to the canyon doesn’t look like anything special, deep in the canyon you will reach the “zebra” section that makes this canyon so beautiful! 

When we visited Zebra Slot Canyon, we started the hike at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning and made it to the canyon before anyone else.

We had the place entirely to ourselves for a solid 30 minutes, and exploring this narrow slot canyon alone was one of the coolest (and also most terrifyingly claustrophobic) experiences of my life! 

Zebra Slot Canyon: Hike Guide

Zebra Slot Canyon: Hike Guide

Named after the vivid stripes that line its walls, Zebra Slot Canyon is one of the most unique rock formations in Southern Utah.

30. Backpack the West Rim Trail in Zion

views from the West Rim Trail in Zion, one of the best hikes in southern Utah

  • Hiking distance | 15.5 miles
  • Elevation gain | 4,400 feet
  • Estimated time | 9 – 12 hours

While most hikers who climb to Angel’s Landing turn back after completing the iconic narrow ridge, the trail actually continues towards the West Rim of Zion Canyon . Of course, nothing compares to Angel’s Landing but the reminder of the West Rim Trail isn’t too far behind!

To complete the West Rim trail, you will continue on after passing Angel’s Landing, where you will leave the crowds behind as the trail continues to climb for another 2,000 feet up. From the West Rim, you’ll be treated to expansive views of jagged ridges, swirling honeycomb rock formations, and striped canyon walls. 

The full West Rim Trail is 15 miles one way, but the best sections of the trail can be hiked as a 15.5 mile loop via the Grotto Trailhead . If this sounds like too much to squeeze into one day, the West Rim Trail is also a great one night backpacking trip. 

West Rim Trail Zion National Park: Ultimate Backpacking Guide

West Rim Trail Zion National Park: Ultimate Backpacking Guide

Backpacking the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park is the perfect adventure for those seeking solitude and mind-blowing views in southern Utah.

31. Catch a sunrise at Delicate Arch

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 3.2 miles
  • Elevation gain | 630 feet
  • Estimated time | 2 hours
  • Difficulty | moderate

The most popular hike in Arches National Park, if not all of Utah, Delicate Arch is an icon of the American Southwest and is featured on the Utah license plate and several of the “Welcome to Utah” signs on the highway!

You’ve almost surely seen photos of the massive arch, standing ever so precariously on an orange rock that a strong wind gust would seemingly knock it over.

Visiting Delicate Arch up close requires a 3.2 mile round trip hike. As you can imagine, this is a very popular hike so come prepared to circle the parking lot looking for a spot and to wait in line for a photo up close with the arch.

We thought we would beat the crowds by getting up early and hiking to Delicate Arch for sunrise but that was not the case! There must have been 50 other hikers there even at 6am.

But don’t let the crowds deter you! Seeing this magnificent arch with your own eyes is an incredible experience and one of the best things to do in southern Utah, as long as you go into the hike with the right expectations. 

32. Visit Snow Canyon State Park: a mini-Zion

views from the petrified dunes of Snow Canyon, an place to go hiking in Southern Utah

Interested in getting away from the crowds of southern Utah’s National Parks to explore a lesser-known spot? Snow Canyon State Park near St. George in southern Utah is full of unique gems and reminds us of a “mini” Zion in many ways!

What makes Snow Canyon so cool is the contrast of orange Navajo sandstone canyons with black basalt lava rocks, leftover from volcanoes that erupted between 1.4 million and 27,000 years ago.

The best trail in the park is the Snow Canyon Loop , a 3.5-mile hike that gives you a taste of the several unique landscapes found in the park, including lava tubes and swirly petrified sand dunes.

Another great option is Scout Cave , a unique teardrop-shaped cave carved out of the red rock cliffs, that is accessible via a moderate 3.6-mile round trip hike. For a family-friendly slot canyon hike, check out the short hike to Jenny’s Canyon !

33. Embark on a epic adventure to Golden Cathedral

visit southern

  • Elevation gain | 1500 feet
  • Total time | 6 – 8 hours

Golden Cathedral is one of those iconic spots in southern Utah, but getting there is no easy feat!

First, the hike begins from Egypt Trailhead (yes, the name feels fitting) which is located 17 miles down Hole in the Rock road, plus 9 miles down Egypt Road. Egypt Road starts out in fairly good condition but deteriorates the further you drive.

Furthermore, the trail to Golden Cathedral is not well marked, requires hiking through sections of deep sand and 5 river crossings, which are frequently knee to hip deep.

If this sounds like the type of adventure you’re up for, the payoff upon reaching Golden Cathedral is well worth the effort! If you are looking for off-the-beaten-path things to do in Southern Utah, add this hike to your bucket list.

34. Find as many arches as you can in Arches National Park

visit southern

Did you know that there are over 2000 natural arches in Arches National Park?! Home to sandstone arches of every shape and size, the park rightfully earns its name. And while you won’t be able to see all 2000 arches, you can see quite a few even with just one day in Arches .

Many arches are easily accessible via short hikes, such as the Window Arch, Double Arch, Sand Dune Arch, and Broken Arch. For a longer hike that feels sort of like a treasure hunt for arches, check out the Devil’s Garden/Primitive Trail loop.

In 2021, Arches National Park broke all-time visitation records, often drawing long lines of cars waiting to get in and having to turn away visitors due to exceeded capacity.

Starting in 2022, Arches will implement a timed entrance ticket system in hopes to alleviate overcrowding, protect the park’s precious resources and give visitors a better experience.

35. Explore the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef

visit southern

While Capitol Reef is the least visited of Utah’s national parks, that does not mean that it’s not worth visiting. In fact, most people skip over Capitol Reef because it is more remote than the other parks, meaning it’s a good chance to leave some of the crowds behind.

Below are a few great hikes in the park:

  • Cassidy Arch: 3.1 mile round trip hike that gains 700 feet of elevation and leads to a massive sandstone arch with stunning views of the Waterpocket Fold.
  • Hickman Bridge: 1.5 mile round trip hike to a natural bridge with 400 feet of elevation gain This is one of the most popular hikes in Capitol Reef, although personally we think it’s overrated. We’d choose the Rim Overlook, Chimney Rock or Cassidy Arch over Hickman Bridge.
  • Rim Overlook: 4 mile round trip hike with 1,000 feet of elevation gain, which includes an overlook with views of Hickman Bridge and ends at a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Fruita.
  • Navajo Knobs: A challenging 9.1 mile round trip hike with 2,250 feet of elevation gain, featuring the best views in Capitol Reef (includes Rim Overlook and shares a trailhead with Hickman Bridge).
  • Chimney Rock Loop : 3.3 mile round trip hike with 300 feet of elevation gain that gets you up close to the unique Chimney Rock and features stunning views.

36. Visit Zion’s Kolob Canyons

visit southern

Speaking of leaving the crowds behind, there is an entire section of Zion National Park that most visitors never see: Kolob Canyons!

The Kolob Canyons are located northwest of the main section of Zion towards Cedar City. It’s about a 45-minute drive from Springdale.

The Kolob Canyons feature beautiful red rock walls similar to those you’ll see in Zion Canyon and has several shorter hike options, including Timbercreek Overlook (1 mile), Taylor Creek Trail (5 miles), and La Verkin Creek Trail (14 miles).

Although these trails are not quite as stunning as Zion’s more famous trails like Angel’s Landing, Observation Point, and the Narrows, if you’re interested in leaving the crowds behind, definitely check out this hidden gem.

37. Watch the sunrise at Zion Canyon Overlook

visit southern

  • Elevation gain | 200 feet

Of all the hikes in Zion National Park, Zion Canyon Overlook offers the biggest bang for your buck! This 1-mile roundtrip hike leads to a stunning viewpoint looking over Zion Canyon and is only about 45 minutes from Kanab.

In addition to Observation Point, it’s one of the few trails in Zion that can be accessed with your personal vehicle, rather than the Zion Park Shuttle.

The hike to Canyon Overlook starts out with a steep climb up the canyon wall and then leads along the edge of a cliff, through a cave, and over a short footbridge until reaching the stunning viewpoint.

Due to its short length, Zion Canyon Overlook is one of the best things to do in southern Utah for sunrise or sunset. You can’t beat watching the sun light up the vibrant canyon walls!

38. (Respectfully) admire ancient petroglyphs

visit southern

Long before the area was settled by Europeans, native tribes first called the southern Utah area home. Ancient petroglyphs and pictographs created by these Native American tribes may be found all across southern Utah.

A few famous locations include Newspaper Rock in Canyonlands, Dinosour Rock National Monument, and Capitol Reef. Read more about petroglyphs in Utah here.

In addition to these more famous spots, petroglyphs may be found on many hikes throughout southern Utah. In order to respect these ancient symbols, we won’t share specific locations here, but always keep an eye out as your hiking. If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to talk to the park rangers.

Remember that petroglyphs and pictographs are rare archeological treasures that give us unique insight into cultures of the past. Be respectful and look, appreciate, but NEVER touch or deface these treasures.

Fun Fact | Petroglyphs are images carved into a rock face, while pictographs are painted.

39. Go on a backpacking trip in the Needles District

view down Elephant Canyon from Druid Arch in Canyonlands

Canyonlands National Park is composed of 4 distinct districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the Rivers.

While Island in the Sky is the most popular (located within 30 minutes of Arches and Moab), we think the often overlooked and more remote Needles district is the best spot to go backpacking.

Within the Needles District, the Chesler Park area offers the best views of the pointy spires, or “needles” for which the district is named. You can also choose to tack on the out-and-back hike to Druid Arch to your Needles backpacking adventure.

Backpacking the Needles District is one of the best things to do in southern Utah for the adventurous souls!

40. Drive the Cathedral Valley Loop

The Cathedral Valley Loop is a 57.6 mile drive showing off some of the most unique landscapes of Capitol Reef National Park, including the Temple of the Moon, the Bentonite Hills, Glass Mountain and more! The scenic drive includes several stunning viewpoints, short hikes, and awesome dispersed camping.

The Cathedral Valley Loop is located in a very remote part of southern Utah, requiring a high clearance 4WD vehicle. Depending on the time of year, a river ford may be necessary. Make sure that you have an appropriate vehicle and are properly prepared before setting off on this epic adventure.

41. Go off roading in the Maze

The Maze is the most remote section of Canyonlands National Park, accessible only via rough dirt roads requiring 4WD. If you want to explore one of the most remote areas of the park and get away from the crowds, going off-roading in the Maze is one of the best things to do in southern Utah!

You will need a 4WD vehicle, proper preparation, and experience off-roading to safely venture into the Maze. As the area is so remote and not regularly patrolled, you’ll need to be fully self-sufficient and prepared to self-rescue.

Because the area is so remote, you’ll want a few days to explore the Maze. Backcountry campsites are available for both hikers and 4WD vehicles. Permits are required.

42. See a sunrise at Mesa Arch

visit southern

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands Island in the Sky is one of those Instagram famous photo spots that we have to include on this list but frankly find to be a bit overrated.

Let us start by saying, the view from Mesa Arch really is stunning , there’s no denying that. When the sun hits just right, the entire arch is briefly illuminated in a vibrant shade of orange. It’s spectacular!

But. The problem with Mesa Arch is that it’s easy to get to, requiring less than one mile of hiking, which means it gets incredibly overcrowded!

If you visit at sunrise (especially during the busy season), there will be a line of photographers with their tripods in position spanning the entire length of the arch. You’ll have to put elbows and stand on tippy-toes to even catch a glimpse of that beautiful sunrise.

Our recommendation would be to at sunrise but keep your expectations in check. If at all possible, visit during the week or off-season (December through February)

43. Cool off in a desert oasis

visit southern

Through the seemingly barren, rocky landscape of Grand Staircase flows Calf Creek, a small oasis from the desert heat. Over thousands of years, the creek has carved a beautiful canyon, and flows from north to south, cascading over two waterfalls before joining the Escalante River.

The two falls, Upper Calf Creek Falls and Lower Calf Creek Falls , are located just a few miles from each other and can be accessed via 2 separate hikes. 

Of the two waterfalls along Calf Creek, the Lower Falls are certainly more popular and definitely a bit more impressive. However, the Upper Falls come pretty close in terms of beauty, are significantly less crowded, and the trail features more stunning views of Grand Staircase along the way.

44. Go snowshoeing in Cedar Breaks National Monument

visit southern

An amphitheater of tall orange hoodoos speckled with pine trees, Cedar Breaks National Monument looks just like a mini Bryce Canyon!

Because the park sits at an elevation of 10,000 feet, it gets a ton of snow and remains snow-covered much longer than nearby areas in southern Utah. Snow typically begins accumulating in October and sticks around through May.

As such, going snowshoeing in Cedar Breaks is one of the best things to do in southern Utah if you’re visiting in the late fall, early spring, or winter months. Of course, in the summer the snow clears and several trails are available to explore the park on foot.

45. See petrified wood at the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

visit southern

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is located just a few minutes from Escalante, Utah and is worth a quick stop.

There is only one trail in the park: the Escalante Petrified Forest Nature Trail , a 2-mile roundtrip loop that gains nearly 500 feet of elevation with nice views over the Wide Hollow Reservoir and the chance to see petrified wood.

The “Sleeping Rainbows” section of the trail features the most concentrated and beautiful petrified wood along the hike, as well as a cool view looking over the town of Escalante.

The Wide Hollow Reservoir in Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is also a great spot to hang out and cool off from the desert heat. During the summer, you can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards from the park visitor center.

46. Feel like a kid again exploring nature’s playground: Devil’s Garden

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 1 miles
  • Elevation gain | 90 feet
  • Estimated time |1 hours
  • Difficulty | easy

With countless hoodoos, arches, and other odd rock formations, Devil’s Garden makes for a quick but unforgettable experience. Located about 12 miles down Hole in the Rock Road, just a few miles from the Zebra Slot Canyon trailhead, Devil’s Garden is a great pit stop before or after tackling other Grand Staircase hikes.

The entire trail is only 1 mile, but you will want to spend time climbing around the various rock formations. In fact, we didn’t even bother with the trail. The entire place felt more like a playground so we spent our time climbing and scrambling over the many formations.

Even if you just stop for 30 minutes, you will not regret visiting Devil’s Garden!

47. Explore the Red Cliffs

visit southern

  • Hiking distance | 2.2 miles
  • Elevation gain | 223 feet
  • Estimated time | 1.5-2 hours

If you’re looking for a unique stop near St. George, check out the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area.

The Red Reef Trail is a great adventure for families and those looking for a short hike that comes with plenty of cool sites! This 2.2 mile hike follows along a babbling creek, snaking its way through narrow canyons, past a set of pictographs drawn onto the walls of a cave, and culminating with a picturesque waterfall.

To continue beyond the waterfall, there is a set of Moki Steps (alternating hand and footholds) carved into the canyon wall beside the waterfall, along with a rope to help you climb. If you are feeling adventurous, you can scramble up the Moki Steps and continue a bit farther into the canyon.

48. Drive through Monument Valley

Straddling the Arizona border in the far eastern corner of Utah, Monument Valley is one of the most photographed spots in southern Utah, if not the entire United States. The area is located within the Navajo Nation and features towering red sandstone buttes that reach up to 1000 feet above the desert floor.

You may recognize the iconic landscape as the backdrop for many famous Western movies, including Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Once Upon a Time in the West, and the Lone Ranger.

The best way to explore Monument Valley is by driving the 17-mile scenic loop. It’s also possible to hike or backpack in Monument Valley, but a backcountry permit is required.

49. Catch a sunset from Dead Horse Point

visit southern

Dead Horse Point State Park neighbors Canyonlands National Park near Moab in southwestern Utah. The park gets its name from a narrow peninsula that sits atop a sheer cliff known as Dead Horse Point.

While the origin of the name is not known with certainty, it is believed that cowboys herded wild horses onto this narrow peninsula, as the sheer drop-off created a natural corral. Legend has it that the horses were left corralled on the point for some unknown reason, and died from thirst within sight of the Colorado River below.

We’d recommend visiting Dead Horse Point at sunset for an incredible show as the sun dips behind the deep red sandstone canyon. There is also a trail that leads along the rim of Dead Horse Point.

50. Explore the Dixie National Forest

visit southern

The Dixie National Forest spans nearly 2 million acres over 4 distinct districts across southern Utah! Because of its vast size, the Dixie National Forest includes a wide variety of landscapes, from red sandstone spires and canyons to high alpine forests.

One of the most popular sections of Dixie National Forest is the Red Cliffs, located just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park. It offers a nice reprieve from the crowds at Bryce Canyon, with similar landscapes. A few great hikes in Red Canyon include the Pink Ledges , the Arches Trail , and the Golden Wall Trail.

51. Go skiing in Brian Head

When you think of southern Utah, you probably picture red rock cliffs and canyon country (and rightfully so). But did you know that southern Utah is home to the highest-elevation town in the state: Brian Head?

This little ski town is perched high above Zion National Park and adjacent to the Dixie National Forest. Although it’s only about 1.5 hours from Springdale, Utah, temperatures tend to stay about 20 to 30 degrees cooler, making it a haven for skiers and a great spot to escape the intense desert heat.

Skiing or snow tubing at Brian Head Resort is one of the best things to do in southern Utah during the late fall through early spring!

Other Utah Resources

Planning a trip to Utah? Check out these resources for more great hikes and outdoor adventures in Idaho!

How to Hike the Epic Figure 8 Loop in Bryce Canyon

How to Hike the Epic Figure 8 Loop in Bryce Canyon

Jacob Hamblin Arch Hike Guide

Jacob Hamblin Arch Hike Guide

Coyote Buttes South: An Epic Alternative to the Wave

Coyote Buttes South: An Epic Alternative to the Wave

How to Kayak Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River

How to Kayak Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River

Phipps Arch in Escalante, Utah: Hike Guide

Phipps Arch in Escalante, Utah: Hike Guide

Cosmic Ashtray in Escalante, Utah: Trail Guide

Cosmic Ashtray in Escalante, Utah: Trail Guide

Devil’s Garden in Escalante: A Complete Guide

Devil’s Garden in Escalante: A Complete Guide

Golden Cathedral & Neon Canyon: An Epic Adventure

Golden Cathedral & Neon Canyon: An Epic Adventure

visit southern

What amazing things to do in southern Utah would you add to this list? Have questions about planning your trip? Drop us a comment below!

Save this article on Pinterest!

visit southern

Sarah Vaughan

Hello! I'm Sarah, one half of the couple behind Two Outliers! In 2023, I quit my job as a Data Scientist to travel around the world on an epic 15-month journey in search of the world's greatest hikes and outdoor adventures. Matt and I started Two Outliers in 2021 as a place for visitors to find concise, accurate, and honest information to plan their own adventures. We hope our experiences inspire you to hit the trail! Happy Hiking! Sarah

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Related posts.

above the waterfall in the slot canyon at Kanarra Falls

19 Best Idaho Hiking Trails

From cascading waterfalls to jagged peaks and cerulean alpine lakes, we've rounded up 19 of our favorite Idaho hiking trails!

visit southern

Adventure Activities

How to kayak to shoshone falls: twin falls, idaho.

In this article we'll cover everything you need to know to kayak to Shoshone Falls, a unique way to experience the "Niagara of the West"!

Discover more from TWO OUTLIERS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Wanderlust Travel & Photos

Seeing the world one trip at a time.

