We've got a few hikes for you. Harmony and Melinda lived in Cedar City during college and seemed to hike a lot more than they do now! These are some of our favorite spots. Some are popular, some are only known to the locals. Some hikes are for older kids, like teenagers, while some can be all ages. We hope that you'll try them out!
Red Cliffs Nature Trail | Red Cliffs near St. George.
It's not really as scary as the picture looks. But it makes it look super cool right?
This lovely hike is just a good walk with the kids! We went in March, so it was pretty chilly still. Good thing we didn't fall in the water.
Here, I was just trying to show the kids how it was done...and failed miserably. It's okay though.
The hike is only a mile or two - we took the kids on it. They were around 4-6.
Angels Landing | Zion National Park
(Ages 10+ I think.)
This is the hike you need to do at least once in your life. The view is unbelievable, and so is the hike. It's paved pretty much all the way to the top and then there's the EXTRA cool part. The chains are all the holds you to your life and the rocks.
Again, it's amazing. Once you climb across that narrow rock shown above, you can sit, eat a snack and just take it all in.
I've never done this hike with kids. I know it can be done with kids, but I'd recommend they are at least teenagers. One of the other crazy things about this hike is "Walter's Wiggles."
Let's talk about switchbacks...and more switchbacks.
I'll definitely be taking my kids one day, maybe if I feel like taking them in the backpack, or I just might wait until they're in their teens.
Zion Petroglyphs | (East) Zion National Park
My Father-in-law has lived in Southern Utah his whole life. For fun, he takes people on tours of all the National Parks in the area. This guy knows his stuff. Not many people know about these petroglyphs, as there isn't a marker for them.
They are located in East Zion. You'll go past the second tunnel to Highway 89.
There is a pull-out with a wooden rail fence and a plaque. The plaque tells you about the road construction.
Go into the dry river wash and go up about 1/4 of a mile, then you'll see them!
Subway Hike | Zion National Park
(9.5 Miles Round trip. Teenagers + Strenuous + Canyoneering + Permit Required) In other words, do some extensive research, this isn't one you can just go do.
This hike, friends, is stupendous. Never have I seen such beauty. Nor such extreme landscape changes.
One minute you are in the blazing hot desert climbing petrified sand dunes, the next you are climbing down boulders to drop into the slot canyons below.
Immediately, you are in another word.
Freezing (Like FREEZING) water running past.
There aren't really words or photos that can do this justice.
This hike does require quite a bit of planning. You'll need multiple cars, one to leave where the hike ends, and one to drive to the trailhead. It's so worth it. I know my husband did this as a teenager multiple times, and it's one of our favorites. Make sure you plan ahead as this requires a permit and some canyoneering items (at least that's what I hear, somehow we manage to get around this without dying.)
Kolob Canyon | Zion National Park | Entrance 17 miles south of Cedar City
Did you know that Zion National Park has a few different entrances that are located like 40 MILES apart from each other? They don't connect either, unless you are hiking - and that hike is not for the younger kids. I almost got lost during a 14 mile trek that went from one end of the park to the other...and then we had to hitchhike home.
Kanarraville Falls | Kanarraville
The favorite hike of all times. When we went, it was always free. Now I hear the city charges for parking, but I'm not sure. I can't even find out how long the hike really is...maybe 3-5 miles round trip?
There are many different places to stop, as it is a beautiful hike most of the way. There are parts of the hike that you climb up logs and ladders.
One of the reasons this is our favorite hike is the water and shade. Plus it's so pretty!
The main destination of the hike is these two water slides! The left one slides you down while the right one plummets you into a deep pit of water. Make sure the kids go on the left side. It's just as fun as it looks, truly.
Make sure to bring lots of water and some clothes you don't mind getting dirty.
Kanarraville is located 9 miles south of Cedar City Utah just off the freeway. Once there, find 100 north and head towards the canyon, there is a parking area for the hike. Again, I don't know if you have to pay or not, but bring some cash too. Also, dogs are no longer allowed.
Yankee Meadow Reservoir Dixie National Forest | Parowan
I'd forgotten all about this little meadow! It's one of my favorite fishing places, plus it's also quite lovely. I've never camped there but I hear it's pretty cool.
The drive up there is pretty spectacular too. It's a nice place to go if you just want to drive for an hour.
Pinto Road (Hiking) | Dixie National Forest
Another cool road is called Pinto. Located west of Cedar City, it's this amazing dirt road that takes you back in time. Along the way you'll see some historic pioneer homes, homes that people actually live in, and there is an old cave called Lion's Mouth, which we never found, but we explored nonetheless.
If you keep following Pinto Road, you can go all the way to Pine Valley (which I'll talk about below.) Seriously, it's a fun half day road trip.
Old Iron Town | Dixie National Forest
I know, it was also included in my last list. But see, this is a special place for me. My husband and I lived in Old Iron Town for just a year, yet it was so wonderful. We could explore daily. There is a pond (which is only for the locals to use) but there are also some pioneer cemeteries that are fun to search for, plus the old kilns. It's open to the public and free. The Nature path is fun to explore.
Most of the locals took field trips as kids to Old Iron Town and never went back. It's kind of sad because there is so much cool history! Definitely, worth a half day trip.
You might also pick up some friends on the way out.
You'll find walkways and learn a little about the early pioneers. Our neighbors all had snow mobiles and four wheelers, so you'll hear those running all over too. Take a picnic and stay awhile! Located in Dixie National Forest, about 22 miles West (35 km) of Cedar City.
Pine Valley, oh, Pine Valley, you are just such a secret. If you follow Pinto Road you'll eventually find Pine Valley. Located in Washington County in the middle of the desert is the beautiful, serene and strangely green Pine Valley.
It's located up in the mountains and it's so wonderful.
I know it's weird, but I love to smell the trees. This particular pine tree is called a Ponderosa. They smell like butterscotch or some say vanilla. They only grow in high altitude forests, so I don't get to smell them as much as I like.
There is an old church house that you can tour as well. My in-laws love camping here.
You can fish, sit, hike or just come up for a day to walk the paths.
PHEW! That was a long post. What do you guys think? Think they are possible? Have you done them before? What are some of your favorite Southern Utah Hikes?
We specified ages, although you know your children best. Make sure to research the hikes before going. It's always best to know what you are getting into. Make sure to always check the weather and bring lots of water. Southern Utah is know for flash flooding and you don't want to get stuck.
Start at the north end of Cedar Breaks NM and hike a few miles down Rattlesnake trail to the river. Then either camp there and explore the bottom of Cedar Breaks' impressive canyons and hoodoos or hike out the Gorge along the river to get a shuttle back to the top. Either way, you will rarely encounter another soul and the scenery is spectacular!
Oooh! One day. If you want to do a guest post for us, we'd love to see it!
I am adding all of these to my list! Thanks so much for sharing.
wonderful pictures-- Thank you I lived in enterprise and west of Cedar city for over 30 years used to drive through Pinto and hiway 56 from test site ! However never saw everything you've found! Beautifully done!
What a great post!
My husband and i have been to Utah twice now (we live in FL) and we are truly hooked on this state. We are planning a trip to go back in September so this post is really helpful.
We spent one day in Zion and one quick day in Bryce on our last trip so we want to go back and spend some more quality time in that area.