Greater Zion Area Attractions

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

St. George is the closest semi-large city near Zion. St. George has lots of shopping, restaurants, 10+ golf courses, the arts, and several notable attractions. Looking for a day outside out of Zion National Park? Try these local area attractions:

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ST GEORGE UTAH

SNOW CANYON STATE PARK – Gorgeous red rock canyon near St. George. Called by some “Zion’s little brother,” Snow Canyon is an impressive canyon that contains several desert landscapes. It has some of the best sightseeing and hiking in southern Utah on a variety of trails, including a cool petroglyphs hike. $10 entrance fee.

RED CLIFFS DESERT RESERVE – The Red Reef Trail is great for families wanting a short, easy hike with scenic views. Leave from the campground at the Red Cliffs Recreation Area into a narrow canyon beside a small stream. As you hike, the canyon narrows until it is just a few feet wide. You will come to a little waterfall that blocks the trail—you may climb to the right and then continue up the narrow canyon. The Red Reef trailhead is 45 minutes from Springdale. Free entry.

TAUCAHN – Catch a Broadway-style performance at the renowned Tuacahn outdoor amphitheater. For show info visit tuacahn.org. Shows play all summer and fall. It is usually sold out nightly—advance reservations recommended.

LITTLE BLACK MOUNTAIN PETROGLYPH SITE – Technically in Arizona (just over the Utah border), this site contains some of the best-preserved petroglyphs in southern Utah. Accessible by a short nature trail. The dirt road in can be a bit bumpy. Free entry.

THE ST. GEORGE TEMPLE VISITORS’ CENTER – Visit one of the original temples for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) who first settled this area in the 1860’s. The temple was completed in 1877—the first in Utah. Other pioneer sites to see in the area: the St. George Tabernacle (opened 1876), the Brigham Young Winter Home, and the Jacob Hamblin House.

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THE VORTEX HIKE – 30 minutes outside St. George is a hike that ends in a naturally shaped bowl (or Vortex) in the Navajo sandstone. It is a bit out of the way—but a nifty little hike with amazing views and a cool destination. It’s rather short (just over 2 miles) but moderate in difficulty due to the terrain. See hikestgeorge.com for info. Free entry.

KIDS ACTIVITY IDEA: RED HILLS DESERT GARDEN – This 5-acre garden features 5,000 water-efficient plants, a 1,150-foot stream with native and endangered fish species, a replica slot canyon and prehistoric dinosaur tracks found onsite dating back 200 million years. While here, visit the Pioneer Park and St. George “narrows”. These outdoor park areas are located right next to the Desert Garden and offer fun outdoor play areas to explore the natural red rock formations, including a cool little slot canyon and mini-arch. Free entry.

SAND HOLLOW STATE PARK – Experience boating, paddle boarding and scuba in a calm lake surrounded by sandy beaches and red rock cliffs. Rental gear and equipment available in Hurricane. ATV rentals also nearby. Entry fee required.

YANT FLAT HIKE (AKA THE CANDY CLIFFS) – Colored sandstone formations that sport views similar to the Wave in AZ — without having to draw a permit. The rocks have the appearance of swirled hard candy; in other places the weathered sandstone looks like giant reptile scales. The trail is short, flat, and easy: 1.2 miles one-way. Once you reach the cliffs, work your way east along the rim for a half-mile until you reach a huge natural bowl area that has the best rock formations. Yant Flat has a herd of wild horses that roam here. Avoid this hike in the heat: go early or near sunset. The dirt road in is smooth and suitable for cars (4-wheel drive not required). Very sparse crowds.