Southwestern Utah Outdoor Recreation

National Parks | State Parks | National Forests | BLM Sites | Ski Resorts | Other 


Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Twelve miles off U.S. Highway 89 near Kanab, lies the wide-sweeping expanse of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. It is a wonderful place for riding off-highway vehicles or for just playing on the coral colored dunes. Take this short side trip and enjoy running up and jumping down the ever changing dunes.


Cedar Breaks National Monument

Come visit a park that offers you the chance to stand above 10,000 feet on a cliff edge surrounded by forests and flower-covered meadows looking into a desert amphitheater 2,500 feet deep. Enjoy a shady stroll through the forest or hike along the rim. Experience one of the darkest night skies in the country at one of the star parties hosted here or enjoy the wildflower festival in July. Also voted one of the best places for Fall colors in the United States by USA Today.


National Parks State Parks

Bryce Canyon National Park - At Bryce Canyon National Park, erosion has shaped colorful Claron lime stones, sandstones and mudstones into thousands of spires, fins, pinnacles and mazes.

Capitol Reef National Park - Capitol Reef offers nearly 250,000 acres of beautiful landscapes and amazing rock formations.  Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, picnicking, biking, swimming, horseback riding and wildlife scenery.

Cedar Breaks National Monument - Cedar Breaks located near Cedar City is an enormous amphitheater which spans  three miles, and is over 2,000 feet deep.  Visitors can enjoy pine, spruce and aspen trees as well as colorful wildflowers that abound throughout the park.  Activities include hiking, backpacking,  picnicking, camping and sight seeing.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area consists of one of the Nation's largest canyon country.  Lake Powell stretches 186 miles and provides over 1,900 miles of shoreline.  Visitors can enjoy some of the Nation's best fishing, hiking, boating, water sports, camping and other outdoor recreation.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument offers beautiful and colorful landscapes. The Monument extends across 1.9 million acres.

Zion National Park - Zion National Park offers a  229 square miles of spectacular cliff-and-canyon landscape and wilderness.  Visitors can see the world's largest arch - Kolob Arch - with a span measuring 310 feet. Wildlife such as mule deer, golden eagles, and mountain lions, also inhabit the Park.


BLM Recreation Sites

Baker DamTry fishing for browns and rainbow trout in this picturesque reservoir or along the creek below it. The trees here will shade you from the summer sun, and in the winter you won't need to break the ice to go fishing. Whatever the season, this is a great place to spend the day.

Canyons of the EscalanteLocated within the magnificent Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Escalante River winds its way through massive walls of white rock, slowly carving the stark and beautiful Canyons of the Escalante.

Henry Mountains - Whether you're a hiker, camper, or just like to drive through the mountains, you'll find your niche in the beauty of the Henrys.

Hog SpringsSurrounded by the slick, red walls of southern Utah's desert, this beautiful picnic area along the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway makes the perfect stop. The area offers a wonderful view of the Henry Mountains, and ancient pictographs and petroglyphs dot canyon walls.

Joshua Tree National LandmarkWatchable wildlife, site seeing, photography, hiking, rock climbing and scenic driving on the Joshua Tree Backway. Discover the northernmost stand of Joshua Trees. Take the Joshua Tree Road Backway for a tour through the Mojave desert landscapes and stunning wildflowers in season.

Otter Creek Reservoir - Otter Creek has an activity for almost everyone. The cold, clear water of this large reservoir offers year-round fishing for rainbow trout. For wildlife watchers, numerous waterfowl, raptors, deer, antelope, and elk abound.

Paiute Reservoir/Paiute ATV TrailWhether you like mountain fishing or miles of ATV trails, this reservoir is for you.  No matter what your reason for visiting, this reservoir is a great summer getaway. Visit the ghost town of Kimberley where 3,000 gold miners worked around the turn of the century and the birth place of the famous outlaw Butch Cassidy. Also, numerous pictographs and petroglyphs are in this area.

Paria Canyon/RiverExperience the muddy waters of the wild and twisting canyons of the Paria River located within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Visit the old Paria movie set and ghost town north of the wilderness area. Petroglyphs and campsites show that Pueblo Indians traveled the Paria more than 700 years ago.