  • Work With Me
  • Travel Journal
  • Privacy Policy
  • Browse by Continent
  • Australia Travel
  • Peru Travel
  • Thailand Travel
  • Browse by Region
  • East North Central
  • East South Central
  • Mid-Atlantic
  • New England
  • South Atlantic
  • West North Central
  • West South Central
  • Central America
  • North America
  • South America
  • Travel Vlog
  • Instagram Photos

The Top 15 Amazing Southern Utah Attractions You Must See

LAST UPDATED: 3/12/24 – Top 15 Amazing Southern Utah Attractions

Southern Utah is one of the most breathtaking regions of the United States. With five beautiful national parks, many national monuments, and incredible state parks, it’s full of beauty. In fact, there are so many incredible things to see that it is hard to know where to start. That is why I have put together this list of the top 15 most amazing Southern Utah attractions that visitors should plan to see. By using this list to plan your trip, you can be sure not to miss any of Southern Utah’s top sights.

Southern Utah Attractions - Bryce Canyon National Park

Before I start laying out my list of the top Southern Utah attractions, here is a map that outlines where to find each attraction. It may be difficult to visit each spot on one trip, but with some good planning, you can hit many in one visit. For those interested in a Southern Utah road trip itinerary, I would suggest checking out one of my itineraries below. Both of these itineraries include stops at many of the spots on my list of the top Southern Utah attractions.

Southern Utah Attractions - Top Things to See in Southern Utah Map

V iew Larger Map

Monument Valley

Forrest Gump Point in Monument Valley

If you like old western movies, then Monument Valley should look very familiar to you. This iconic destination was featured in such movies as Stagecoach (1939), Billy the Kid (1940), and Laramie (1949). It has also been featured in more recent films such as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) and Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014). However, my favorite use of this beautiful landscape in the film was undoubtedly in the movie Forest Gump. With its ruggedly beautiful desert buttes and mesas, it isn’t hard to see why.

Monument Valley isn’t a US national parkland but instead is part of the Navajo Nation in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. While you can see some of the most famous parts of the valley from a car, many hidden treasures require you to hike to see. If you are interested in visiting Monument Valley during your next trip to Southern Utah, then I have provided a guide you can use for planning below.

Don’t Miss When You’re There

Stopping at Forrest Gump Point

For those who have seen the movie, Forrest Gump, then you are probably very familiar with which spot I am referring to. Forrest Gump Point is the spot where Forrest Gump stops on his cross-country run and decides to stop. In the background, there is a long, straight road through the desert with the mesas of Monument Valley in the distance. It is arguably the most famous roadway view in the entire American Southwest.

Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges National Monument

Southern Utah is famous for its natural rock formations and one of the most popular with visitors are natural bridges. These rock formations are created when water erodes the bottom area of the rock, leaving an arch with an opening underneath. While these natural bridges vary in size, the really big ones are a spectacular sight to behold. One of my favorite of the top Southern Utah attractions to visit is the Natural Bridges National Monument .

With three incredible natural bridges to see in one small area, it is a great place to check out some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful rock sculpting. At 220 feet tall and spanning 268 feet, the Sipapu Bridge is the monument’s largest bridge. Although it is the oldest, the Owachomo Bridge is also the smallest at 106 feet tall and spanning 180 feet. The last of the monument’s natural bridges, the Kachina Bridge stands at 210 feet tall and spans 204 feet across.

While the hikes to the bridges themselves are classified as moderate, it is a relatively easy 10-minute walk to viewpoints where you can see each of the monument’s natural bridges. If you’d like to hike to more than one of the bridges, several loop trails in the national monument will take you to different combinations of the natural bridges on 5 to 10-mile hikes.


Bears Ears National Monument

While you are in the area of the National Bridges National Monument, I would also strongly suggest that you check out the nearby Bears Ears National Monument. In addition to being a stunning landscape, this area is renowned for its rock art sites, pueblo homes, and rock climbing areas. In addition to the well-preserved Puebloan sites, the area is also a great place to hike and do some star gazing at night.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Southern Utah Attractions - Rainbow Bridge National Monument

There are some truly spectacular rock formations in Southern Utah, but the many natural rock archways and bridges are my favorite. While Arches National Park near Moab is famous for having the highest concentration of arches, there are some spectacular ones outside the park. One of the prettiest of these archways is the incredible Rainbow Bridge National Monument near the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Rising 290 feet over the dry bed of Bridge Creek, the Rainbow Bridge National Monument is the sixth longest natural bridge in the world. The easiest way to access Rainbow Bridge is by taking a boat ride across Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. There is a dock on the other side of the lake and the Rainbow Bridge is less than a mile from the dock. If you don’t want to take a boat, several other trails will take you to the Rainbow Bridge, but each of these hikes is over 15 miles long.

NEARBY Reflection Canyon

Reflection Canyon in Southern Utah

While you are visiting the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, I would also suggest checking out the beautiful Reflection Canyon . It’s not easy to get to, but the views you will see at the canyon are among the most stunning you will find in Southern Utah. It’s a roughly 18-mile out-and-back hike to the canyon, so make sure you start your hike early if you want to visit. Most people who visit Reflection Canyon spend the night by the canyon and do the hike over two days. This also allows you to see the canyon at both sunrise and sunset.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Southern Utah Attractions - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

While a majority of Southern Utah is dominated by desert, canyons, and red sandstone rock formations, they aren’t the only landscapes. One of the top Southern Utah attractions is Lake Powell, which is a large, manmade lake. Lake Powell is the primary focal point of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area , which also includes the area around the lake. In addition to the Rainbow Bridge and Reflection Canyon, which I covered earlier in this guide, Glen Canyon is also a popular hiking, fishing, and outdoor recreation destination.

One of the most popular things for tourists to do at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is to go boating. Whether by pontoon, fishing boat, kayak, or canoe, there are plenty of incredible things to explore on Lake Powell. While you are there, I would also strongly recommend checking out the Glen Canyon Dam . It is an amazing feat of engineering and getting to see it up close on a tour is a fun experience.

The Views From Alstrom Point

Alstrom Point in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

While there is a seemingly endless number of spectacular viewpoints in which to enjoy the beauty of Lake Powell, my favorite spot is undoubtedly Alstrom Point . While it is accessible by vehicle, the road to get there is not paved and can be very rough in spots. For those who wish to make the drive, I would strongly suggest bringing a 4WD vehicle and going slowly. Believe me, the effort to get there will be well worth it when you see views like the one below.

Goosenecks State Park

Goosenecks State Park

One thing that Southern Utah certainly is not in short supply of is incredible canyons. Carved by rivers that run through the soft red sandstone that makes up most of the high desert plateaus of the area. The sandstone is carried away by the rivers, leaving behind some of the most spectacular canyons. Most travelers are familiar with the Grand Canyon, which was formed this same way, but Southern Utah’s canyons are less well known.

One of the top Southern Utah attractions that travelers must see when visiting is one of the area’s lesser-known, but incredibly beautiful, canyons. Goosenecks State Park, which sits very near the city of Mexican Hat, features the steep meander of the San Juan River. In many ways, the river bend and the canyon it formed resemble the infamous Horseshoe Bend in Northern Arizona. This spectacular horseshoe turn of the San Juan River has created one of Southern Utah’s most incredible vistas.

M exican Hat Rock

Mexican Hat in Southern Utah

While in the area, I would strongly recommend stopping to see one of Southern Utah’s most interesting rock formations. Mexican Hat Rock , featured below, is an incredible balancing rock that looks much like its namesake. Located just outside the city of Mexican Hat, it is an easy stop when you are visiting Goosenecks State Park.

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Southern Utah Attractions - Cedar Breaks National Monument

There are quite a few canyons and amphitheaters among the top Southern Utah attractions, and each one of them is unique. The Native Americans used to call Cedar Breaks National Monument the “Circle of Painted Cliffs” because of its incredibly beautiful colored cliff sides that drop over two thousand feet to the canyon floor. While Bryce Canyon and its hoodoos get most of the glory, Cedar Breaks is every bit as beautiful.

One thing that you need to keep in mind when visiting Cedar Breaks National Monument is that it is at a very high altitude. You might not realize it when you are there because it isn’t a mountain destination, but it is high up. In fact, at over 10,000 feet above sea level, it is the third-highest national monument in the United States. Only the Sand to Snow and Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monuments in California are higher.

The Views From the RampartS Overlook

Southern Utah Attractions - Cedar Breaks National Monument

There are a lot of breathtaking views at Cedar Breaks National Monument, but I think the views from the Ramparts Overlook are the best. From this viewpoint, you can see just how incredible the canyon is. The beautiful colors of the canyon walls really shine in the light from this spot. From here, it is easy to see why Cedar Breaks is considered one of the top Southern Utah attractions.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Southern Utah Attractions - Dead Horse Point State Park

Several incredible state parks are among the top Southern Utah attractions, but Dead Horse Point State Park is undoubtedly the most popular. The park got its name back in the 19th century when cowboys used the park to round up wild mustangs who roamed the mesa. The cowboys would drive the horses down the neck of the peninsula, using the two-thousand-foot cliffs as a natural corral. Unfortunately, some horses would be driven off, giving the spot the name “Dead Horse Point”.

There isn’t any horse wrangling going on in the park these days, but the breathtaking canyon and its sheer cliff walls are still there to be admired. If you are into mountain biking, Dead Horse Point State Park is one of the top mountain biking destinations in Southern Utah. It also has many incredible hiking paths and viewpoints for visitors to enjoy. The park is located just outside the Islands in the Sky entrance to Canyonlands National Park, so it is a convenient stop before heading into Canyonlands.

The Views from Dead Horse Point

Southern Utah Attractions - Dead Horse Point State Park

With some of the most incredible canyon views in Southern Utah, Dead Horse Point is a must-see. While you are there, I would strongly suggest checking out the views from Dead Horse Point. This is the iconic spot that gave the park its name and offers stunning views of the canyon. Legend has it, if you listen closely, you can still hear the horses from here.

The Corona Arch

Southern Utah Attractions - Corona Arch

In many circles, the city of Moab, Utah is considered to be the outdoor adventure capital of the United States. It is the equivalent in America to what Queenstown is to New Zealand. Located near two of the country’s most popular national parks, it’s easy to see why. However, with so much to see and do in the Moab area, it is easy to overlook some attractions. One such attraction that doesn’t get nearly the acclaim it should be is the beautiful Corona Arch . This stunning arch is as beautiful as any you will find inside Arches National Park.

Located just outside the city limits of Moab, Corona Arch requires a short hike for visitors to see. The trail isn’t very difficult and takes you to see the Bowtie Arch as well. While the hike isn’t very long or difficult, there is a lack of shade on the trail. If you are going to hike to Corona Arch, I would suggest doing it either early or late in the day and bringing lots of water.

Seeing the Corona Arch at Sunset

Southern Utah Attractions - Corona Arch Sunset

If you think the pictures of the Corona Arch taken at midday are beautiful, wait until you see the arch at sunrise or sunset. It is an absolutely magical thing to see in the soft light of the golden hours. If you plan on hiking to see the arch at sunset, I would recommend making sure you have a headlamp and proper navigation equipment with you. It is a fairly marked trail, but it can be tricky to navigate in low light.

Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park

For travelers who are a fan of the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon or the Needles of Canyonlands, you will love the lesser-known Goblin Valley State Park . Known for its incredible rock formations that fill several valleys within the park, Goblin Valley is one of the best-kept secrets of Southern Utah attractions. It is only about a 1.5-hour drive from Moab, which makes it a convenient side excursion if you are visiting the area’s national parks. However, if you plan on visiting, I would do the park justice and spend a full day exploring it.

In addition to several great observation points where you can view the beautiful rock-filled valleys, there are some great hiking trails in the park as well. It is hard to appreciate just how beautiful these rock spires are until you are up close. It will feel as though you are hiking on a whole other planet.

Camping Under the Stars

Top things to see in Southern Utah

A great way to fully appreciate the remoteness of Southern Utah is to spend a night under the stars camping. I can think of few places better for camping than Goblin Valley State Park . The silhouettes of the beautiful rock spires and a sky full of bright stars will be an experience you will cherish for a lifetime. For those who have camped beneath the stars at Joshua Tree National Park in California, the experience is just as great in my opinion.

Capitol Reef National Park

Southern Utah Attractions - Capitol Reef National Park

In my opinion, Capitol Reef National Park may be one of the most underrated national parks in the American park system. Often overshadowed by the other national parks in Southern Utah, it is often skipped by travelers in a rush. It doesn’t help that some of the best features of this park are not as easy to get to as the popular features in the other parks. Don’t get me wrong, there are incredible things to see in Capitol Reef National Park that don’t require long hikes. The Hickman Bridge and Cassidy Arch are great examples.

However, there isn’t the extensive park road system in Capitol Reef that you see in some of the other parks. This means that a lot of the park is backcountry or accessible only by rough road. If you have the time and are willing to put in the work, the views in the backcountry are breathtaking. For more information on what to see when you visit Capitol Reef National Park, please review the visitor guide that I linked to below.

Seeing the Cathedral Valley

visit southern

One of my absolute favorite areas within Capitol Reef National Park is Cathedral Valley. This stunning valley contains several incredible rock monoliths that rise above the valley floor. In addition to their beauty, they have incredible names. The Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon do look like majestic temples rising from the sand in this gorgeous landscape. If you would like to see the Cathedral Valley, be aware that it requires a lengthy drive on a rough road, so you will need the right vehicle.

Grand Staircase National Monument

Southern Utah Attractions - Grand Staircase

In many ways, the remoteness of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a double-edged sword. Because it is so remote and isolated, it has become one of the most popular destinations for outdoor adventurists. However, this same remoteness means it is less accessible to less experienced hikers, so its incredible sights are less well known. In essence, it is one of the last remaining areas in the continental United States where you really have to work to explore the region.

This is why I am absolutely in love with the Grand Staircase and think it is one of the top Southern Utah attractions. It’s the explorer’s destination in Southern Utah. The land is rugged, the trails are long and unmarked, and the destinations are mind-bogglingly beautiful. Whether you are hiking to see one of the many incredible slot canyons or to the infamous “Hole in the Rock”, it’s always an adventure in the Grand Staircase.

However, because of its remoteness and lack of paved roads and marked trails, it does take more effort to plan a trip to see. Before you start planning your trip to the Grand Staircase, I would strongly recommend researching your hikes, printing topographical maps, and making sure you have the right gear. I have individual guides for many of the incredible sights within the Grand Staircase on my blog that you can use.

Hiking to the Zebra Slot Canyon

Southern Utah Attractions - Zebra Slot Canyon Grand Staircase

One of my favorite hikes within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is the hike to the Zebra Slot Canyon. It is an unmarked trail, so it does take some navigation ability to get to, but the hike isn’t incredibly long or difficult. This makes it a fairly accessible landmark to see, even if you aren’t an avid backcountry hiker. If you would like to hike to the Zebra Slot Canyon, I have included my guide for you to review below.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Southern Utah Attractions - Bryce Canyon National Park

You will be very hard-pressed to find a more beautiful destination among the Southern Utah attractions than the incredible Bryce Canyon National Park . Unlike the steep canyons that you will find at Canyonlands National Park or the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon is renowned for being filled with beautiful, thin rock spires that are called “hoodoos”. These hoodoos give Bryce Canyon a fairytale-like look and are absolutely breathtaking to behold in person.

There are remote backpacking trails that you can take within Bryce Canyon, and the area was infamously used by Butch Cassidy to hide out back in his time. However, the park is extremely popular with tourists because of its accessibility. There are many wonderful viewpoints in which to enjoy the beauty of Bryce Canyon located just off the park road. You can see most of this incredible park without having to walk very far at all.

Viewing the Hoodoos From Inspiration Point Viewpoint

Southern Utah Attractions - Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point

One of my favorite viewpoints inside of Bryce Canyon National Park is the amazing Inspiration Point . I can see why they named this viewpoint what they did because every time I visit the views truly inspire me. In my opinion, there is no better place in Bryce Canyon to view the incredible hoodoo-filled canyon than from Inspiration Point. When you visit the viewpoint, make sure your camera is out because you will want a lot of photos.

Arches National Park

Southern Utah Attractions - Arches National Park

There is a lot of debate about whether the eastern or western half of Southern Utah is the best to visit. To be honest, both are incredibly beautiful and filled with some of the top Southern Utah attractions. What most people do agree on is that the city of Moab, Utah is one of the capitals for outdoor adventure in the United States. Located in southeast Utah near the border with Colorado, Moab is near two of America’s most popular national parks.

The first of these two parks is the Legendary Arches National Park . Natural sandstone arches are common in Southern Utah, but Arches National Park has over 2,000 arches for you to see. These arches come in all shapes and sizes, with some that are as tall as a building. Though most of the arches can be seen from the park road, there are some great hikes in the park as well.

If you plan to visit Arches National Park, I would strongly suggest planning ahead and arriving early. It is one of the busiest parks in the US National Park System. It is not unusual to see a several-hour wait to get in during peak season. In addition, the campgrounds inside the park and hotels in Moab book up very quick. For more information on how to plan your trip, refer to my Arches National Park Guide linked below.

H iking to See the Delicate Arch

Southern Utah Attractions - Arches National Park - Delicate Arch

One of the most impressive arches in the park is undoubtedly the Delicate Arch . It is one of the top Southern Utah attractions for good reason. At 52 feet tall, it is one of the largest free-standing arches in Southern Utah. In fact, it is so popular that it is featured on the state license plate of Utah.

The hike to Delicate Arch is a 3.2-mile out-and-back that is heavily trafficked. It isn’t a very technical hike, but it can be challenging for some people in the heat. If you are going to pick one hike while visiting the park, this is definitely the one I would recommend.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park

The second of the big national parks in the Moab, Utah area is the incredible Canyonlands National Park . Known for its breathtaking vistas and incredible slot canyons, it is an absolute must-see. If you don’t count the rivers themselves, the park is divided into three distinct districts, which are separated by the Colorado and Green Rivers. These districts include the Needles, the Island in the Sky, and the Maze districts.

The Needles District is located in the southeast corner of the park and is the most accessible. The district was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. There are several wonderful hikes historical sites and petroglyphs for visitors to enjoy in the district.

Conversely, the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park is the least accessible of the park’s districts. Because of the remoteness and the roughness of the roads, the Maze District requires more planning to visit. However, if you put in the work to plan, the reward is very high. The spectacular maze of slot canyons in the area is absolutely incredible to explore.

The Mesa Arch Viewpoint at Sunrise

Southern Utah Attractions - Mesa Arch - Canyonlands National Park

The Mesa Arch viewpoint is located on the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, which is my favorite. This district features some of the most spectacular canyon vistas that you will find in the park. In addition to the Green River Overlook, Grand View Point Overlook, and the Buck Canyon Overlook, there is the Mesa Arch viewpoint. Mesa Arch is a beautiful arch that faces the perfect spot to view the sunrise over a stunning canyon. When you visit, you can expect incredible views like the one below.

Zion National Park

Southern Utah Attractions - Zion National Park

Without any doubt, Zion National Park is my favorite of the Southern Utah attractions. This breathtaking canyon is home to two of the most epic hikes that you will find in the park system of the United States. My favorite is the Angel’s Landing hike, which gives visitors a bird’s eye view down the canyon and some of the most beautiful vistas you will find anywhere in the world.

