Southwestern Utah’s Best Hikes—Outside of Zion

Washington County, Utah (St. George area) is one of the world’s best hiking destinations. You may have heard about the star trails of Zion National Park — Angel’s Landing, the Narrows, the Subway — but get off the beaten track, and you can enjoy the red sand, slot canyons, and sweeping scenery of southeastern Utah in near solitude.

For some of the best trails Washington County has to offer, try these:

Water Canyon

Hildale, UT

Less than an hour from St. George, Water Canyon is one of the main access points for the Canaan Mountain Wilderness Area. It looks so much like parts of Zion Canyon that the only way to tell you’re not in the national park is the lack of crowds! This moderate trail, around 3 miles roundtrip, leads up into sandstone narrows with a permanent creek running through, forming beautiful cascades and small pools.

woman hiking in a slot canyon near st george utah

Red Reef Trail

Leeds, UT

This family-friendly trail, a little less than 3 miles long, is located in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Red Reef is a gorgeous playground, with soaring red rock walls, slots and caves to climb through, stone arches and petroglyphs.

Petrified Sand Dunes

Ivins, UT

Snow Canyon State Park is one of Utah’s most scenic areas and there are dozens of trails to explore inside its boundaries. In the heart of the park, the Petrified Sand Dunes Trail invites exploration of rippled red sandstone and leads to stunning overlooks of the park.

With several state parks and protected recreation areas, sweeping desert views and towering sandstone cliffs, slot canyons and red rock formations, Washington County is a heaven for hikers just waiting to be discovered!

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