Choosing the best vacation destinations in Southern Utah is like choosing your favorite food or, possibly, your favorite child. Not easy to do. Southern Utah is a geologist’s paradise with its diverse topography, national parks, and desert and mountain landscapes; consequently, the vacation spots are numerous and varied, so the “best” depends on what you like to see and do.
Hunting and Fishing
If you like hunting and fishing, you could hit southeastern Utah for desert bighorn sheep, south central Utah for the only free-roaming herd of bison (buffalo) in America, many regions for deer, antelope, and elk, and eastern Utah for game birds. For fishing, there are many lakes and rivers to challenge the angler. One of the favorite vacation destinations in Southern Utah is Lake Powell, a huge labyrinth of the dammed-up Colorado River which provides boating, swimming, house-boat relaxing, and fishing for striped bass, small-mouth bass, crappie, catfish, and walleye. Lake Powell offers serene privacy in its many alcoves and bays, and incomparable beauty from the orange, rock formations and blue water.
Utah is home to—count them—five national parks: Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion. No other place on this planet possesses such diverse beauty and mystical scenery. From giant, sandstone arches to towering cliffs to alien-like hoodoos, the parks are a must-see. Millions of visitors come each year from all parts of the globe. Zion offers scenic hikes, stunning vistas, glistening waterfalls, and narrow treks through a small river that is bordered by slabs of sandstone walls.
Springdale, Utah is one of the best vacation destinations in Southern Utah. It is replete with fine dining, casual eateries, cozy and classy hotels, and spectacular scenery. At the entrance to Zion National Park, Springdale is a charming town which allows easy access to the majesty of Zion. Its gift shops are great, too.
Bryce Canyon National Park is this writer’s favorite vacation destination of Southern Utah because of the alien-like hoodoos, seen easily from viewpoints along the highway. The hoodoos are vertical sculptures of orange sandstone. They stand like “storm-troopers” guarding the canyons and valleys of Bryce. A sense of reverence fills the air, along with memories of the Native Americans and early settlers who encountered the remarkable region—no doubt with jaws dropped in awe.
Arches National Park lies just outside Moab, Utah, known the world over as the mountain biker’s paradise. Arches is bordered by the Colorado River in southeastern Utah and displays thousands of red-hued arches and towering rock formations. It’s a photographer’s dream.
Oh, and the Grand Canyon, too, is part of the best vacation destinations in Southern Utah. Though most of the canyon lies in northern Arizona, you can visit the Grand Canyon from Southern Utah and gain access to your favorite lodging and vistas of this enormous gouge in the earth’s crust.
Between St. George and Hurricane, Utah, you’ll find Quail Creek and Sand Hollow State Parks. The man-made reservoirs boast warm water and see fun seekers the year round for boating, fishing, swimming, and cliff diving. Near Sand Hollow is Sand Mountain, which attracts riders of ATVs and UTVs.
The Best Vacation Destinations in Southern Utah
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