Destinations Magazine

4 Can’t Miss Hikes Near St. George, Utah

By Davedtc @davedtc

by Karl Ortegon

Close to Zion National Park and several state parks and surrounded by mesmerizing red rock formations, St. George, Utah is a fantastic destination to enjoy the beauty America's Southwest. Less than a two hours' drive northwest of Las Vegas, you'll quickly fall in love with the sweeping vistas, sandy dunes and tall slot canyons that dominate the landscape.

While there are dozens of fabulous hikes to explore in this area, narrowing down the list can be tough. We've put together a short (but beautiful!) list of the hikes in the area that are absolutely bucket list worthy. Ready to go?


It's said that if Zion National Park wasn't so close, then Snow Canyon would have been made a national park as the landscape is just as spectacular and offers a series of trails that are just as exciting. The once swirling, flowing mountains of sand that occupied the landscape millions of years ago are now a sunbaked swath of rugged, rolling petrified sand dunes instead. While the trail begins at the 1.2-mile Petrified Dunes Trailhead, you'll quickly notice the petrified dunes are easy to climb, and, if you climb to the top of one, you'll be able to take in the stunning beauty of Snow Canyon State Park from just about every angle. For the best photo opportunities - and to beat the summer heat - plan to head to this area of Snow Canyon State Park shortly before sunset when the orange and yellow hues light up the landscape in a surreal way.


Just outside downtown St. George on the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, the Babylon Arch Trail is recommended for the early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn't as high in the sky. The trail leading up to the delicate arch is all sand and is full of wild sage. Depending on the lighting and where you're positioned on the trail, the arch itself can resemble an elephant, making it an excellent point for photos. Also within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve is Babylon Arch.


The Narrows hike is perhaps the most famous hike in all of Zion National Park because this trail doesn't just follow the Virgin River - it's in it. As you hike deeper and deeper into the slot canyons, the walls become more and more narrow. The temperatures within the canyon average 15-20-degrees cooler than the rest of the park, making this hike especially popular in the summer months. However, if you'd like to enjoy the area's natural beauty sans crowds, plan to hike the Narrows in late fall or winter. Equipment rentals, including a special dry suit and specialized water shoes, are available just outside the park. Please note: Anyone interested in hiking the Narrows should pay special attention to the river's current and/or water levels. The National Park Service will close the trail if either is too strong or too high for hikers that day.


4 Can’t Miss Hikes Near St. George, Utah

It's hard to read up on Utah without hearing about Zion National Park - the national park is an outdoor lover's paradise, which is why we have one more hike to add to the list. Imagine an oasis in the desert, and you won't be surprised when you roll up to the Emerald Pools trail. The trail follows a stream lush with vegetation and easily accessible to visitors in both the winter and summer months. At certain points, the stream collects into colorful pools (hence the name of the trail) to make a stunning contrast to the earth-toned rocks surrounding them. Altogether, this hike will take about two hours round trip and is perfect for young children and adults.

Content was produced in partnership with Visit St. George and Travel Mindset

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