The other hike that visitors absolutely must try when visiting Zion National Park is the incredible Narrows Hike, which takes hikers down the Virgin River and through the slot canyons. With a vast majority of the trail being in the river, it is one of the most unique hikes that you will find in America’s national parks. You will be absolutely blown away by the beauty of the sheer rock cliffs that surround the river as you follow it through the maze of canyons.

These incredible hikes are just some of the many things that make Zion National Park one of the most amazing places in North America, if not the world. However, if you plan to visit, you need to plan ahead. In addition to being one of America’s prettiest national parks, it is also one of the nation’s busiest. For more information on how to plan a trip to see Zion, please refer to my Zion National Park Visitor Guide linked below.

Hiking to Angel’s Landing

Southern Utah Attractions - Angel's Landing

When it comes to incredible hikes in America’s national parks system, there aren’t many that can compete with the Angel’s Landing hike in Zion National Park. The views from the perch of Angel’s Landing are nothing short of spectacular. However, in addition to being beautiful, it is also one of the most challenging and dangerous hikes in the park system.

The trail follows the spine of a 1,488-foot-tall rock formation that has sheer drops on both sides. There is a chain for hikers to hold in the precarious spots, but it can get crowded during peak season. The traffic also goes two ways on the trail. However, for those who make it to Angel’s Landing, the views are out of this world.

Don’t Forget to Subscribe to My Adventures!

Type your email…

visit southern

Let Me Help You Save On Your Next Adventure!

‘start exploring today’ merchandise available now.


Published by Josh Hewitt

Avid traveler and photographer who loves to see new places, meet new people, and experience new things. There is so much this world can teach us, we just need to explore! View all posts by Josh Hewitt

Related Articles

visit southern

Planning the Perfect Two-Week Thailand and Cambodia Itinerary

visit southern

Capturing the Magic: Top Photography Spots for Bali Destination Weddings

visit southern

The Top 15 Things to See in Thailand: Must-Visit Destinations


' src=

Photos are awesome!!

' src=

Thank you so much!!

You are welcome

' src=

This makes me want to return to Utah.

I know, right? I just can’t stay away. It’s incredible!

' src=

Oh, this makes me long for Utah! I’ve been to many of these places over several trips, but not all. Didn’t know about Reflection Canyon, but now I do and it just went on the list. Thank you!

You are very welcome! I am doing the reflection canyon hike in October. Will let you know how it goes.

  • On Our Way - An Overview of My Southern Utah Road Trip October 8, 2021 • 10:01 am
  • The 30 Top Travel Destinations for Travelers in 2022 January 21, 2022 • 8:51 am

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

[…] The 100 Best National Parks in the World – Part 5 (1-20) […]

' src=

Gorgeous! Sharing my journey:

[…] Ultimate Southeast Asia Packing Guide for Men and Women […]

Discover more from Wanderlust Travel & Photos

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

visit southern

Subscribe To My Adventures!

Plan Your Trip

Utah has the Wasatch Mountains and Salt Lake City to the north, the salt flats and Great Basin Desert to the west, red rock country and national parks to the south — and mountains, rivers, forests and state parks everywhere in between. Wherever you're headed, there's a local community and basecamp town to provide you important amenities and insider knowledge along the way. Without a several-week road trip, it’s hard to experience it all, so pick a region and itinerary to start with, then come back again and again.

Get Your Travel Guide

Travel Regions

visit southern

Northern Utah

Where mountains meet metros

Top base camps: Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, Heber Valley, Utah Valley, Logan

Recommended regional trip length: 2 days for Salt Lake City. Add an additional day for each of the following stops: Park City, Heber Valley, Antelope Island State Park, Golden Spike National Historic Park, Bear Lake and Provo Canyon. To extend your visit to Vernal and the Dinosaur National Monument area, add another 2 days.

visit southern

Southeastern Utah

Where mighty rivers bisect ancient history

Top base camps: Moab, Monticello, Bluff

Recommended regional trip length: 3 days to fully experience the two national parks. Add an additional day for each of the following stops: Moab river rafting, San Rafael Swell, Goblin Valley State Park and Hovenweep National Monument. Add 2-3 days to experience Bears Ears National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument and Monument Valley.

visit southern

Southwestern Utah

Where alpine forests overlook red rock canyons

Top base camps: St. George, Springdale, Kanab, Cedar City, Escalante, Boulder, Torrey

Recommended regional trip length: 6 days to fully experience the three national parks. Add an additional 1-2 days for each of the following stops: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Lake Powell and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

Showing 0 of 0

Traveling to Utah

Whether you fly into the Salt Lake City airport, drive or ride to Utah, you’ll find an adventure when you get here.

Where To Stay

Utah's world-famous scenery and recreation are accompanied by a host of lodging options to fit your travel style.


View information for transportation in Utah such as rail, bus, car and flight. Also, find maps, weather details, and road conditions for the state.

Guides and Outfitters

Guides and outfitters allow you to deeply experience the outdoors, without any planning or wayfinding stressors.

Responsible Travel Hub

Each person who visits Utah leaves an impact, review these resources to ensure you're ready to visit thoughtfully.

Plan Your Ski Trip

Utah's easy access to The Greatest Snow on Earth® allows for more time on the mountain and easier planning.

See updated weather information along with common weather patterns in every season throughout the state.

Customized Tips

Previous Group Next Group

visit southern

Accessible Utah

Utah is known for its recreation opportunities, but did you know all of these attractions and activities are accessible to people of all ability levels?

visit southern

Best Time to Visit Southern Utah

Southern Utah’s most celebrated attractions draw millions of visitors who seek out red-rock trails, canyons and arches not seen anywhere else in the world. But with so much attention on the hot spots, what’s the secret to getting the most out of your Southern Utah trip?

visit southern

How to Travel Well

A memorable Utah vacation is all about connection. When you plan ahead and travel with intention, you can forge a more meaningful experience.

visit southern

Traveling With Children

A Utah trip can be the perfect mix of adventure and education for you and your kids.

Find Itineraries By

See All Itineraries Previous Group Next Group

visit southern

Yellowstone Loop

Everyone must go to Yellowstone once in his or her lifetime, and using Northern Utah as your gateway makes it that much greater.

Dinosaurs, Hiking, History and Heritage, Kid-Friendly, Scenic Drives/Road Trips, Wildlife

  • Antelope Island State Park
  • Bear Lake State Park
  • Grand Teton and Yellowstone

See Itinerary

visit southern

Trekking Along the Dinosaur Diamond Highway

Utah’s Dinosaur Diamond Highway is the perfect guide to experience ancient history, millions of years in the making.

Dinosaurs, Hiking, Kid-Friendly, Scenic Drives/Road Trips

  • Dinosaur National Monument
  • Jurassic National Monument
  • San Rafael Swell
  • Dead Horse Point State Park

visit southern

Rest, Relax and Rejuvenate in the Red Rocks

The breathtaking red rock landscape of southwestern Utah is a perfect getaway for those times when you need some deep rest and rejuvenation. Soak up the warming sun, meditate to the dark Milky Way skies, and nourish yourself at wellness stops along the way.

Scenic Drives/Road Trips, Solitude, Wellness

  • Rest and Relax in Utah's Red Rocks
  • Yoga in Zion National Park
  • Experience a World-Class Spa
  • Enjoy a Unique Wellness Experience

visit southern

Resorts to Red Rock: Utah Relaxation

From world-class spas high up in the Wasatch mountains to meditative adventures through the red rock hoodoos of Goblin Valley, you’ll find solace and reprieve in the diverse landscape that only Utah can offer.

Hiking, Solitude, Wellness

  • Park City Spas
  • Art and Wellness at Sundance Mountain Resort
  • San Rafael Swell Hiking Trails
  • Horseback or Hot Air Balloon in Moab
  • Valley of the Gods Tour
  • Bear Ears and Bluff

visit southern

Sandstone Spires & Swimming Holes

Walk the paths of dinosaurs and descend through 200 million years of geologic history in this six-day road trip from Vernal to Kodachrome Basin. It’s a kid-friendly desert drive in search of dino tracks, slot canyons and swimming,

Dinosaurs, Hiking, History and Heritage, Kid-Friendly, Scenic Drives/Road Trips

  • Dinosaur Tracks in Vernal
  • Crystal Geyser in Green River
  • Hoodoos & Slots of Goblin Valley
  • The Red Cliffs of Capitol Reef
  • The White Cliffs of Grand Staircase
  • Sandstone Spires in Kodachrome Basin

Responsible Travel

As you travel through Utah, you'll find communities and individuals who are the local stewards of their place. Our destination is their home, their passion. You'll also encounter fragile ecosystems. Tread Lightly in Utah by modeling appropriate behavior and leaving the areas you visit better than you found them. We call this,  Forever Mighty.

Tips for Responsible Travel

Well-prepared travel is responsible travel.

Do your part by planning ahead

visit southern

Little Blue Backpack

chase what's fun.

Destinations , Vacations , West Coast · June 18, 2021

The Ultimate 7-Day Southern Utah Road Trip Itinerary: Zion, Bryce, Escalante

Southern Utah is full of stunning scenery. It makes for memorable hikes, lookouts that make your jaw drop, and long, beautiful drives that seem much quicker than they really are. One of the top destinations in the United States, a southern Utah road trip will not disappoint.

Southern Utah Road Trip

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Who Should Go on a Southern Utah Road Trip?

Everyone! Take a solo trip. Make it a girl’s trip. Head out for a getaway with your significant other. Take the whole family! There is something for everyone that will make it impossible to regret.

If you’re a hiker, you definitely don’t want to miss out. If exploration for you means scenic drives, you will love it just as much!

As long as you love beautiful places and getting outside, you’re all set.

Southern Utah Road Trip in Bryce Canyon National Park

Note: the itinerary provided below will resonate most with those who want to do a lot of hiking mixed with grabbing drinks and eating good food. While hikes range from moderate to difficult, there are no 16-mile days or backpacking excursions! But you will get out and move every day!

When is the Best Time to Take a Southern Utah Road Trip?

The sweet spot for visiting Utah is in the spring and the fall when crowds dwindle (somewhat) and the weather is a comfortable temperature. Summer months definitely get crazy with both people and hot weather. And the winter months, though unique and beautiful in their own right, obviously come with snow and cold temperatures!

Keep in mind, besides the dead of winter, these places are busy all of the time. Go when it works for you, and be prepared for crowds.

Southern Utah Road Trip in Escalante Utah

Where Does This Southern Utah Road Trip Itinerary Take Me?

Many Utah itineraries you find are going to be based around the “Mighty 5,” which includes Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park.

In my opinion, to do “The Mighty 5” right, your trip should be two weeks total—10 days at the very least. Anything under that and you will be doing a lot more driving than exploring.

Since this trip is only one week (including travel days), it’s two national parks and a national monument.

Southern Utah Road Trip

There are notes and tips about substituting different places on certain days so, obviously, you are not locked in. That said, it is a place to start and I highly recommend this itinerary for a week that includes a range of experiences!

How Can I Spend 7 Days in Utah?

  • Travel Day : Arrive in Southern Utah with options to stop along the way
  • Start with 1 Day in Zion National Park (East Side—aka the “secret side”)
  • 1 Day in Bryce Canyon National Park
  • 1 Day at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • 2 Days back at Zion National Park (South End)
  • Travel Day : Back home on Day 7

The trip includes three different places to stay, so while you do hotel-hop (Airbnb), it’s not a daily switch. All of the details on that are below.

The Best Southern Utah Road Trip Itinerary: One Week

A southern Utah road trip takes a little more pre-planning than a lot of vacations, but the adventures are totally worth it. Let’s get started!

Before Your Southern Utah Road Trip

Do your research.

Google. Read blogs. Browse Instagram. Ask your friends. Whatever you need to do, soak up as much information as possible! Everyone’s experience is different but I guarantee a better time if you have a plan together and a good idea about what you’re getting into!

Additional, HIGHLY-DETAILED blog posts of mine are linked throughout the post so make sure to visit those for even more tips.

Southern Utah Road Trip

I highly recommend a quality SUV for this trip. You spend a lot of time in the car, one day involves dirt roads, there are switchbacks through Zion, and you will need enough space for all of your passengers and luggage. My group went with a Chevy Equinox and it was perfect.

Annual Park Pass

If you are planning to visit more than three national parks in the next 12 months, grab an America the Beautiful Pass for $79.99 . It’s $35 at each park (for 7 consecutive days) so you make up your money in just three NP visits.

This pass twice is used twice on this trip so if you have another national park planned (or find it likely—you’ll only be out $10 if you don’t) then definitely grab one of these! If you don’t want to go that route, you can grab week-long passes at the entrances.

What to Pack for a Southern Utah Road Trip

Water Bottle: You need a big one that keeps liquids cold. This 32 oz. water bottle is my absolute favorite (still had ice in it after a day at Zion in 80+ degrees!) It has an easy-to-carry handle and I love the mouthpiece.

Hiking Shoes: Don’t forget your hiking shoes! If you don’t have a pair, invest in some. A few of these hikes will be difficult without them. The REI Outlet is a great place if you want to keep things affordable.

Layers: A few mornings you will get started early and temperatures are much, much cooler than they will be in the day. Make sure to have a jacket, long sleeves, leggings, and shorts, as well as a warm hat if you are going between late September-May.

Snacks: Between long hikes and busy areas with restaurant wait times, you will want snacks! My favorite are these Chomps Beef Sticks (all clean ingredients and lots of protein), and Trader Joe’s Simply the Best Nuts (individually packaged which makes everything easy). They easily fit in a suitcase and can be in your carry-on.

Sunscreen: No matter what time of year! If you are on the hunt for a clean product, the best out there is Cocokind . It’s not a weird texture or sticky on your face. I love it, plus it’s a great size for travel.

And with that, let’s get into the official southern Utah road trip itinerary!

Southern Utah Road Trip what to pack

Day 1: Travel Day

Where do i fly into for a southern utah road trip.

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada , is the closest airport to southern Utah. It’s 170 miles away from Springdale, Utah (Zion National Park), and is a major hub where you can typically find cheap flights.  This itinerary will start in Sin City!

Note: Salt Lake City International Airport is the next closest and is 311 miles from the park. This is a good option if you prefer to road trip through Utah from north to south.

plane ride on west coast to do a Southern Utah Road Trip

Pick Up Your Rental Car

Grab your rental and be on your way! Your first day of travel will have you on a scenic drive as you make your way from Vegas, through Arizona, and finally, into Utah. It’s a fairly easy drive that will find you on curvy stretches every now and then and takes a total of 160 miles (2 hours, 35 minutes.)

KEEP IN MIND: there is a time change between Las Vegas (PDT) and Utah (MT)! Your clocks will move ahead one hour.

Places to Stop between Las Vegas and Springdale

  • Valley of the Fire State Park : this can be your first stop if you’d like to do a short hike and check it off your list! Located under an hour from Vegas and still in Nevada, is beautiful desert land and red sandstone formations.
  • St. George : is a city a couple of miles north of the Arizona and Nevada border in the very southwestern corner of Utah. It’s one of the bigger towns on your drive and perfect for a gas and food stop.
  • Other than that, it’s mountains, small towns, and jackalopes! Lol

Depending on what time you arrive, check in to your place, explore Springdale, Utah, or better yet, just relax! You have a big week ahead. (Note: there are a few Springdale restaurant recommendations later in the post.)

Where to Stay in Springdale, Utah

Best western plus (night 1/1).

Springdale, Utah accommodations are not cheap given the high demand! One of the more affordable places is the Best Western PLUS , located right downtown and near a shuttle stop—more on that below.

The rooms are very spacious, clean, and complete with a view. Plus, they offer an (actually delicious) continental breakfast that is the perfect pre-hike meal. And lessens the blow of the bill.

best western springdale where to stay on Southern Utah Road Trip

Options: There are plenty more places to choose from in Springdale, Utah including the Zion Lodge inside the park (need to book early), camping, and additional hotels and Airbnb’s. Check out How to Spend Two Days at Zion National Park: What You Need to Know for more options.

Day 2: Zion National Park (East)

Hike: observation point via east mesa trail.

Observation Point is one of the most beautiful spots in Zion and you will want this hike on your list. More specifically, the version of this hike that is done via the East Mesa Trail. The more popular version of the hike to Observation Point is from the south end of the park—bottom-up. This requires a shuttle bus and there are an endless amount of people.

Luckily, there is an alternative route if you drive to the east side of Zion—top-out. Bonus: the scenic drive there (via UT-9) is one to remember!

Note: the popular, south-end version of the hike to Observation Point is currently closed due to rockfall. (That said, I’d still choose East Mesa Trail, even when it’s reopened.)

observation point zion national park

The East Mesa Trail hike is not one you need an early start for which makes it a good option after a travel day. Wake up, grab breakfast, and be on your way at a leisurely pace. Plan to leave Springdale between 11:00-12:00 PM.

Plug “East Mesa Trailhead/Observation Point Trailhead” into your Google Maps and you will be all set for a 52-minute journey. It’s only 23 miles, but given the switchbacks and drive through the mountains and tunnels (awesome!), it takes longer. There is a bathroom as you approach the east-side entrance. And a few miles from the trailhead, you hit a dirt road which is where your SUV comes in handy.

Note: you will not return to Springdale tonight and this is bringing you in the right direction once your hike is over.

Park at the trailhead (we arrived at 1:00 PM and found parking, no problem) and you will find where the 6.8 miles, out-and-back trail begins. 

east mesa trail zion national park

* This Hike Takes 3-4 Hours *

You are led through a woodsy setting with mountains in the distance and amazing views once you make it to your destination. The best in the park, in fact! Though the hike is a bit longer, it’s not strenuous in terms of incline. A less than a mile or so stretch on your way back will be the toughest part on your booty!

Your destination (Observation Point) gives you not only a great hike but one of Utah’s best views . It includes a birds-eye view of both Angels Landing and The Narrows. Tip: it’s very windy at the top!

After your hike, you will make your way to Hatch, Utah (54 miles—1 hour, 10 minutes) which is very well-positioned between both Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Tomorrow, you’ll tackle Bryce. But don’t worry, you will return to Zion in a couple of days!

Survive on snacks until you arrive. There is an awesome (and a bit unassuming) place to eat called Outlaw Saloon – Western Bar and Steakhouse . PRO TIP: Get the ribs. The meat falls off at the touch of a knife.

Where to Stay in Hatch, Utah

Mountain ridge cabins and lodging (night 1/3).

Mountains Ridge Cabins and Lodging is the perfect place to stay in Hatch, Utah. They are adorable and affordable with a restaurant/bar, convenience store, and coffee shop right nearby. The cabins are very clean (with daily housekeeping available) and include a shower, TV, and free drip coffees at the coffee shop.

visit southern

Day 3: Bryce Canyon National Park

Hike: the figure 8.

All right, people. Get ready. Because this is going to be a day to remember. Everybody raves about Zion National Park (which, of course, is beautiful) but the real winner in my book is Bryce Canyon National Park. The rock formations, known as hoodoos, will take your breath away!

Day 3 is going to require an earlier start. Leave Hatch, Utah absolutely no later than 8:30 AM ; I would recommend between 7:30-8:15 AM and potentially earlier in peak season.

Sip your coffee on the 30-minute drive over and park in the Sunset Point parking lot after showing (or purchasing) your pass at the park entrance. Note: we got one of the very last spots in the lot at 9:02 AM. And if it’s summer, it will fill up earlier than that.