Parowan GapThousands of years ago, an ancient river cut a 600-foot-deep notch, called a wind gap, through the Red Hills. The gap is a superb "gallery" of petroglyphs that features a 1,000-year accumulation of Native American rock art.

Red Cliffs/Sand MountainEarly morning and late afternoon sunlight brings these weather-sculptured cliffs of reddish-orange alive with color. Quail creek, a seasonal stream, emerges from a canyon and flows through the middle of the campground.

Smithsonian Butte/Canaan MountainSee the towering slickrock pinnacles and balancing rocks of Canaan Mountain, as well as panoramic views of Zion National Park, from the Smithsonian Butte Backcountry Byway. If you're looking for a glimpse of the Old West, stop at nearby Grafton, one of the best preserved and most picturesque ghost towns in Utah. 

The Wolverton MillIt was 1921 when Edwin T. Wolverton constructed a mill in the Henry Mountains, completing a dream he had begun 20 years before. Wolverton came to the area in search of a legendary Spanish gold mine. Today, the Spanish gold is still just a legend, but the mill has been restored and relocated to the BLM office in Hanksville.

Anasazi Indian State Park - Ancient Indian village located in Boulder on State Route 12. 

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Parks - Twelve miles off U.S. Highway 89 near Kanab, lies the wide-sweeping expanse of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. It is a wonderful place for riding off-highway vehicles.

Escalante State Park - Escalante State Park features colorful deposits of mineralized wood and dinosaur bones.

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum - The museum tells the story of development in Iron County when, in the 1850s, Brigham Young sent Mormon missionaries there to mine iron.

Gunlock State Park - In scenic red rock country, 15 miles northwest of sunny St. George lies the 240-acre Gunlock Reservoir where year-round boating, water sports and quality fishing for bass and catfish attract visitors.

Kodachrome Basin State Park - Kodachrome Basin is a spectacle of massive sandstone chimneys.

Otter Creek State Park - Year-round fishing and boating on 3,120-acre Otter Creek Reservoir are the park's featured activities.

Piute State Park - Piute State Park is open year-round for trophy fishing. Popular activities include camping, boating, waterfowl hunting in season and rock hounding.

Quail Creek State Park - Quail Creek State Park provides excellent year-round camping, picnicking, boating, and trout and bass fishing in sunny southwest Utah.

Sand Hollow State Park - This state park near St George offers a warm-water reservoir, sandy beaches and red rock. ATV trails run over sand dunes in the park, and additional trails are located nearby. This is a great place to camp, picnic, boat, and fish.

Snow Canyon State Park - Red Navajo sandstone, capped by an overlay of black lava rock, makes photography, hiking, biking and camping in Snow Canyon a double treat.


Ski Resorts

Brian Head Resort - Brain Head Resort is located east of Cedar City.  The resort offers 500 skiable acres, 53 runs and 1,707 feet of vertical drop.  (435) 677-2035.

Eagle Point - Eagle Point is located near Beaver.  The resort offers 420 skiable acres, 36 runs and 1,350 feet of vertical drop.  (435) 438-5433 or (888) 881-SNOW.


National Forests

Dixie National Forest - Dixie National Forest occupies almost two million acres and stretches for about 170 miles. The largest National Forest in Utah, it straddles the divide between the Great Basin and the Colorado River.

Fishlake National Forest - Fishlake National Forest has mountains rising from the valleys and elevated plateaus holding hidden niches of beauty and solitude.  Visitors can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking and wildlife viewing.


Other Outdoor Recreation

Minersville Reservoir - Boating, year-round fishing and camping make Minersville State Park a popular getaway in southwestern Utah.

North Fork Virgin River Merriam's Turkey Viewing Area - The North Fork Virgin River Merriam's Turkey Viewing Area consists of a stream that runs through small meadows interspersed with forest. Streamside vegetation is composed of cottonwood and willows, while uplands are primarily piņon-juniper and Gambel oak stands with scattered ponderosa pines.

The Wave - The Wave is a sandstone rock formation in the Coyote Buttes area of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness on the Utah/Arizona border. The scenery is breath-taking. It is a great destination for a short (about 6 mile round trip), moderately difficult day hike. There are many other features in the Coyote Buttes area that are equally beautiful and worth seeing. Permits are needed to gain access and should be reserved on-line in advance. Only 20 people are allowed in each day.