Ghost towns and red rock scenery are two of the many attractions southern Utah offers vacationers
If you are planning a national park vacation, southern Utah is the perfect place to go. St. George, southern Utah’s largest city, is a perfect base camp for visiting Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park. Zion is less than an hour away while the two other national parks are within a few hours of St. George. In addition to national parks, southern Utah is home to scenic state parks, including Sand Hollow State Park, Quail Creek State Park and Snow Canyon State Park.
A showcase of southern Utah’s signature red rock scenery, Snow Canyon’s collection of red and white sandstone formations and black lava beds are located only 11 miles northwest of St. George. Named for an early pioneer leader, Snow Canyon receives little, if any, snow each winter. Winter, late fall and early spring are the best times to traverse the 7,400-acre park’s 16 miles of trails due to southern Utah’s moderate climate. In addition to hiking, the park is also a haven for mountain biking, wildlife viewing, mountain biking and photographing its striking scenery.
Besides breathtaking red rock landscapes, southern Utah is home to two notable ghost towns, Silver Reef and Grafton. Located only 20 minutes up I-15 from St. George, Silver Reef was a mining boomtown in the 1870s. The only place in North America with silver deposits in sandstone, Silver Reef features several ruins of the town’s structures and a restored Wells Fargo Express Office now listed on the National Historic Register. The former office is now a museum chronicling the town’s heyday through artifact displays. In a canyon just west of the former town, a short trail leads to an old stone kiln used to process silver. Grafton, a filming location of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and other films, features a restored church/schoolhouse, residence, and a cemetery housing the remains of early settlers killed by Indians.
When planning a southern Utah vacation, contact the St. George Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to find out more information on these attractions and much more, including lodging, entertainment and shopping. We will help you formulate a southern Utah itinerary that will please every member of your family!