Sunset Point parking lot will connect you to Rim Trail and one of the most beautiful overlooks at the top of the canyon. You will be hiking down into it—and back up! And trust me, the views will be worth it.

bryce canyon national park

Hike the Figure 8 Hike

The best and most rewarding 6-7 mile hike (depending which route you choose) in Bryce Canyon National Park consists of three hikes looped together into a Figure 8. Always remember, STAY RIGHT.

*This Hike Takes 3-4 Hours*

  • Wall Street : a series of switchbacks that lead you down onto the canyon floor. (Left side image once I reached the bottom.)
  • Peekaboo Loop Trail : an up and down 3-mile loop inside the canyon that offers the most INCREDIBLE non-stop views of the rock formations.
  • Navajo Loop Trail OR Queens Garden : The way back up to the parking lot which is a tough, but worth it, journey! Navajo is shorter yet steeper and brings you to Sunset Point. (Right side image. Phew!) And Queens Garden takes some extra time but is less of an incline and brings you to Sunrise Point parking lot.

You can find EVERY SINGLE DETAIL on this hike here: The Best Day in Bryce Canyon National Park . You will have the BEST time!

visit southern

After the Figure 8 hike, which I cannot recommend enough, you still have an entire afternoon ahead of you. Choose one of these great options:

  • Walk Rim Trail and check out all of the viewpoints. This brings you along the edge and does not get down into the canyon. You can park at Sunset Point OR Sunrise Point. There are no inclines so it can be a very casual walk while getting some great pictures.
  • Drive the Scenic Byway known as Route 63 . If you’d rather drive, this will bring you to a TON of great views. (You can easily make this a full day as well.)

It has been a DAY! Find a restaurant in Bryce or make your way back to Hatch and hit Outlaw Saloon – Western Bar and Steakhouse again. This time, get the steak. It melts in your mouth!

Where to Stay: Hatch, Utah (Night 2/3)

Return to your little cabin for another night’s stay! Option: if you’d like to stay inside the park, Bryce Canyon Lodge is the only option and must be booked far in advance!

Day 4: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Hike: peekaboo gulch & spooky gulch slot canyons.

Ready for a mini road trip from Hatch to Escalante, Utah? If slot canyons are on your list, then your going to love this day! It’s such a fun experience.

67 miles (1 hour, 15 minutes) east of Hatch, and through Bryce, is Escalante, Utah. It is in the heart of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on Scenic Byway 12 and home to a few different slot canyon hikes that will blow your mind!

Use this as a day to sleep in a bit (this is by far the least populated area of your trip so you won’t need to worry so much about crowds) and leave Hatch, Utah by about 10:30 AM. This will put you in the town of Escalante by around NOON assuming you stop once. Once you get there, check out the little town, grab some coffee if need be, and be on your way.

Hike Peekaboo Gulch + Spooky Gulch

The plan is to hike Peekaboo Gulch and Spooky Gulch which are located about 40 minutes down a dirt road from Escalante. I know, more driving. But it’s all an adventure and the beautiful drives make them seem quick! Make sure you have an SUV for this trip.

*This Hike Takes 2-3 Hours*

This 3.5-mile lollipop loop hike will have you start at the trailhead, walk around the rim and down into the lower desert, and arrive at Peekaboo Gulch, the first of two slot canyons. From here you have a couple of options:

  • Climb into Peekaboo Gulch (that’s the toughest part), and hike through the narrow canyon walls about .25 miles. This one is really fun and a pretty easy hike to maneuver. And the afternoon sun hits the walls perfectly for pictures.
  • When you come out the other side, you can hike over to Spooky Gulch, which is only about half a mile or so. Or go back through Peekaboo the way you came. Spooky Gulch is much more narrow (like 10 inches in some spots.) If you had a tough time with Peekaboo or are just nervous to give it a go, turn around. If you’re ready and excited (and just a little nervous), do Spooky! It’s really a unique experience.
  • If you end up doing Spooky Gulch, you’ll loop right back around to Peekaboo once you come out of the slot canyon (this one is also about .25 miles) and stay right.
  • Of course, you can always reverse it and start with Spooky Gulch and make your way over to Peekaboo second. This is said to be tougher.

This hike is outlined in FULL details (including the drive) over on The Best Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah Slot Canyons to Hike . Definitely read the details if you are headed that way!

Once you finish your hike and make your way back to the small town of Escalante via the dirt roads, it will be about 5:00-6:00 PM which makes it the perfect time for a beer! Stop for just that and a bite to eat at one of the restaurants/bars. I recommend:

Circle D Eatery

Right off the main road is a great hiking reward!  Circle D Eatery  is a part of an independently-run motel and serves some delicious food and drinks in a casual environment. There is plenty of space inside, as well as an outdoor seating area. I recommend the  Jalapeno Cream Ale  beer that I am still thinking about. And the BBQ Brisket Nachos.

After you eat, it’s time get some rest! Or just keep drinking 🙂 You’ve earned it!

visit southern

Where to Stay: Hatch, Utah (Night 3/3)

It’s your last night in the tiny cabin! I recommend making your way back just because it gets you much closer to Zion National Park, where you will make your way back to tomorrow. But…

Options: There are actually quite a few places to stay in Escalante, Utah. Click for  all of the lodging choices , including motels and camping if you’d rather not drive more. There are also plenty of places to stay in Bryce, Utah which you drive through and puts you closer to Zion for the morning.

Day 5: Zion National Park (South)

Hike: rest day or your choice.

Sidenote: Zion National Park requires a LOT of details. Please don’t miss How to Spend Two Days at Zion National Park: What You Need to Know where nearly every single detail is outlined. This post will give you a lot of great high-level information, but we really go in-depth over there.

Back to Zion, it is! I like the idea of starting with Zion and looping back around to end with it to give you a shorter distance to and from the airport.

angels landing from observation point

At this point, you will want to check off one (or two!) more hikes in the next two days. Depending on how you feel, you might need a rest day, which Day 5 is perfect for. Zion National Park is crazy busy and in order to have the best experience, you need to wake up EARLY. Being that you’ll wake up in Hatch, Utah, that will be difficult. A few options:

  • Rest Day: Go at a leisurely pace today, explore Springdale, Utah and get ready for a big day tomorrow. This is the choice this itinerary covers!
  • Hike Watchman Trail or Canyon Overlook Trail: these hikes don’t require the shuttle which makes it way easier to work into the day. Watchman is 3 miles from inside the south entrance and Canyon Overlook is 1 mile and off of UT-9.
  • Hike Angel’s Landing: this is the most popular hike at Zion National Park and a later-in-the-day start might not be the best experience. That said, it’s your vacation!

girl at zion national park entrance

Grab a delicious breakfast at Hatch Station. They have omelets that will hit the spot! Plan to take off and make your way back to Springdale (60 miles—1 hour, 20 minutes, and a beautiful drive) by about 11:00 AM.

Make a road trip stop at Belly of the Dragon. It’s right off UT-89 and is a quick, fun, and unique stop through a cave. There aren’t a lot of people and it’s perfect for kids—or just a couple of cool pictures! Plus, a chance to get out and walk around.

This is your chance to explore the town of Springdale, Utah! You might not be able to check into your hotel or Airbnb (my recommendation below!) until late afternoon so just find a parking spot and meander around the town. Recommendations:

  • Go Shopping: This tourist town is, of course, full of shops that line the block towards Zion National Park. Souvenirs, crystals, sweet treats, boutique-style clothes, and gifts.
  • Coffee/Drinks: FeelLove Coffee Zion is the cutest place and it is not just coffee, there are dinner and cocktail menus as well.
  • Beer: Definitely plan to have a beer or five at  Zion Brew Pub where there is both indoor seating as well as an awesome outdoor beer garden. It’s right near the entrance to Zion National Park.
  • Eat: Whiptail Grill , a converted gas station, is a great place for lunch! Grab anything from steak tacos to chicken sandwiches on their Mexican fusion cuisine menu. They do have beer and wine.
  • Visitor Center: go talk to park rangers and grab maps for tomorrow.

zion brew pub at the national park

After your day of exploring, it’s time to grab dinner and then call it a night. (Note: if you are doing The Narrows hike tomorrow, grab your gear from Zion Outfitters . More information below.)

Zion Pizza & Noodle Co

Dine-in (there’s a beer garden) at  Zion Pizza & Noodle Co . or order your food from the counter and bring it to your hotel or Airbnb.  The European Trail  was a delicious pizza option.

pizza and noodles springdale utah

Townhouse Airbnb (Night 1/2)

I stayed in the  most perfect townhouse  in the heart of Springdale and it was perfect! Very clean, modern, and has two bedrooms plus comfy living space, laundry machines, and a TV.  And the outdoor patio space (pictured below) makes it worth every penny.

You are only a short walk from the Springdale Shuttle that will bring you to the park (more on that below.) And there is a marketplace across the street that’s perfect for grabbing meals to prep at the place and snacks for your hikes. We stayed two nights and weren’t quite ready to leave! Highly recommend.

springdale utah airbnb

Options: Visit How to Spend 2 Days at Zion National Park for more places to stay.

Day 6: Zion National Park (South)

Hike: the narrows.

Today is a big day and a check-off of the Bucket List! If you didn’t get a major hike done yesterday, you’ll need to pick between The Narrows and Angels Landing—two of the most popular hikes.

This itinerary will walk you through The Narrows , a fun and unique experience that isn’t quite as close to death as Angels Landing. (LOL I’m kidding. Sort of…)

Note: if neither of these sounds appealing, check out the list of other popular Zion National Park hikes .

the narrows zion national park

Early. Start early. It cannot be stressed enough. As I mentioned, Zion is a very popular place. And between the number of people and the shuttle bus(es) requirement, it’s best to get going. We’re talking like, be in line for the Zion Canyon Shuttle at 6:00 AM. EEK! Don’t worry, it’s worth it. First things first:

Zion Shuttle Buses

The most popular hikes in Zion National Park REQUIRE taking the Zion Canyon Shuttle Bus. There are TWO separate shuttles in the area.

  • The Springdale Shuttle : connects the town of Springdale (stops near your hotel or Airbnb) to the South Entrance of the park where you catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle. Note: this runs April-October. This is not required, you can also walk.
  • Zion Canyon Shuttle : This gives you access from inside the park to the upper canyon (most popular hikes) since  private vehicles are prohibited along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive between March and November. It is first-come, first-serve. Don’t forget your park pass or purchase at the entrance.

Hike The Narrows

Shuttle bus stop 9: temple of sinawava.

One of the most unique hiking experiences in the United States  is through the Virgin River inside one of Zion’s canyons. After taking the Zion Canyon Shuttle to the last stop (#9) and making a mile or so hike on the Riverside Walk paved trail, you’ll enter the river with high canyon walls on either side.

*This Hike Takes as Long as You’d Like! Likely at least 4 hours*

Once you enter the water, you can go as far as 8 miles, but you can turn around and come back whenever you choose.  The scenery doesn’t change a ton, so we went about 1.5 hours or so before we made the trek back.

As far as gear, I recommend the boots, neoprene socks, and a walking stick from Zion Outfitters . You can find WAY more details in this post . Note: this is not required!

the narrows zion national park on a Southern Utah Road Trip

  • Pick another shorter hike inside Zion National Park such as Emerald Pools or Weeping Rock.
  • Head back out to Springdale to drink beer and eat; you’ve done enough hiking for one day!

Townhouse Airbnb (Night 2/2)

Back to the perfect townhouse in Springdale where you can enjoy your outdoor patio, maybe do some laundry before you head out, and relax!

riverside walk zion national park on a Southern Utah Road Trip

Day 7: Travel Day

That’s it! You have reached Day 7 of your southern Utah road trip experience and it’s time to make you way back to the airport. You are 2 hours and 40 minutes from Las Vegas so depending on when you flight is, make sure you are packed and ready to roll!

Mix-and-Match + Additions

When you only have one week, including travel days, there is simply too many places to squeeze in on a southern Utah road trip. Here are other destinations in the area that you can replace in your itinerary, or add extra days for:

  • Capitol Reef National Park: if you’re focused solely on national parks, you could potentially swap “Day 4: Escalante Slot Canyons” with this park which is also east of Bryce. It is more driving and you’ll likely need to stay the night.
  • Canyonlands National Park: even farther east than Capitol Reef, you will probably need more days to work this in.
  • Arches National Park: a tad more east from Canyonlands, these three national parks are pretty close in proximity. As I said, 10-14 days for “The Mighty Five” is what you’ll need. I plan to do these 3 as a separate trip.
  • Dead Horse Point State Park: one of Utah’s state parks with views of the Colorado River. It’s near the three national parks above and the city of Moab, Utah.
  • Cedar City + Cedar Breaks National Monument: a town north of Zion. You could choose to loop from Zion to Cedar City to Bryce and back around.
  • Northern Arizona: PACKED with places to check out, this can easily be a vacation on its own! The Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon (popular slot canyons that are currently closed), and Horseshoe Bend are all highlights.

One Last Thought…

It’s tough to come by in Utah! Lol. Here’s the skinny: You can get 5% or less at gas stations, marketplaces, etc. Anything percentage above that, and you have to go to a liquor store. The kicker? There aren’t many liquor stores! Ha. Definitely scope it out during your travels and figure out your option to stop and grab some booze.

As far as restaurants, many (not all) only have beer and wine. And many (not all) places don’t have an actual bar to sit at.

This was my least favorite part of Utah and thought you should know! Lol.

You will LOVE this trip! And you will come out of it with so many amazing pictures and incredible memories. Comment your favorite spot on this trip! Or one I may have missed.

Happy travel! 🙂

Did this post help you out? Support the work and pass along $5 for a Coors Light 😉 VENMO: @Amber-LBB or PAYPAL: [email protected]. THANK YOU.

You’ll Also Love

visit southern

The Best Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah Slot Canyons to Hike

What the people love.

upper peninsula road trip itinerary

  • Destinations
  • Save Money to Travel
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Let’s Connect

Copyright © 2024 Little Blue Backpack · Theme by 17th Avenue

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Sweepstakes
  • Destinations

Why Winter Is the Best Time to Visit Southern Utah — Land of Red Rock Arches, National Parks, and Outdoor Adventures

The season reveals this part of the state at perhaps its most stunning.

Evie Carrick is a writer and editor who’s lived in five countries and visited well over 50. She now splits her time between Colorado and Paris, ensuring she doesn't have to live without skiing or L'As du Fallafel.

visit southern

Zen Rial/Getty Images

When winter arrives, many Americans seek out the warm waters and sandy beaches of Mexico or the Caribbean. Others flock to the theme-park resorts of Orlando and Anaheim, or the iconic winter wonderland of New York City.

In the Southwest, Las Vegas reigns supreme — with the promise of mild temperatures and world-class entertainment luring snowbirds to the desert oasis. Drive northeast of the city for a few hours, though, and you’ll find a region with twisting canyons, cathedral-like spires, and delicate sandstone arches that only look more stunning with a dusting of snow. Southern Utah is home to five national parks, four national monuments, and countless hiking and biking trails, and it's best visited in the winter, when the hot, dry summer has passed and the crowds have dispersed.

Here’s everything you need to know to plan a visit to this not-so-obvious winter destination.

How to Get There

Part of Southern Utah’s charm is its relative isolation. This can make getting there a bit of a challenge. United Airlines offers a daily 70-minute flight from Denver International Airport into Canyonlands Regional Airport, just north of Moab.  Contour Airlines  offers a daily 70-minute flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Page, Arizona — right in the heart of the  Grand Circle . From either Salt Lake City International Airport or Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, you can rent a car and get to the region within three to five hours (depending on your destination).

Cavan Images/Getty Images

What to Pack

It’s all about layers in the winter. If you plan to be outside most of the day, you’ll want to wear synthetic or wool-base layers and pack a warm jacket and hat. Sunny days are the norm, even in the middle of winter, so sunscreen and shades are a must.

If you plan to hike in the snow, it may be worth getting a pair of cleats that fasten over your winter footwear and provide added traction.

Robert_Ford/Getty Images

Where to Stay

Many of southern Utah’s national and state parks offer winter camping, but if you don’t want to battle the dip in temperature, base your adventures out of a hotel, an inn, or a glamping site instead.

If you plan to explore Capitol Reef National Park, check out Red Sands Hotel & Spa , set in the dark-sky community of Torrey, Utah. When you’re not out exploring Capitol Reef (or nearby Goblin Valley State Park), you can sink into the salt-float tub or enjoy the view from one of the private soaking rooms.

If you want to stay near Bryce Canyon National Park, check out Ruby’s Inn , right off the main entrance road, or Escalante Yurts , which offers glamping sites about an hour from the park.

Just outside the entrance to Zion National Park, travelers will find Watchman Villas , which have full kitchens, washers and dryers, and balconies that connect you to the surrounding landscape. Glampers will want to check out Open Sky , a luxury resort roughly 30 minutes' drive from Zion. Those heading to Arches or Canyonlands should book a room at the 4-star Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa , set along the Colorado River and a short drive to each park.

Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

You'll want to visit at least one of southern Utah's incredible national parks during your trip. Zion National Park is the furthest south and is known for its narrow slot canyons and pink sandstone cliffs. Bryce Canyon National Park , about a two-hour drive northeast of Zion, is home to the world’s largest concentration of hoodoos (columns of rock sculpted by centuries of erosion). Further east are the red rock canyons, cliffs, and domes of Capitol Reef National Park , while the adventure town of Moab is the gateway to both Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

lightphoto/Getty Images

The region offers plenty of hiking, biking, camping, and backpacking, as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing – two winter sports that are beginner-friendly and affordable (chances are that once you rent your gear, you won’t have to pay a dime). Those with their heart set on downhill skiing can find it at Brian Head Resort (near Bryce Canyon) or Eagle Point Resort , along with prices significantly lower than those you’d find at larger resorts in northern Utah. And in the evenings, when you’re resting your weary legs, make sure to look up. The long winter nights lend themselves to excellent stargazing.

Top 50+ Amazing Things to Do in Southern Utah in 2024 

If you’ve followed us for very long, then you know we’ve spent a lot of time exploring Utah. Today, I’m excited to share 45+ of the best things to do in Southern Utah with you!

Utah is one of our favorite states to explore because of the many things to do and the vast differences you’ll find from place to place.

From sand dunes and slot canyons to hoodoos and arches, Utah is sure to impress.

We’ve spent many months in southern Utah, so naturally, that is where most of our favorite places in Utah are at.

We are hoping to explore northern Utah more in-depth in the future!

This post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission when you make a purchase using my links at no extra cost to you.   Thank you for supporting my blog by booking through my links!  

Table of Contents

Visit the Southern Utah National Parks – “The Mighty 5”

Utah has five incredible national parks, often called “The Mighty 5”.

It costs between $20-35 to visit each park, or you can invest in a yearly America the Beautiful national park pass for $80, which will get you access to over 2,000 recreation sites across the United States.

One thing to keep in mind when visiting these national parks is that dogs are not allowed on most (if not all) of the hiking trails.

Make sure to plan ahead if you are traveling with pets and find somewhere safe for them to stay if you are planning on doing any hiking.

1. Arches National Park

Arches National Park is easily one of our favorite places in Utah. In fact, it’s one of our favorite national parks from all of our travels so far!

The park boasts over 2,000 natural rock arches that are each beautifully unique.

Some of our personal favorites were the Window Arches, Double Arches, Landscape Arch, and Sand Dune Arch.

In addition to the beautiful arches, the park also offers towering spires, balancing rocks, and plenty of rock climbing and exploring!

There are also off-road trails for Jeeps, although ATVs and OHVs are not allowed in the park.

You’ll want to give yourself several days to explore Arches National Park if you’re able. Below are a few of our favorite hiking trails in Arches National Park :

  • Double Arch Trail (easy 0.6 miles roundtrip)
  • Park Avenue Trail (easy 1.8 miles roundtrip)
  • Sand Dune Arch Trail (easy 0.3 miles roundtrip)
  • Landscape Arch Trail (easy 1.9 miles roundtrip)
  • Broken Arch Trail (easy 1.7 miles roundtrip)
  • Balanced Rock Loop Trail (easy 0.3 miles roundtrip)
  • Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail (easy 1.2 miles roundtrip)

Four people standing in the opening of the north window arch in Arches National Park. The sky behind them is bright blue, and there are big white clouds. The arch is reddish orange rock.

2. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most unique and gorgeous national parks!

Once again, this park makes it into the list of our favorite things to do in Southern Utah for sure!

One of the best things about this park? It contains the largest concentration of hoodoos found anywhere on Earth. How awesome is that?!

We have been lucky enough to visit Bryce during three different seasons. Fall, winter, and summer.

Although it is always beautiful, winter was especially appealing to us. Not only were the crowds lower, but the contrast of the white snow on the orange and red hoodoos was stunning!

Although you can see most of Bryce Canyon National Park in a full day , we recommend staying for 2-3 days if you can.

You can take a horseback ride down into the hoodoos, go on a bike ride, or of course, hike one of the amazing trails the park has to offer.

Below are a few of our favorite bucket list National Park hikes in Bryce Canyon:

  • Navajo Loop Trail (moderate 1.5 miles roundtrip)
  • Peekaboo Loop Trail (moderate 5.2 miles roundtrip)
  • Wall Street & Queen’s Garden Loop Trail (moderate 3.2 miles roundtrip)
  • Bristlecone Loop Trail (easy 1-mile roundtrip)
  • Mossy Cave Trail (easy 1-mile roundtrip)

The view of the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park from above. The hoodoos and rock walls are orange and the sky above is bright blue with white clouds.

3. Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is unique and very different from any of the other national parks we’ve visited.

The Fruita Valley (considered the heart of Capitol Reef) was first settled by Mormon settlers in the 1800s.

Many of the original buildings are still in use today.

When visiting Fruita, make sure to stop at the Gifford House for amazing homemade goodies, including scrumptious pies! Personally, I liked the apple pies best.

We found a beautiful boondocking location just outside the park and stayed for a few days.

A few of the most common activities in the park are biking, wildlife viewing, visiting petroglyphs, and horse riding.

There is also plenty of great hiking in Capitol Reef National Park. Below are a few of our favorite hiking recommendations for your visit to Capitol Reef National Park:

  • Cassidy Arch Trail (moderate 3.1 miles roundtrip)
  • Grand Wash Trail (you can hike as much or as little of this as you’d like to)
  • Capitol Gorge Trail (moderate 4.5 miles roundtrip)
  • Capitol Reef Petroglyph Trail (easy 0.3 miles roundtrip)
  • Panorama Point (easy 0.3 miles roundtrip)
  • Goosenecks & Sunset Point (easy 2.5 miles roundtrip)

Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park. The arch is reddish orange and the sky is bright blue.

4. Zion National Park

Arguably one of the most beautiful national parks, Zion National Park is one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the USA, with over 5 million visitors last year alone.

Because of the park’s popularity, they have implemented a shuttle system. Visitors cannot drive personal vehicles on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive during shuttle season.

You are still able to drive the main road (Hwy 9) through the park, but most of the scenic locations and popular hiking trails can only be reached by shuttle. Another option is to take a Zion National Park tour .

There is currently no additional fee to ride the park shuttle, but you will have to pay the park entrance fee if you do not have a national park pass.

Zion National Park has some of the best national park hiking trails , but below are just a few of the most popular ones:

  • Angel’s Landing (hard 4.4 miles roundtrip)
  • Narrows Bottom-Up to Big Springs (hard 8.9 miles roundtrip)
  • Narrows Riverside Walk (easy 1.9 miles roundtrip)
  • Emerald Pools (moderate 3.0 miles roundtrip)
  • The Watchman Trail (moderate 3.1 miles roundtrip)
  • Kolob Canyon (moderate 10.4 miles roundtrip)

After a long day of hiking in Zion National Park, check out these nearby restaurants in St George, Utah .

The entrance sign for Zion National Park with a beautiful view of the park in the background.

5. Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands is the park to visit if you are hoping to avoid crowds. It is one of the lesser-visited Utah national parks, but it boasts some incredible views of the surrounding area.

It wasn’t quite as impressive after visiting Grand Canyon National Park, but it’s still worth a visit, especially if you are already in the area.

You won’t need as much time at this national park unless you are planning on hiking some of the longer trails.

We easily saw everything we wanted to see in the park in just a few hours. There are some beautiful Utah photography locations in this park!

The most popular park activities are the viewpoints and the hiking trails. Below are a few of the most popular trails in Canyonlands National Park:

  • Mesa Arch (easy 0.7 miles roundtrip)
  • Grand View Point Trail (easy 1.8 miles roundtrip)
  • White Rim Overlook (easy 1.8 miles roundtrip)
  • Aztec Butte Trail (moderate 1.7 miles roundtrip)
  • Druid Arch Trail (moderate 10.4 miles roundtrip)

A natural archway in Canyonlands National Park with the canyon shown down below and the sunshine peeking behind the arch.

The Best State Parks in Southern Utah

Utah holds some unique and beautiful state parks. From hoodoos and slot canyons to bright pink sand dunes and petrified wood, these state parks hold many adventures just waiting to happen!

Utah state parks typically charge between $10-30 per day, or you can also buy an annual Utah state parks pass for $100 if you’re a Utah resident or $150 if you’re from out-of-state.

There are currently 43 state parks in Utah, with 11+ being in southern Utah.

We haven’t been able to visit all of them yet, but here are a few of our favorites and the best ones in our opinion.

6. Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park is another destination that should make the top of your Utah bucket list!

The park is almost like a giant playground with endless hoodoos to play in and explore.

A view of the many orange/red hoodoos in Goblin Valley National Park - one of the best things to do in Southern Utah!

You can purchase a permit to fly a drone for $5, and dogs are allowed, which makes this an even more appealing place to visit for dog parents like us!

We actually made a short YouTube video about this park, which you can watch below.

Seriously, do yourself a favor and add this one to your Utah bucket list!

We have visited Goblin Valley State Park multiple times now, and each time, we enjoy it more and more!

This is also a great park to visit in the winter when temperatures aren’t extremely high.

We loved seeing the hoods and rock formations covered in snow!

This location just begs to make it onto your Instagram feed with an epic Utah quote !

visit southern

7. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

The sand at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is true to the name, a beautiful vibrant coral color!

There are many activities in the park, including sandboarding, ATVing, and hiking.

We booked an ATV tour with Kanab Tour Company , and riding through the sand dunes was so fun!

We even had the chance to try sandboarding on the dunes. I have horrible balance, so I just ended up embarrassing myself the whole time, haha!

The Nature Trail at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is one of the best hikes in the Kanab area , so consider that if you enjoy hiking.

You are also able to purchase a drone permit for $5, which we did. However, be aware that sometimes there is more wind out on the dunes than it first appears. We had some trouble with our drone due to the wind.

There is also nice camping in the park with shower houses and other amenities.

However, there is poor to no cell service in the park, so don’t plan to stay if you need to be connected.

A couple and their two dogs standing on a sand dune at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Southern Utah

8. Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park is just outside Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah.

It is a great alternative if you travel with pets, as dogs are allowed. The viewpoints in this park are incredible!

There are also hiking trails and biking and horseback riding are also popular.

We didn’t spend very long at this park since we were on a tight schedule but it was worth the stop for the views.

If you don’t have long to spend here, we recommend at least stopping at a few overlooks.

We really enjoyed the gorgeous views that this state park has to offer!

Viewpoint looking out over the canyon with a river winding through in Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah

9. Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park, nestled just north of St. George, is an enchanting medley of red and white Navajo sandstone cliffs.

The contrasting colors are something you’ve got to see to believe!

There’s no shortage of fun activities to enjoy at this state park. Whether you’re into hiking, horseback riding, or simply enjoying a picnic amidst a scenic backdrop, Snow Canyon has something for you.

The Jenny’s Canyon trail is a relatively short and easy hike that leads to a beautiful slot canyon and is quite popular.

You might also see a few rock climbers taking on challenging routes during your visit. You should bring your climbing gear along if that’s up your alley.

Lastly, camping here is serene, with the stars at night shining brilliantly against the dark canvas of the sky.

But just like Coral Pink Sand Dunes, don’t rely too heavily on your cell service. Sometimes, unplugging is the best part of the experience!

A scenic view of Snow Canyon State Park in southern Utah. There are desert shrubs up close with desert mountains in the distance.

10. Kodachrome Basin State Park

Not too far from Bryce Canyon National Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park stands out with its spectacular color-filled landscapes.

The park gets its name from the Kodak film, and once you visit, it’s easy to understand why!

You’re greeted with multi-colored sandstone spires that soar into the sky, providing a mesmerizing backdrop for any outdoor enthusiast.

With over 67 monolithic stone spires to admire, you won’t run out of sights anytime soon.

One of the best hikes here is the Shakespeare Arch and Sentinel Trail. It’s an accessible route, yet rewards you with unparalleled views of the park’s famed geological structures.

Multicolored spires at Kodachrome Basin State Park in southern Utah. The closest spires are orange, while the ones in the back are more white

11. Quail Creek State Park

Located just a few miles away from St. George, Quail Creek State Park offers a refreshing oasis amidst the iconic Utah desert landscape.

The reservoir here is the main attraction, and it’s a haven for water lovers! Whether you’re into kayaking, fishing, or just fancy a leisurely swim, the clear blue waters of Quail Creek won’t disappoint.

The park boasts a picturesque setting with the Pine Valley Mountains in the backdrop, making every moment photo-worthy.

One thing you shouldn’t miss out on is renting paddle boards and gliding over the calm waters, especially during sunrise. The reflections and the tranquility are hard to beat!

If you’re more of a landlubber, there are several trails surrounding the reservoir, perfect for a peaceful stroll or a bike ride.

For campers, the sites by the water are incredible. Waking up to the sound of gentle waves? Yes, please!

But, echoing our experiences at other parks, remember that cell service can be hit or miss. So, prepare to unplug and soak up the serenity.

The reservoir at Quail Hollow State Park in Utah. There are mountains surrounding the deep blue water.

12. Sand Hollow State Park

Just south of Quail Creek State Park, you’ll find Sand Hollow State Park. This one is a must-visit for anyone who loves a mix of water activities and striking red rock landscapes.

The big draw here is, of course, the sprawling reservoir. Boating, fishing, and jet skiing are among the top activities on the water. The water here is very refreshing, especially under the Utah sun.

There’s also a sandy beach area that’s great for sunbathing or building sandcastles.

The surrounding landscape, dotted with red sand dunes, is also worth exploring.

You can rent an off-road vehicle and have a blast zooming around the dunes, taking in the views!

If you decide to camp here, there are some great spots with views of the water.

13. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

A hidden gem near the town of Escalante is the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.

This state park is a treasure trove for those intrigued by colorful petrified wood!

Walking the Petrified Forest Trail, you can marvel at the remnants of ancient trees, now turned to stone.

The vibrant colors and patterns in the wood pieces are stunning!

For those looking to extend their adventure, the park also offers a reservoir. It’s a serene spot, ideal for fishing or simply unwinding by the water.

If camping’s on your mind, the park offers sites with some lovely views, especially as the sun sets over the petrified landscapes.

A close-up image of petrified wood in Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.

14. Goosenecks State Park

Located near the town of Mexican Hat, Goosenecks State Park offers one of the most stunning overlooks in all of Utah.

The big allure? The mesmerizing meanders of the San Juan River below.

Standing at the park’s viewpoints, you’ll be struck by the sheer depth and beauty of the winding river canyons.

While there aren’t established trails in the park, the panoramic views alone are worth the visit.

With nearly 1,000 feet down to the river, it’s a photographer’s dream.

For those wanting to stay overnight, only eight first-come, first-serve campsites are available.

Set up your tent, enjoy a night under the stars, and watch the sunrise light up the canyons.

The river cutting through the canyon and winding through Goosenecks State Park in southern Utah. The canyon is very deep with a bright blue sky above.

The Best National Monuments in Southern Utah

Southern Utah, renowned for its jaw-dropping landscapes, doesn’t stop at state parks or the famed “Mighty 5.”

Beyond these well-trodden paths lies another layer of preserved beauty: the national monuments.

Often overshadowed by their national park counterparts, these sites offer a unique blend of natural, historical, and cultural treasures.

Entrance fees for national monuments vary, but many are more affordable than national parks, making them a great option for budget travelers.

While some national monuments offer more relaxed pet policies than national parks, it’s essential to double-check regulations if traveling with furry companions.

Many of these monuments are also less crowded, providing a more intimate experience with nature.

Southern Utah boasts a number of these hidden gems, each telling its own ancient tale of geology, archaeology, and history.

From vast plateaus to intricate rock formations, let’s delve into the region’s best national monuments.

15. Cedar Breaks National Monument

I’ll be honest, this was not originally on our list, but we were driving by and decided to stop in.

And I have to say, we were pleasantly surprised by what we found!

Cedar Breaks National Monument had incredible views that reminded us of Bryce Canyon National Park!

At over 10,000 feet in elevation, the weather was unexpectedly cool in the summer.

The elevation here is so high, that there were still snow mounds visible when we visited in June!

Due to snow, the park is only open from late May to mid-October each year.

If you happen to be visiting Utah in the summer months, this national monument is worth a visit.

We didn’t have much time to spend since we were just passing through, but we plan to return and visit again.

The view from above in Cedar Breaks National Monument. There are bright orange hoods all throughout the cliffs and the sky is partially cloudy and blue

16. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Spanning a vast area in southern Utah, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a sheer showcase of geologic marvels and rugged landscapes.

This area is all about its vast plateaus, intricate slot canyons, and layers upon layers of ancient rock formations.

One key draw is the monument’s grand staircase of cliffs and terraces.

The slot canyons here, like Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Gulch, are definitely favorites.

Navigating the narrow paths and winding passageways feels like you’re on a real adventure.

Off-roading and backpacking enthusiasts will find plenty to rave about, too.

With vast stretches of untouched land, the opportunities for exploration are virtually endless.

If you’re planning an extended stay in the area, dispersed camping (also known as boondocking ) offers an authentic wilderness experience.

But be prepared: amenities are few and far between.

Scenic view of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with layered orange rock walls and green shrubs and trees dotting the landscape.

17. Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Located near Lake Powell, Rainbow Bridge National Monument is home to one of the world’s largest known natural bridges.

Towering against the backdrop of scenic canyon walls, this impressive sandstone arch is a testament to the power of erosion and time.

The monument is often accessed via a boat trip from Lake Powell, followed by a manageable hike.

The journey offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, leading up to the magnificent bridge itself.

Rainbow Bridge is also a sacred place for Native American tribes, echoing tales and traditions that span generations.

While the monument stands in a rather remote location, nearby Lake Powell provides accommodation options for those looking to stay in the vicinity.

A view of Rainbow Bridge in Rainbow Bridge National Monument in southern Utah. The arch and surrounding rock formations are all orange/red and are random shapes and sizes.

18. Natural Bridges National Monument

Situated in the southeastern corner of Utah, Natural Bridges National Monument showcases some of the finest natural stone architecture in the Southwest.

This area is marked by its distinctive set of large natural bridges, each carved by the power of water.

The monument encompasses three remarkable stone bridges: Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo.

These formations, though created by similar processes, each have their own unique shape and characteristics, making them a delight for both casual visitors and avid photographers.

A scenic drive around the monument offers viewpoints of all three bridges. However, to truly experience their grandeur, one can take the trails descending into the canyon and walk beneath their massive stone spans.

Beyond the bridges, the monument is steeped in cultural history, with remnants of ancestral Puebloan dwellings and petroglyphs adding to its allure.

The park becomes a stargazer’s dream in the nighttime, having been designated as a Dark Sky Park. The vast, unpolluted skies offer an unparalleled view of the stars above.

An archway in Natural Bridges National Monument. The sky is bright blue above it with a few clouds and the sun is shining over the top of the orange arch.

19. Dixie National Forest/Red Canyon

Nestled within the vast expanse of the Dixie National Forest, Red Canyon stands as a lesser-known but equally captivating counterpart to Bryce Canyon, just a short drive away.

Its fiery red hoodoos and winding trails offer a breathtaking landscape that’s both accessible and dog-friendly. Our dogs really enjoyed hiking with us here!

Besides the stunning rock formations, what makes Red Canyon a standout destination is its relative tranquility compared to some of the busier neighboring parks.

Here, you can lose yourself amidst the towering hoodoos and pine forests without the usual crowds.

Our favorite hike here was the Hoodoo and Pink Ledges Trails, but the area offers an abundance of hiking options suited for all various skill levels.

Many trails provide panoramic views of the canyon, while others wind through dense forests, occasionally revealing glimpses of the vibrant red rocks that give the area its name.

For those looking for more than just hiking, Red Canyon has an array of activities, from mountain biking to horseback riding.

The scenic drive through the area is a visual treat, and there are several pull-offs and viewpoints for those wanting to capture the beauty in photographs.

With its welcoming visitor center, helpful rangers, and an abundance of natural wonders, Red Canyon proves that sometimes, the road less traveled can lead to the most unforgettable experiences.

A trail sign showing the hikes available in Red Canyon in Dixie National Forest in southern Utah. The sign is brown and shows the information for 3 hikes. Red hoodoo formations are visible in the background.

Adventurous Attractions in Southern Utah

With its rugged landscapes and untouched beauty, Southern Utah is a vast playground for adventure seekers.

Whether you’re scaling crimson cliffs, navigating mysterious slot canyons, or racing down sand dunes, the region has boundless opportunities for adrenaline-packed experiences.

In this section, we’ll go over some of the most exhilarating activities Southern Utah has to offer!

20. Mountain Biking

Southern Utah’s terrains are a mountain biker’s dream come true! With a blend of challenging inclines, rolling hills, and smoother trails, riders can find a path that matches their individual pace.

Whether you’re speeding down dirt tracks or navigating technical sections, there’s no denying the allure of mountain biking amidst the breathtaking backdrops of southern Utah!

21. White Water Rafting

For thrill-seekers, white water rafting in Utah’s roaring rivers is a must-try. The gushing waters, set against a backdrop of towering canyons and verdant valleys, offer an adrenaline-pumping experience.

While navigating the rapids, rafters can also soak in the pristine beauty surrounding them. One popular place to raft in southern Utah is on the Colorado River near Moab, Utah.

A group of people white water rafting in a blue raft with yellow ores. The people are laughing and having a great adventure.

We loved hiking in Southern Utah! It seemed there was an adventure at every turn.

Some of our favorites were the hiking trails in Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Red Canyon.

There are so many great hiking trails in Southern Utah ! No matter what your skill level, you’re sure to find something perfect.

A man and two dogs hiking in southern Utah. The trail is going up the side of a cliff surrounded by red and orange rock formations.

23. Explore Slot Canyons

Exploring the slot canyons in Utah was a highlight for us! These narrow, winding paths, carved by erosion, were a maze of mesmerizing light and shadows.

Some of our favorite slot canyons in southern Utah were Wire Pass, Peekaboo Slot Canyon, and Wall Street.

A bright orange and red swirled slot canyon in southern Utah.

24. Rock Climbing

Utah’s rugged cliffs and varied rock formations attract climbers from all around the world.

Whether you’re a beginner seeking your first ascent or an experienced climber chasing a challenging route, the region offers diverse climbing opportunities.

And the reward? Unparalleled views from the top! If you enjoy rock climbing, don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy this fun activity in southern Utah!

25. Backpacking

Backpacking in Southern Utah is basically a journey into the heart of the wilderness!

Backpackers can discover remote vistas, hidden waterfalls, and untouched camping spots with every step.

Carrying your home on your back, there’s a profound sense of freedom as you traverse the expansive landscape of southern Utah.

26. Canyoneering

One of our most memorable adventures in southern Utah was canyoneering near Kanab!

Rappelling down rocky cliffs, we were amazed at the untouched beauty that lay hidden from the everyday eye.

Each descent was challenging but totally worth it!

Even if you’ve never been canyoneering before, I highly recommend adding this to your list.

We took a canyoneering tour with Kanab Tour Company ; our guides were the best!

A man canyoneering in southern Utah. He is wearing canyoneering gear including a helmet and gloves.

Another one of our favorite activities in southern Utah was renting ATVs!

We did so as a birthday splurge for Tucker, and it ended up being one of his favorite birthdays ever!

The highlights for us were the trails to Peekaboo Slot Canyon and racing around on the coral pink sand dunes!

Two people riding in a blue ATV on the coral pink sand dunes in southern Utah

28. Sandboarding

Speaking of sand dunes, we also tried sandboarding.

This was a first for me, and I quickly found out that I am not cut out for it, haha!

You can get board rentals relatively cheap, making this a fun and affordable experience that you can enjoy during your visit to southern Utah.

Two people sandboarding on the coral pink sand dunes in Utah

29. Camping

There’s nothing quite like setting up camp under the vast Utah sky!

We’ve been both tent camping and RV camping in Utah, and it’s one of our favorite states to camp in by far. 

While we did camp in a few RV parks and campgrounds, our favorite is boondocking in southern Utah!

There are so many places that you can find dry camping here. 

If you’re looking for remote boondocking in southern Utah , we recommend using these boondocking apps to find the best spots.

An RV boondocking amidst the rocky desert landscape of Southern Utah

30. Stargazing

With minimal light pollution, Southern Utah’s skies can reveal a dazzling array of stars, planets, and meteor showers.

We loved watching the stars while we were camping. 

It’s also a great way to try astrophotography! I got a few pretty cool pictures of the stars with our tent…it was something I’ll never forget! 

Astrophotography image of the stars in the night sky above a tent in the Utah desert

31. Horseback Riding

Exploring Southern Utah’s landscapes on horseback is an adventure you won’t soon forget!

There’s something magical about seeing the world from the back of a horse. 

A few of the most popular places to take horseback riding tours in southern Utah include Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Snow Canyon State Park.

32. Take a Scenic Drive

Southern Utah boasts some of the most breathtaking scenic drives in the U.S., winding through dramatic red rock formations, stunning valleys, and iconic landmarks. 

Routes like the Scenic Byway 12 offer unparalleled views of landscapes, stretching from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef National Park. 

Meanwhile, the Monument Valley Scenic Drive provides an epic journey through the timeless sandstone buttes and vast desert landscapes that have become emblematic of the American Southwest.

Image of a scenic drive in southern Utah. The hood of a red vehicle is visible and the picture is taken through the front windshield looking towards the road. There are mountains visible in the distance

33. Boating

Head to places like Lake Powell or Sand Hollow Reservoir for the ultimate Southern Utah boating experience.

Gliding over shimmering waters with red rock formations in the backdrop is ideal for relaxing and taking in the region’s natural splendor.

34. Fishing

For those looking to cast a line, Southern Utah offers unparalleled fishing locations, from the flowing Sevier River to the tranquil Panguitch Lake.

Surrounded by scenic beauty, anglers can immerse themselves in the serene environment, feeling the gentle ripples, hearing the soft calls of nearby wildlife, and anticipating the thrill of an exciting catch!

35. Kayaking

Southern Utah is one of the best places to enjoy a peaceful kayak excursion.

As you paddle, the towering canyons and vibrant rock formations of Southern Utah envelop you, offering a deeper connection to the region’s dramatic landscapes. 

Some of the best places to enjoy kayaking in Southern Utah include Lake Powell, Quail Creek Reservoir, and Deer Creek Reservoir.

36. Paddleboarding

Challenge yourself on a paddleboard in locations like Sand Hollow State Park.

With each stroke, you’ll feel the gentle push of the water and the sun’s warm embrace, all against a picturesque backdrop of red rocks and sandy shores.

Beyond just a physical activity, paddleboarding here becomes a peaceful encounter with nature, where balance meets beauty.

37. Skydiving

For those craving an extreme thrill, imagine the sensation of skydiving above areas like Moab.

As the ground rushes towards you, the vast landscapes of Southern Utah sprawl out below, offering a bird’s-eye view of iconic red rock canyons and expansive deserts.

Your heart will be racing, not just from the jump but also from the sheer majesty of the vistas beneath.

Driving in Southern Utah. The sun is setting over the mountains in the distance and there is snow on the ground.

The Best Towns to Visit in Southern Utah

Southern Utah isn’t just about the jaw-dropping landscapes; it’s also home to some pretty incredible towns.

Each one, with its own distinct charm and story, serves as a cozy basecamp for all our adventures in the region.

From historic main streets to buzzing local cafes, here’s a dive into the must-visit towns that capture the essence of Southern Utah.

Often referred to as “Little Hollywood” due to its storied history as a backdrop for many classic Western films, Kanab is a must-visit town nestled in the heart of Southern Utah. 

This charming community offers more than just cinematic allure; it’s a gateway to some of the region’s most spectacular natural wonders, including the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and a convenient proximity to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

For those keen on adventures, Kanab provides ample opportunities.

Here you can find scenic hikes, take part in guided tours, or simply wander the town to visit its quaint shops, museums, and local eateries. 

Visitors should also consider checking out the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the nation’s largest no-kill shelter.

And if you’re there in the summer, the annual Balloons & Tunes Roundup, a vibrant hot air balloon festival, is not to be missed.

When planning a trip, it’s worth noting that while Kanab captures the essence of a small town, it’s increasingly popular among tourists.

As such, booking accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons, is a smart move to ensure a smooth experience.

Kanab Tour Company in Kanab, Utah

Moab, often dubbed the “Adventure Capital of the West,” is an unmissable gem in Southern Utah. 

With its iconic red rock landscapes and the Colorado River running through, Moab is more than just a scenic wonder; it’s an epicenter for outdoor enthusiasts.

This vibrant town acts as the doorway to two of the nation’s most revered national parks: Arches and Canyonlands.

With over 2,000 natural stone arches, vast mesas, and deep canyons, the opportunities for exploration are boundless. 

Whether it’s mountain biking on the world-famous Slickrock Trail, river rafting on the Colorado, or simply taking a scenic drive to soak in the vistas, adventure is always just around the corner in Moab.

The town itself buzzes with energy. From eclectic shops and art galleries to delightful restaurants that offer a taste of the local cuisine, there’s plenty to explore within Moab’s limits. 

Given its growing reputation as a top tourist spot, visitors are advised to plan their stay ahead of time, particularly in the bustling spring and fall seasons, to secure the best accommodations and experiences.

Two people posing with a mural reading "Greetings from Moab". The mural is orange and colorful and the letters spelling Moab are filled with paintings of Utah landscapes.

40. St. George

Nestled in the southwestern corner of Utah, St. George is a picturesque stop that brilliantly combines the charm of a small town with the vibrancy of a thriving cultural hub. 

Often considered the gateway to Zion National Park, St. George offers more than just its prime location.

This sun-soaked city is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting numerous golf courses, scenic hiking trails, and the captivating Snow Canyon State Park with its unique blend of red and white Navajo sandstone cliffs. 

Downtown St. George is alive with activity, featuring a mix of quaint boutiques, galleries, and an array of restaurants showcasing local flavors. 

As the city continues to grab attention for its appeal and amenities, visitors are encouraged to book early, especially if planning a trip during popular events like the St. George Marathon or Arts Festival.

Jeep camping outside of St George, Utah. The Jeep is red and black and there are mountains surrounding the area in the distance.

41. Panguitch

Panguitch, a Native American word meaning “Big Fish,” is a charming small town that exudes an old-world charm nestled in Southern Utah.

Located just a stone’s throw away from the majestic Bryce Canyon National Park, Panguitch serves as a convenient stopover.

With its charming history, Panguitch feels like a step back in time. But beyond its historical roots, the town is a hub for outdoor activities.

From the clear waters of Panguitch Lake, ideal for fishing and boating, to the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival that paints the sky with vibrant colors, there’s no shortage of adventures awaiting.

As you stroll through its streets, you’ll discover local shops, eateries, and the warmth of a close-knit community.

Nestled at the doorstep of Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey is a quaint and inviting town that’s become an essential stop for travelers venturing through Southern Utah. 

With its backdrop of red rock cliffs and sprawling orchards, Torrey effortlessly marries natural splendor with small-town charm.

Beyond its stunning scenery, Torrey is a hub for outdoor exploration. From winding hiking trails to scenic drives through the Waterpocket Fold, adventures here are just a moment away. 

And when the day’s activities wind down, the town itself beckons with cozy diners, local art galleries, and the warmth of a community that cherishes its roots.

43. Cedar City

Often dubbed the “Gateway to the National Parks,” Cedar City is so much more than just a pit stop in Southern Utah. 

Surrounded by a canvas of towering red cliffs and verdant meadows, this lively town is a must-visit.

At its heart, Cedar City is an arts and festival town. It’s home to the renowned Utah Shakespeare Festival, drawing theater enthusiasts from all corners. 

But beyond the stages and performances, the city unfolds as an adventurer’s playground, with the nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument and Brian Head Ski Resort offering endless exploration opportunities.

As you wander through Cedar City, you’ll find an array of local boutiques, hearty diners, and the undeniable spirit of a community proud of its rich heritage. 

Given its multifaceted appeal, a visit during peak festival seasons or during fall’s vibrant foliage display is the best!

Ps…our favorite pizza place ever is located here! It’s located downtown and is called Centro Woodfired Pizza .

Business sign reading Centro Woodfired Pizzeria

Other Southern Utah Things to Do

Here are a few final things to do in southern Utah for you to add to your Utah bucket list!

44. Lake Powell

Nestled amidst the vast canyons of Southern Utah, Lake Powell is an oasis of blue in a world of red rock.

With miles upon miles of winding waterways, it’s a paradise for those looking to dive into aquatic adventures or simply unwind by the water.

For the adventurous, Lake Powell offers boating, kayaking, and even hidden canyons waiting to be explored.

But if relaxation is what you’re after, just find a quiet bay, drop anchor, and let the beauty of the surrounding cliffs and sky wash over you.

And, for those looking for a unique experience, the labyrinthine Antelope Canyon, with its mesmerizing light beams and narrow passages, is just a stone’s throw away.

We loved visiting Lake Powell, and I know you will too!

A happy couple standing on the edge of the cliff near Lake Powell in Southern Utah. They are holding hands and raising their arms in the air.

45. Glen Canyon

Glen Canyon, stretching across Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, is a vast expanse of intricate landscapes and breathtaking beauty. 

With its deep canyons carved over millennia by the Colorado River, it’s a testament to the power of nature.

This area isn’t just about the landscapes, though. It’s a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. 

From the serene waters of Lake Powell, which rests within the canyon, to the numerous hiking trails that offer panoramic views of the surrounding cliffs and plateaus, there’s no shortage of adventures to embark on.

History buffs can also delve into the ancient stories etched into the walls here, with petroglyphs and remnants of past civilizations offering a peek into bygone eras. 

When visiting, it’s important to remember that while Glen Canyon’s vastness offers solitude, it’s also a popular spot for many.

Thus, early planning and respecting the land’s pristine nature are key to a memorable visit.

46. Monument Valley

Monument Valley is just barely inside of southern Utah on the Arizona border.

This is a popular stop as many movies have been shot in the area.

We stopped through on our way from Moab, Utah to the Grand Canyon.

The landscape is very unique and beautiful! We recommend stopping by even if you only grab a few quick pictures.

Visit early in the day to avoid crowds and get a picture without anyone else in it. Be sure to stay safe and watch for vehicles!

A couple standing in the road kissing with Monument Valley sprawling out in the distance behind them.

47. The Moqui Caverns

If you’re up for a short adventure near Kanab, Utah, the Moqui Caverns are a must-see!

These sand caves are located just off U.S. 89 outside of Kanab, Utah.

Visitors used to be able to park on the side of the highway and hike up to them but due to growing popularity, you now have to park in a parking lot down the road and hike further in.

We took our dog Cap with us, and he loved the hike and exploring the caves!

Once you make it up to the caves, there are several openings and you can explore back into them a little bit.

The sand is also fun to play in. We recommend coming early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid having a lot of people in your photos.

An inside view of the Moqui Caves near Kanab, Utah. There are two openings on the edge of the caves. The walls and ceiling are orange sandstone and the floor is sandy.

48. Toquerville Falls

Before I tell you too much about Toquerville Falls, I must warn you. The road to get to the falls is very (and I mean very ) rough.

You must have a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle to make it, but it’s one of the most epic waterfalls in Southern Utah .

We almost got stuck with our Jeep and passed three vehicles that had broken down due to the road conditions.

The worst part is the first few miles, and then it smooths out from there.

Most people actually drive ATVs to get to the falls. You can even drive across them once you get to the top if you want to.

The falls are beautiful and are quite rewarding once you reach them. If you’re up for the drive, add this to your southern Utah bucket list!

A girl standing at the base of Toquerville Falls in southern Utah. The falls are wide and cascade over the wall gracefully.

49. The Belly of the Dragon

Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds! The Belly of the Dragon is located on U.S. 89 outside of Kanab, Utah, and is actually a culvert that runs under the road.

Over time, water has eroded the sand walls and has created an ominous passageway that is super fun to explore!

You can continue on through the other side and hike through the wash for a while.

We even did a little rock climbing! This is a neat spot and is great for kids and dogs to explore as well.

There is also a great free campground right next to the Belly of the Dragon that we tent camped at for two nights.

You can watch our short review of the area and see more of the passageway in our Youtube video below.

visit southern

50. Peekaboo Slot Canyon

Another one of our favorite places in Utah is Peekaboo Slot Canyon. This canyon is absolutely breathtaking and was a blast to explore!

It is located just outside of Kanab, Utah, and is reached either by an 8-mile round-trip hike or by driving in with a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

It’s not as easily accessible as some of the other slot canyons in Utah , and as a result, it’s not as overrun by tourists.

When we visited near the end of October, we only saw a few other people there. This was our favorite slot canyon so far in all of our travels!

We chose to book an ATV tour with Kanab Tour Company to reach the slot canyon, and it was so much fun!

You can read all about our experience ATVing to Peekaboo Slot Canyon here .

A couple standing in the center of Peekaboo Slot Canyon kissing. The canyon walls are carved sandstone and are orange

51. Toadstool Hoodoos

The toadstool hoodoos are located in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument area outside of Kanab, Utah.

There is a short 1.8-mile round-trip hike to reach the hoodoos, but it’s a really fun hike including a few rock scrambles!

Dogs are also allowed on this hike, which is a great bonus.

Although it’s not quite as impressive as some of the other hoodoos Utah has to offer, they are still worth a stop.

We did this hike on a Saturday in the summer, and surprisingly only saw three other hikers.

I’m not sure if we just lucked out or if that is common, but it was a great stop and we fully enjoyed it!

The toadstool hoodoos near Kanab, Utah. There are two main hoodoos with other rock formations around the area as well.

52. Wire Pass

Wire Pass is a great slot canyon trail in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

It does not require a permit, but there is a fee of $5 per person. Dogs are also allowed on this hike.

The hike is 3.7 miles round trip and much of the distance is in a wash with no shade at all.

The sun can be brutal especially in the summer so make sure that you bring plenty of water and avoid hiking during the heat of the day if you can.

As you can see above, once you get to the slot canyon the passageways are narrow and there is some maneuvering required, including the iconic wooden ladder.

This was a great hike, and we really enjoyed it! It was a little challenging getting our dogs up and down the ladder, but it was totally worth it!

A ladder going up the canyon in the Wire Pass slot canyon.

Tips for Visiting Southern Utah

Now that we’ve covered the best things to do in Southern Utah let’s go over a few tips for visiting this beautiful location! 

  • Plan Ahead: Southern Utah’s breathtaking beauty is no secret, which means many of its prime spots can get crowded, especially during peak seasons. To secure accommodations, tours, or permits, it’s always a good idea to book in advance.
  • Pack for the Weather: The desert climate can be deceiving. While days can get blisteringly hot, nights often cool down significantly. It’s wise to pack layers and always have plenty of water on hand to stay hydrated.
  • Respect the Land: From ancient petroglyphs to delicate natural arches, Southern Utah is brimming with delicate wonders. Always stay on marked trails, avoid touching or defacing cultural artifacts, and pack out whatever you bring in.
  • Be Pet-Prepared: If you’re traveling with furry friends like we often do, keep in mind that many national parks in the region have restrictions on where pets can go. Always check park policies ahead of time and consider exploring the equally beautiful state parks and BLM lands that are more pet-friendly.
  • Travel Off-Peak: If you have flexibility in your schedule, consider visiting outside of the busy summer months. Not only will you encounter fewer crowds, but the milder temperatures in spring or fall can make outdoor activities more enjoyable.
  • Stay Connected: While most of us try to stay connected during our travels, remember that cell service can be spotty in more remote areas. It’s a good idea to inform someone of your itinerary or download offline maps to ensure you always have a guide, just in case.

How Long to Visit Southern Utah

Deciding how long to spend in the vast beauty of Southern Utah can be a challenge.

With its many national parks, charming towns, and countless adventures, even a week can feel too brief.

For a short trip, consider 3-4 days to hit the highlights, like Zion or Bryce Canyon.

However, if you truly want to drink in the region’s diverse landscapes and delve into local experiences, a stay of 7-10 days allows for a more leisurely pace.

For those with the luxury of time, spending a couple of weeks exploring ensures that both the iconic spots and hidden gems get their well-deserved attention.

Best Time to Visit Southern Utah

Southern Utah’s allure shifts with the seasons, making any time of year perfect for exploration. 

However, if you’re looking for the sweet spot of pleasant weather and fewer crowds, spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) are ideal. These months offer milder temperatures, perfect for hiking and outdoor activities. 

Summers, while bustling with tourists, can see temperatures soar, so early morning excursions and plenty of hydration are key. 

Winter, on the other hand, paints iconic red rocks with a dusting of snow, creating a unique, serene landscape. But remember that some higher-elevation areas might be less accessible due to snowfall. 

Consider your priorities, be it perfect weather or peaceful solitude, to pick the perfect window for your visit!

Where to Stay in Southern Utah

Accommodations in Southern Utah span a wide variety of options, ensuring every traveler finds their perfect fit. 

For those seeking convenience, towns like Moab, St. George, and Kanab offer a mix of hotels, motels, and B&Bs, placing you right in the heart of the action. 

If you’re traveling in an RV, you will find no shortage of options and can stay at one of the many campgrounds or RV parks dotting the region; there’s nothing quite like waking up to a sunrise over the red rocks or sleeping under the vast starry skies. 

For a touch of luxury, there are also several upscale resorts and lodges, especially around areas like Lake Powell or Zion, providing both comfort and breathtaking views. 

Regardless of where you choose, it’s essential to book early, especially during peak seasons, to snag the best spots!

Things to Do in Southern Utah Map

Below is a map I put together showing the location of everything on this list! Click here to access all of the map details .

A map of the best things to do in Southern Utah.

Conclusion: Things to Do in Southern Utah

I hope that you’ve found these Utah bucket list destinations inspiring for your next Utah road trip!

Which of these places will you be adding to your Utah bucket list? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Find More Utah Travel Adventures & Inspiration

  • 2024 Guide to Visiting Belly of the Dragon – Kanab, Utah
  • 20 of the Best Epic Southern Utah Hiking Trails
  • 15 of the Best Utah Slot Canyons in Southern Utah
  • Top 50+ Amazing Things to Do in Southern Utah in 2024
  • 15 of the Best Hikes in Arches National Park (2024 Guide)
  • ATVing & Canyoneering with Kanab Tour Company
  • The Top 10 Best Waterfalls in Southern Utah in 2024
  • Top 32 Most Instagrammable Places in Utah in 2024
  • 101 Best Utah Quotes & Captions for Instagram
  • The 10 Best Hikes Near Kanab, Utah, with Amazing Views

Happy adventuring!

Much Love, Janae xoxo

Photo of author

About the Author

42 thoughts on “top 50+ amazing things to do in southern utah in 2024 ”.

Wow 🤩 y’all had some incredible adventures there!! Totally going to be referencing this whenever we make it there ☺️ Also I had no idea there was a replica of the UP house! Love that movie 😆

Isn’t that so fun?! I was excited to come across it! ☺️

Janae, I’m living vicariously through you and all of these beautiful photos! I can’t wait to add these stops to our list – thanks for sharing!

I hope you enjoy Utah as much as we have! ♥️

Love this Janae!!! I want to go to Utah so bad, even more so now that I know there is an UP house!! That movie was my husband and my first date!!!!!

Oh my goodness, that is SO sweet!

Great post! I only visited the Bryce Canyon but Utah has still so much to offer. Maybe I should visit it again. The landscape is breathtaking! 🙂

Yes, for sure! It is such an incredible place!

Wow! These pictures of spots in Utah are so pretty! Thank you for this list! And for including tips about great hiking trails in Utah!

You’re so welcome! I hope you enjoy Utah as much as we have 😊

This is an amazing post! Love all the details included like the trail lengths, super helpful! The Moqui caverns look beautiful and the Up house is such a fun unique idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Thank you, we really enjoyed Utah and hope to inspire others to visit as well!

Love this! Beautiful photos and looks like so much fun!

Thanks so much! It was indeed 😊

This is great! I live in Denver and I’m planning to do a Utah road trip this summer! Also – I had no idea that there was a replica of the Up house! How precious!

Utah is amazing! Enjoy your road trip!☺️

Okay okay okay, this was flipping amazing!! That belly dragon one too🤩 I’m obsessed and going to add as many of these as I can to our itinerary! Thank you for this girl! What a beyond amazing place😭🙌🏼

I hope you love them girlie! I can’t wait to see all of your amazing pictures!

Next time I go to Utah I already have a plan… to do everything in your blog post!! Thanks for sharing, such a great article. My blog is super similar – I share unique travel destinations across the globe:

I hope you enjoy these spots as much as we have! Headed over to check out your blog now!

Wow, so many cool rock formations and lots of space to explore! Wondering if there are ways to see any of these places if you’re not able to hike.?

Some of them are definitely accessible without hiking! A lot of the places mentioned have overlooks that you can enjoy without having to stray far from y9our vehicle ☺️

Saving this AMAZING resource for when we go to Utah! We cannot wait and your blog post got us even more excited!

You are going to LOVE Utah!

So many beautiful places in Utah! I didn’t know about the Up house, I must drive by that next time I’m in utah. The Belly of the Dragon looks really cool too!

It’s such an amazing state with an incredible amount to offer!

I would love to go and explore the arches in Utah! They look amazing to take photos at.

It’s one of my absolute favorite places in the US! Amazing!

This is fantastic, I’m looking for things to do while international travel is shut down. Thanks for the advice!

You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy Utah as much as we did!

How cute is your dog in the video! Thank you for introducing these places, especially the stunning national parks. Utah has never really been on my radar, but it is for now.

It’s such an amazing state! You should definitely visit if you get the chance 🙂

Most of the blog posts I’ve seen about Utah cover hiking spots so it’s nice to see more things to do in the state! That Up house is so cute as well.

I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Utah is an incredible state with so much to offer!

Omg, Utah has so many beautiful places! I would love to see the canyons, caves, sand dunes, and the Up house. 😍

It’s a gorgeous state for sure!

This list is amazing! I’ve been to Utah several times for skiing and had no idea there were all of these other beautiful places to see.

Yes, Utah has so much to offer!

Such stunning pictures! I love going on adventurous trips with my husband & you guys are couple goals 😍

Thank you so much!

We went to Peek-A-Boo slot canyon in late October. We were the only people there. We didn’t travel on ATVs. We were taken there via Jeep, so there are many great options to see this awesome slot canyon. We were so happy to visit Kanab after hiking and canyoneering in and around Zion. It was spectacular!

That’s awesome, so glad you enjoyed it!

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Privacy Overview

Visit Utah Logo

4 Epic Ways to Explore Southern Utah

Our favorite adventures, from canyoneering to sand sledding.

a canyon with trees and hills

Few places in the contiguous U.S. are as strikingly beautiful as southern Utah. And while the region's many spas and hotels offer ample opportunities for R&R, it's also a beacon for adventure seekers. Whether you're criss-crossing rose-hued sand dunes, exploring rock formations that look as if they've been transported from Mars, rappelling down plunging canyons, or hiking through renowned national parks, vacationing in southern Utah can be as high-octane, creative, and outside-the-box an experience as you want. Here are our favorite ways to tackle this epic part of the country.

Horseback Riding in Bryce Canyon National Park

horseback riding in bryce canyon

Sand Sledding (and ATV Cruising) at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes

atv riders coral pink sand dunes

No, it's not a mirage: These dunes have a reddish-pink hue, due to erosion of the surrounding Navajo sandstone dating back to the Jurassic Period. But just because they're ancient doesn't mean you need to tiptoe around them. You can rent all-terrain vehicles and cruise around the sand dunes for a self-guided experience, or hire a guide to ensure that you don't miss anything. Then hop off your vehicle for some sand sledding , an iconic dune activity that's worth "cowabungas" aplenty.

Canyoneering at Zion National Park

southern utah

Angel's Landing offers a one-of-a-kind view—and a one-of-a-kind way of reaching it. Travelers use a rope to steady themselves as they scale the uphill trail that leads to this 360-degree view of Zion Canyon. And for visitors who enjoy this sort of thing so much that they want a more extreme version, Zion is one of the country's premier canyoneering destinations. This sport, which involves swimming, rock climbing, rappelling, and hiking, is an exciting way to explore the nooks and crannies of this vast terrain. Courses range from introductory to expert-level, so you should be able to find one appropriate for your skill level; since you should always have a team with you when canyoneering, we also advise signing up for a guided excursion with one of the many local canyoneering companies, who know the terrain like the back of their hand.


Southern Utah has an overwhelming abundance of fantastic places for camping (both in the aforementioned locations and elsewhere). DarkSky International has given its Dark Sky Places certification—reserved for locales that protect the ecosystem from light pollution, benefitting both the environment and stargazers—to many of the region's. Use the organization's online database to find which ones offer your best opportunity to take in the constellations or, perhaps, one of the annual meteor showers—such as the Perseids during the summer months, or the Geminids in the winter.

Plan your trip to southern Utah at .

@media(max-width: 73.75rem){.css-1ktbcds:before{margin-right:0.4375rem;color:#FF3A30;content:'_';display:inline-block;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-1ktbcds:before{margin-right:0.5625rem;color:#FF3A30;content:'_';display:inline-block;}} Fitness & Health

a person with a beard and glasses

Amazon's Home Workout Equipment Is On Major Sale

How to Be a Better Man Right Now


My Never-Ending Search for Adderall

under desk treadmills

Get Your Steps in With These Under-Desk Treadmills

a white towel with blue writing

9 Supportive Pillows Made for Side Sleepers

best gifts for skiers

51 Great Gifts for Hard-Charging Skiers

best wireless headphones for working out 2024

The 9 Best Wireless Workout Headphones

a computer mouse with a cord

The Secret to Good Sleep Costs Just $80

best rowing machines

The 11 Best Rowing Machines for Full-Body Workouts


This Blender Is a Culinary Weapon

gym essentials 2024

Our 23 Gym Bag Essentials

CC7R9107 copy 2heroimg

Kanab Stargazing: A World of Pure Imagination

Get ready for daytime and nighttime visuals in southern utah..

  • Visit our facebook
  • Visit our pinterest

This article is sponsored by Kane County

Alright, Grandpa Joe, it’s time to abandon your bed rot. We’ve got a golden ticket for a chance to win a lifetime supply of supernova memories. A ticket to the land of imagination. A land where rocks look like sherbet and dark skies look like sprinkles. It’s no chocolate factory, but a stargazer factory created by Mother Nature and Father Time? Pretty neat. Well, what are you waiting for, Charlie? Step into the world of Kanab. 

We Kane’t Think of a Better Universe 

Kanab is in Kane County, a place filled with red dirt and dark skies. It’s isolated. It’s wild. It’s magical. It changes you for the better. You can stay in a hotel, vacation rental, campground or glampsite. There are even more reasons you should stay in Kanab to make it the center of your stargazing trip.   

  • Hours away from big cities with a high(ish) altitude, light pollution just ain’t a thing in Kanab and locals plan to keep it that way
  • Unique geological formations everywhere — hoodoos, slot canyons, arches and dunes meander beneath expansive skies 
  • Guided tours for other adventures like horseback riding, ATV tours and canyoneering
  • Tons of dark sky access within two hours of Kanab making it one of the best places to stargaze in Utah

So much time and so little to do! Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. The first adventure is getting eyes on those 200 billion trillions of stars that have been around almost as long as the everlasting gobstopper. But we know there’s no earthly way of knowing which direction you are going, so let us get Sirius and point to areas both on and off Utah’s dark sky map. 

Dark Skies for Remote Stargazers

When staying in Kanab, you’ll have access to dark skies every which way you go. In town you can book stargazing tours and even some that come with s’mores! Sounds amazing because candy is dandy, innit?

Kane County ain’t got a lot of people, so urban sprawl is more like a cosmic crawl. You’ll see more BLM land and remote public areas than we can write about, which makes it easy to find a stargazing spot simply by driving down one of the nearby dirt roads. 

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park 

Who can take a sand dune, sprinkle it with dew, cover it with adventure and a miracle or two? The Sandy Man can ‘cause he mixes it with love and makes the stars look gooooood. (We tried.) Head to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes for a unique place to adventure and view dark skies. 

Spend the day in the park then enjoy the dark sky from a viewing area or campground. Drive a dune buggy and sandboard on pink candy … er, sandy hills. You might even run into magical creatures like vermicious knids and bigfoot, aka the Sandy Man. 

Zion National Park

What’s better than hikes through canyons that look like the halls of a chocolate orange palace? Being a stargazer inside said palace. East Zion has some of the best hiking in the world in a remote backcountry that, as an International Dark Sky Park , makes some of the best dark skies in the world. 

In the daytime you can enjoy slot canyons, hanging gardens and secret chocolate waterfalls. Just don’t fall in. “The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last!” Come nighttime, stargaze along the Mount Carmel Scenic Byway at the Checkerboard Mesa Pull-off or stay overnight in a designated campground.

Kodachrome Basin State Park 

A little bit of nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men and women, so head to Kodachrome Basin State Park to walk amongst giant lollipops. Actually, they’re giant monolithic stone spires, and not eatable. You’ll also encounter peculiar flora and fauna like the chukar partridge and (also not edible) locoweed. 

The perfect complement to weird earthly views is stargazing under a dark sky. Camp at one of the three Kodachrome Basin campgrounds where you’ll really get to appreciate the heavenly views above the rock formations. 

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument 

Put on your Wonkavision goggles when looking at the technicolor cliffs in Grand Staircase-Escalante , but be sure to take the goggles off at night. The wilderness here is so remote it was the last place in the country to be mapped, making its dark skies perfect for stargazing. 

Take a day trip to nearby Lake Powell then set up a stargazing spot on Lone Rock Beach. Or drive through the monument on pretty much any remote road and you’ll find billions of trillions of stargazing spots. Head east to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and visit Rainbow Bridge National Monument , a designated Dark Sky Sanctuary .

North Rim of the Grand Canyon 

Kane County is a portal to Grand Canyon National Park , but you’ll have to travel by car instead of Wonkavator. The extra driving time is worth it to see the expansive canyon mirroring the expansive dark sky above. It really is quite a treat. Milky Way, anyone?

Now that you’ve been told the best places to stargaze in Utah, you know what to do. If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it when you visit Kane County . 

Stargaze in Kane County



visit southern

5 Quaint Small Towns To Visit In Southern Utah

S outhern Utah is high on my list of places to get outside. With endless red-rock vistas and deep, scenic canyons, all under a deep blue sky, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else with such beautiful terrain. There are so many stunning outdoor landscapes to see in Utah that it almost makes the rest of the 49 states seem like underachievers. And much of the wonder is in the southern portion of the state. 

We found quite a few towns that had more than their share of gorgeous scenery and fun things to do. A road trip spent driving the highways of southern Utah is a road trip you’ll remember; just as much for the landscape as for the towns and people you’ll come across. This area is unspoiled, and much of it off the beaten path, so unless you’re going at the height of tourist season, you won’t find places crawling with people.

Southern Utah is almost a year-round destination, although, because I’m not a heat-lover, I don’t think I’d go in July or August. In winter, the temperatures were moderate and the crowds non-existent. Just keep an eye on the snow forecast. Spring and fall are also great times to visit. Here are some of our favorite southern Utah small towns, in no particular order. 

Some of this information was obtained during a press trip. All opinions are my own.

1. St. George

St. George is stunning. This city of about 85,000 may not technically be a small town but has a small-town feel. It’s convenient as a home base to some of Utah’s best national parks and has its own quite fabulous state park. This area of southern Utah is some of the prettiest country I’ve seen in the entire U.S. 

If you’re into visiting national parks like I am, you’ll be pleased to know that St. George is only an hour south of Zion National Park and just a little farther from Bryce Canyon National Park. 

Getting to St. George is fairly easy. Many people take advantage of the St. George Regional Airport, which offers service from major airlines like United, American, and Delta. We decided to fly into Las Vegas and make the 2-hour drive north for our visit. One of the highlights of this drive is passing through the incredible Virgin River Gorge. 

My favorite way to spend time in St. George is outside. Pioneer Park has 52 acres of rock-climbing opportunities just waiting to be explored. After you’re done climbing, take a look around St. George’s historical features. Since the city was founded by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you’ll be able to visit many church-related sites. Top of the list is the Brigham Young Winter Residence Historical Site , which is open 7 days a week. Also a must-see is the St. George Tabernacle .

I recently spent an incredible 2 days at Red Mountain Resort in Ivins. This serene wellness retreat has everything for your body, mind, and soul and is set amid a jaw-dropping location in gorgeous Ivins, Utah. Technically a suburb of St. George, Ivins is home to world-class spas and plenty of ways to have fun outdoors. 

Snow Canyon State Park is a jewel and has accessibility right out the back doors of Red Mountain Resort. Snow Canyon easily competes with many of the national parks I’ve been to and might even be a national park itself were it not in a state that already has an incredible collection of five national parks. This 7,000+ acre state park offers miles of hiking trails, biking trails, and popular e-bike rentals located right on the outskirts of the park. Snow Canyon State Park is gloriously beautiful with sights seemingly around every corner. You’ll enjoy the almost 40 miles of hiking trails and 3 miles of paved walking and biking trails.

You may recognize Snow Canyon State Park as it’s been a favorite location for filmmakers. Westerns like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid , The Electric Horseman , and Jeremiah Johnson were all shot at least partly on location here.

Pro Tip: If you book a stay at Red Moutain Resort, ask about the airport shuttle that will take you to the resort so you won’t need a rental car.

3. Springdale

Right outside the west entrance of Zion National Park is the cute town of Springdale. With a population of less than 1,000, Springdale is a small town with a surprising number of good, local restaurants. 

We enjoyed an excellent dinner al fresco at Oscar’s Cafe . With homemade Mexican specialties, indoor and outdoor seating, and a casual vibe, this homey spot is a winner. I tried the salmon filet served on a bed of rice. The simple salmon was cooked to perfection. I could eat the accompanying stuffed poblano pepper daily. The pepper, filled with delicious cheddar mashed potatoes, corn, cilantro, onion, and red pepper mixture, is incredible. 

Another fun restaurant is the Bit and Spur. This restaurant and bar serves inventive southwestern cuisine and specialty margaritas, including my favorite prickly pear, as well as made-in-Utah spirits. Springdale is the perfect place to stay if you’re visiting Zion and the shuttle system in town lets you leave your car at the hotel and let them do the driving.

Pro Tip: The Sol Foods Supermarket has a great deli. Try their soups. 

Kanab isn’t as well-known as some of the neighboring towns, and that’s a good thing. This town, home to about 5,000, is in the heart of some of the best outdoor adventures in the state. For starters, there are three national parks within a 3-hour drive: Zion, Bryce, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Plus, Kanab is known as the gateway to the super popular The Wave . 

But the town also has its attractions including one of the most amazing animal sanctuaries in the U.S. — Best Friends . This organization works to save thousands of animals every year. At their Kanab location, you can participate in tours of the facility or take an adorable pup for a walk. They also have activities for the kids. 

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is an amazing place to explore on foot or by ATV. Almost 90 percent of the dunes are open for riding so you’re sure to find a thrilling area. Kanab is just an hour and a half from St. George Regional Airport or 3 hours from Las Vegas.

5. Escalante

Two hours north of Kanab, tiny Escalante is home to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument . If you’re looking for a vast, rugged, remote area where you can find solitude, this is your place. The monument is not nearly as popular as some of the nearby national parks, so you won’t see as many visitors and you might not see any people for hours, depending on when you go. 

One of the most popular things to do here is to check out Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon . If you’re into photography, the changing light here makes for incredible shots. The location of the canyon is off the beaten path, so many people prefer to go with a local guide. There are also plenty of hiking trails to explore as well as unique, otherworldly terrain. 

Pro Tips: While there are roads through the park, most are not paved, and many aren’t suitable for two-wheel-drive vehicles or RVs. This is a very large, very remote area with few services and no cell service for the most part. Make sure you’re prepared and stocked up on essentials (and gas). And it’s always a good idea to share your itinerary with friends so someone knows your plan.

Related Reading:

  • 10 Reasons To Visit This Charming Mountain Village In Utah During The Summer
  • 19 Incredible Places To Explore In Utah For Dinosaur Lovers
  • My 8 Favorite Stops Along Utah’s Beautiful Highway 89

This article originally appeared on TravelAwaits

SJ Morgensen

Travel to St George Utah with Miryka Haberl Choose Your Happy Place

  • Places & Travel

St George Kids is your go-to site for all the things to do locally- parks, hikes, events, places to go, things to see, and much more! Started by a mom, who had moved to St George and needed an outlet to discover St George in a way she wasn't used to- with her kids. Her page began by posting parks and hikes, and is now a guide to finding the best things to do for a weeked or finding fun things going on around town. St George Kids has grown tremendously in three years and continues to be a place locals can go to consistently find the best information. In this episode we will discuss St George and other areas around southern Utah. We will cover: Best time of year to visit St George Weather in Southern Utah Day trips to explore in southern Utah Food recommendations in St George Family friendly hikes in St George What to do/see in St George

  • Episode Website
  • More Episodes
  • Today's news
  • Reviews and deals
  • Climate change
  • 2024 election
  • Fall allergies
  • Health news
  • Mental health
  • Sexual health
  • Family health
  • So mini ways
  • Unapologetically
  • Buying guides


  • How to Watch
  • My watchlist
  • Stock market
  • Biden economy
  • Personal finance
  • Stocks: most active
  • Stocks: gainers
  • Stocks: losers
  • Trending tickers
  • World indices
  • US Treasury bonds
  • Top mutual funds
  • Highest open interest
  • Highest implied volatility
  • Currency converter
  • Basic materials
  • Communication services
  • Consumer cyclical
  • Consumer defensive
  • Financial services
  • Industrials
  • Real estate
  • Mutual funds
  • Credit cards
  • Credit card rates
  • Balance transfer credit cards
  • Business credit cards
  • Cash back credit cards
  • Rewards credit cards
  • Travel credit cards
  • Checking accounts
  • Online checking accounts
  • High-yield savings accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • Personal loans
  • Student loans
  • Car insurance
  • Home buying
  • Options pit
  • Investment ideas
  • Research reports
  • Fantasy football
  • Pro Pick 'Em
  • College Pick 'Em
  • Fantasy baseball
  • Fantasy hockey
  • Fantasy basketball
  • Download the app
  • Daily fantasy
  • Scores and schedules
  • GameChannel
  • World Baseball Classic
  • Premier League
  • CONCACAF League
  • Champions League
  • Motorsports
  • Horse racing
  • Newsletters

New on Yahoo

  • Privacy Dashboard

Water pouring out of rural Utah dam through 60-foot crack, putting nearby town at risk

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Workers hurriedly tried to shore up a rural Utah dam after a 60-foot (18-meter) crack sent water pouring into a creek and endangering the 1,800 residents of a downstream town.

State and local leaders don’t think the Panguitch Lake Dam is in imminent danger of breaking open but have told residents to be prepared to evacuate if conditions worsen. Emergency management officials passed out a list of evacuation procedures to worried residents at a Wednesday evening town meeting meant to mitigate panic.

“I can’t say that the emergency situation is entirely averted, but I’m very, very encouraged by the progress we’ve made today,” Everett Taylor, an assistant state engineer for dam safety with the Utah Division of Water Rights, told residents of the southern Utah town.

Lowering the reservoir to below the affected area will take several days, he said. About 2 feet (61 centimeters) of water remained above the crack as of Wednesday evening, and workers had covered nearly 45 feet (nearly 14-meters) of the crack with boulders.

An ice sheet on the reservoir had pushed up against the dam, causing the top to crack and tilt downstream, with water gushing through the opening, Taylor explained. His staff was able to relieve some of the pressure against the dam by making large cuts across the ice sheet. The ice has now pulled away, and the top of the dam has tilted back, he said.

Local officials discovered the fissure in the upper portion of the dam during an inspection Monday night, and state officials announced it to the public on Tuesday. The state has labeled it a level 2 breach risk — a designation in the middle of the three-prong scale that means there is potential for dam failure.

If a breach occurs, state and local law enforcement will work with the Red Cross to evacuate Panguitch, which sits about 10 miles (16 kilometers) downstream from the dam. Another tiny town, Circleville, is farther downstream and faces a lower flood risk.

Sgt. Jacob Cox of the Utah Highway Patrol, which has been tasked with helping prepare the town in case of an evacuation, told residents Wednesday that they should have ample time to gather their belongings and evacuate safely.

“This can be orderly,” he said. “If the notice is that the dam has broken or breached, we have time. The estimation is roughly two hours before those floodwaters are really inundating the town."

Sirens will sound in the event of an evacuation, and officers will go door to door to make sure everyone has cleared the area, Garfield County Sheriff Eric Houston said. A nearby chapel and high school will serve as emergency shelters.

Water is being released at nearly 260 cubic feet (6.5 cubic meters) per second to draw down the reservoir below the crack. Large rocks are being trucked in and placed on the downstream side of the dam to support the wall. No rain is forecast until Saturday.

The dam was built in the late 1800s, but the top portion that cracked was added to the dam in the 1930s and 1940s. There were no previous concerns regarding its structural integrity, and the crack came as a surprise, Taylor said.

Panguitch Mayor Kim Soper urged residents to steer clear of the creek receiving runoff from the reservoir, warning that the water level is much higher than usual and is a danger to children.

He teared up as he recalled standing in the same gymnasium in 2017 to prepare evacuation plans as a wildfire ravaged southern Utah .

“We got through that, and we're going to get through this,” Soper assured his community. “It's just a different emergency.”

Peterson reported from Denver.

The Associated Press receives support from the Walton Family Foundation for coverage of water and environmental policy. The AP is solely responsible for all content. For all of AP’s environmental coverage, visit

Recommended Stories

The apple watch series 9 is on sale for as low as $295 right now.

The Apple Watch Series 9 is more than $100 off right now at Amazon, with some models and color options hitting record-low prices.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster pickup starts at $86,900 in the U.S.

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster pickup starts at $86,900 in the U.S., a 21.6% premium over the wagon thanks to the Chicken Tax. Order books are open now.

US think tank Heritage Foundation hit by cyberattack

Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation said on Friday that it experienced a cyberattack earlier this week. A person with knowledge of the cyberattack told TechCrunch that efforts at Heritage were underway to remediate the cyberattack, but said that it wasn't immediately known what, if any, data was taken. Politico, which first reported the news of the cyberattack on Friday, cited a Heritage official as saying the organization "shut down its network to prevent any further malicious activity while we investigate the incident."

Big bank profits likely fell in first quarter but investors don't seem worried

Profits at big banks are not expected to dazzle when first-quarter results are released in coming days, but investors are more focused on the rest of 2024.

SMU suspends CB Teddy Knox as he faces felony charges from multi-vehicle crash involving Chiefs' Rashee Rice

Knox is facing the same charges as Rice, who turned himself into police Thursday.

How to sell a house fast

To sell a house fast, be strategic about how you price the home and consider selling for cash. Learn five useful ways to sell your house quickly.

Draft rumor BS meter + Xavier Worthy: does WR speed matter? | Inside Coverage

Jason Fitz is joined by Senior NFL Reporters Charles Robinson and Jori Epstein to dive into the how and why of the biggest news around the league this week. The trio start with the news of O.J. Simpson's passing and why it's hard to put a bow on his story and legacy. Rashee Rice has a warrant out for his arrest, and Charles thinks the league could be looking to issue a suspension. In other news, Jacksonville Jaguars pass rusher Josh Allen received a massive contract extension, as the Jaguars are betting Allen can be a perennial DPOY candidate. Jori is writing a piece on WR draft prospect Xavier Worthy, who broke the 40-yard dash record, so the trio discuss the how the value of speed has changed among evaluators over the past few decades. Many call for GPS data to replace 40 testing, but the technology is not standardized among all schools, which presents the question of how the NFL will go about enforcing standardization of GPS tracking. The hosts finish out the show by getting to the bottom of some rumors circling around the 2024 NFL Draft by determining which to believe, and which are bologna. They discuss Drake Maye, Malik Nabers, JJ McCarthy, Jayden Daniels and Jim Harbaugh.

A four-pack of Chipolo One Bluetooth trackers is on sale for $60 right now

The Chipolo One is our favorite Bluetooth tracker. A four-pack is on sale for $60, which is a record low price.

How to insure deposits over $250,000

The FDIC and NCUA provide deposit insurance up to $250,000 at each financial institution. If your deposits exceed that limit, here’s how to ensure your money is protected.

Amazon's No. 1 bestselling pillow slides are on sale for $20: 'Eased the strain on my knees'

Teachers, hairdressers and nurses swear by these 'marshmallow clouds of joy' to keep their tootsies happy.

Ford targets Tesla owners with $1,500 EV 'conquest' rebate

Ford (F) is targeting one automaker in particular when it comes to boosting EV sales — Tesla (TSLA).

Stock market today: 'Magnificent 7' power stock surge after CPI-fueled sell-off

Investors were bracing for a wholesale inflation print, after a surprise uptick in CPI shook markets and undermined bets on interest-rate cuts.

Driving at night can get harder starting as early as your late 20s. Here’s how to improve nighttime vision.

Why does it get harder to drive at night as you age and what can you do about it? Here are some expert tips.

10 best car gadget deals of the week, including a popular hand vac for just $19

Our all-star team of accessories will make your drive cleaner, easier and safer.

Instagram's status update feature is coming to user profiles

Instagram’s status update feature, Notes, will soon be more prominent in the app.

O.J. Simpson timeline: From football and acting stardom to murder trial and death

Here are some of the key moments in the life of the NFL star-turned-actor acquitted of murdering his wife and her friend in the so-called trial of the century.

NFL Draft primer: Bills need wide receivers in void left by Stefon Diggs trade

What does Buffalo need in this month's NFL Draft? How many picks do they have? We break it down right here.

Brewers outfielder Jackson Chourio is well on his way to becoming the face of the franchise

In the big leagues with a long-term deal at just 20 years old, Chourio is "going to be even better than he already is."

O.J. Simpson dead at 76 after battle with cancer, family announces

O.J. Simpson, one of the most infamous figures in U.S. history, had been battling cancer.

Bethenny Frankel uses this 'hydrating, plumping, brightening' Vitamin C serum every day — it's now just $20

The RHONY alum says Bliss Bright Idea is 'amazing for hyperpigmentation' — save a sweet 30%.


  1. 3 Days in Southern Utah: Your Inside Tract to an Unforgettable Long Weekend

    visit southern

  2. Kanab

    visit southern

  3. Alton

    visit southern

  4. 10 Incredible Hikes that Define the Southern Utah Experience

    visit southern

  5. 12 Stunning Landscapes You'll Only See in Utah

    visit southern

  6. Best Time to Visit Southern Utah

    visit southern


  1. Kanab Utah

    Get To Know The Area. Kick up some dirt, take in the fresh air, and discover Southern Utah with its many scenic wonders. With Kanab, Orderville, Duck Creek, and the rest of Kane County as a basecamp, you can explore the thrilling slot canyons of the Grand Staircase, the ever-shifting vistas of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, a world-famous view of The Wave, and so much more.

  2. Visiting Southern Utah

    Alpine Fishing Above the Red Rock Landscapes of Southern Utah. Written By Visit Utah 2 minute read Sitting just outside of Capitol Reef National Park, this 11,000-foot peak offers views of the surrounding red canyons and desert-like region. In contrast, Boulder Mountain is heavily forested and home to more than 80 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

  3. Southern Utah Communities

    Southern Utah is rich in Pioneer and Native American History, with each town having their own unique heritage. Learn more about Kanab's Movie History, Orderville's intriguing United Order, or how Big Water became a town due to the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. See All.

  4. Welcome to Southern Utah

    This list will help you plan your trip to Southern Utah. If you have more questions about these sites, call our Visitor Center at 1-435-644-5033 to speak with our knowledgeable information hosts. Click on our "Events" and discover what special events are happening during your visit. With over 40 special annual events, you are likely to find ...

  5. Southern Utah

    Recommended regional trip length: Plan six days to fully experience the three national parks: Zion National Park. Bryce Canyon National Park. Capitol Reef National Park. Add an additional day for each of the following: Cedar Breaks National Monument. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Lake Powell.

  6. Best Time to Visit Southern Utah

    How to Avoid Crowds. The Mighty 5 ® national parks draw millions of visitors to Southern Utah annually, but just outside their boundaries, state parks, national monuments, wilderness areas and national forests promise comparable views and recreation.Visiting Southern Utah is a regional experience, and the best experience will flow inside and outside of national parks.

  7. How To Visit Southern Utah in Winter

    Plan for Winter Driving. Be sure to check road conditions (and closures) and be prepared for winter driving conditions such as ice, snow and sleet. Snow tires, chains and 4-wheel-drive can be useful, and may be required by law in some areas. Be sure your vehicle is well-equipped and well-maintained with good tire tread and traction.

  8. 7 Of The Best Southern Utah Hikes

    Oh, and always carry plenty of water when hiking the arid, high-country desert of Southern Utah, along with snacks, sunscreen and appropriate hiking shoes. The Mighty 5. The Fisher Towers area is a maze of soaring fins, pinnacles, minarets, gargoyles, spires, and strangely shaped rock formations east of Moab. 1.

  9. Guided Tours

    Duck Creek Rentals. 825 Movie Ranch Rd Duck Creek , UT 84762. Website. Show More. Find The Tour For You. Situated right in the heart of TEN of America's Most Scenic Wonders, friendly Kanab is the perfect base-camp for exploring the astounding Colorado Plateau.

  10. 17 Amazing Things to Do in Southern Utah

    At almost 2 million acres, Dixie National Forest offers visitors a ton of things to do in Southern Utah. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, ATV-ing, skiing, horseback riding, and more. Don't miss the forest's scenic byway Highway 12, Highway 14, and Patchwork Parkway to see more of South Utah's amazing scenery.

  11. 14 Unmissable Things to do in Southern Utah

    Warrior's Walk. In the heart of Southern Utah's red rock country lies a hidden gem known as Warrior's Walk. This secluded spot is located in the town of Kanab and is the perfect place to explore the area's natural beauty. The trailhead for Warrior's Walk is located just off Highway 89 and is marked by a small sign.

  12. 51 Incredible Things to do in Southern Utah

    Here's an overview of our mega-list of the best things to do in Southern Utah. You can use the links below to jump around the article. Road trip through Utah's Mighty 5. Explore a slot canyon. Tackle Utah's most thrilling hike: Angel's Landing. Go rock climbing in Moab. Take a backpacking trip through Coyote Gulch.

  13. The Top 15 Amazing Southern Utah Attractions You Must See

    One of my favorite of the top Southern Utah attractions to visit is the Natural Bridges National Monument. With three incredible natural bridges to see in one small area, it is a great place to check out some of Mother Nature's most beautiful rock sculpting. At 220 feet tall and spanning 268 feet, the Sipapu Bridge is the monument's largest ...

  14. Visit Southern Utah

    Visit Southern Utah, Kanab, Utah. 13,372 likes · 202 talking about this · 335 were here. Official Facebook page for Kane County Office of Tourism; Base camp to the Wonders of the West! Grand Canyon,...

  15. Utah Trip Planner

    Northern Utah. Recommended regional trip length: 2 days for Salt Lake City. Add an additional day for each of the following stops: Park City, Heber Valley, Antelope Island State Park, Golden Spike National Historic Park, Bear Lake and Provo Canyon. To extend your visit to Vernal and the Dinosaur National Monument area, add another 2 days.

  16. The Ultimate 7-Day Southern Utah Road Trip Itinerary: Zion, Bryce

    The Best Southern Utah Road Trip Itinerary: One Week. A southern Utah road trip takes a little more pre-planning than a lot of vacations, but the adventures are totally worth it. ... If you are planning to visit more than three national parks in the next 12 months, grab an America the Beautiful Pass for $79.99.

  17. How to Plan the Perfect Winter Trip to Southern Utah

    Why Winter Is the Best Time to Visit Southern Utah — Land of Red Rock Arches, National Parks, and Outdoor Adventures. The season reveals this part of the state at perhaps its most stunning. By.

  18. Top 50+ Amazing Things to Do in Southern Utah in 2024

    Visit the Southern Utah National Parks - "The Mighty 5" Utah has five incredible national parks, often called "The Mighty 5". It costs between $20-35 to visit each park, or you can invest in a yearly America the Beautiful national park pass for $80, which will get you access to over 2,000 recreation sites across the United States.

  19. 4 Epic Ways to Explore Southern Utah

    Few places in the contiguous U.S. are as strikingly beautiful as southern Utah. And while the region's many spas and hotels offer ample opportunities for R&R, it's also a beacon for adventure seekers.

  20. Southern Utah Scenic Tours

    Southern Utah's oldest Receptive Tour Operator offering regularly scheduled and customized tours of Utah's Zion, Bryce, ... Visit 7 National Parks (including the 5 Utah Parks) as well as many other National, Navajo and State Parks, and National Monuments. All of this in just 10 days! Pricing: $4,699 per person. ...

  21. 13 Charming Utah Mountain Towns to Visit with the Family

    Skiing at Brian Head Resort offers the unique opportunity to bask in the glory of southern Utah from a view 10,000 feet up. At this relaxed resort, families can also enjoy snow tubing, ice skating ...

  22. Kanab Stargazing: A World of Pure Imagination

    Kanab is in Kane County, a place filled with red dirt and dark skies. It's isolated. It's wild. It's magical. It changes you for the better. You can stay in a hotel, vacation rental, campground or glampsite. There are even more reasons you should stay in Kanab to make it the center of your stargazing trip.

  23. 5 Quaint Small Towns To Visit In Southern Utah

    Kanab isn't as well-known as some of the neighboring towns, and that's a good thing. This town, home to about 5,000, is in the heart of some of the best outdoor adventures in the state. For ...

  24. Travel to St George Utah with Miryka Haberl

    Best time of year to visit St George Weather in Southern Utah Day trips to explore in southern Utah Food recommendations in St George Family friendly hikes in St George What to do/see in St George. PLAY. 28 min. Episode Website; More Episodes; 2022 More ways to shop: Find an Apple Store or other retailer near you.

  25. Water pouring out of rural Utah dam through 60-foot crack ...

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Workers hurriedly tried to shore up a rural Utah dam after a 60-foot (18-meter) crack sent water pouring into a creek and endangering the 1,800 residents of a downstream town.

  26. Explore the breathtaking beauty of Zion National Park in Southern Utah

    parallel.passportsApril 7, 2024 on : "Explore the breathtaking beauty of Zion National Park in Southern Utah with your favorite person. ️ Best times to visit ...

  27. Toledo transfer Dante Maddox Jr., set for visit to ...

    And one of those transfers will be former Toledo guard Dante Maddox Jr. The 6-foot-2 point guard confirmed to Cardinal Authority that he will arrive in Louisville on Friday night for a campus ...