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Exploring the Trails of Southern Utah

Popular with snowbirds, St. George, Utah is an absolute dream for outdoor recreation. National Parks, golfing, hiking, rock climbing, biking, camping, and many more activities are all within easy reach. But one of the best things about St. George is the multitude of trails and pathways providing  easy recreational opportunities for people of any activity level scattered all around the city.

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Each time I visit St. George I try to explore a different trail. On my latest trip I ventured along the historic Quarry Trail. Back in the 1870′s the Mormon pioneers quarried basalt from the local mountains for foundation and basement of their temple. The basalt was impervious to the effects of the soil and provided a solid foundation for the building. As the building site was filled with basalt from the quarry, a cannon was hoisted up and dropped over and over to break and compact the rock as much as possible.

The trail head is interesting since it starts with a with a true keystone arch made from the red rock prevalent in the area. Walking under the arch, hikers begin the trail which winds along the edge of the mountain among scattered basalt boulders. Wildflowers in yellows, purples, blues, and whites grow in the dry soil and among the rocks. Lovely vistas of the quiet valley below, sod farms, a golf course, houses, and meandering roads come into view as the course progresses along the hill.

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Other trails in St. George follow the Virgin River and branch off in several directions. We followed one paved path for five miles last time. It was a gorgeous walk, but it did wear us out!  There are mini parks along some trails where children can stop and play, bridges cross over rivers and then branch off in even more directions. One man told us there are even petroglyphs to be seen on one pathway.

Dixie Rock is another popular hike. Located on a plateau hikers can park in one of two small lots then explore the red sandstone formations either hiking around them or on top of them. The views are phenomenal! It is an interesting sensation walking on sandstone, almost like walking on sand paper. They call it slick rock here, but it is anything but slick. At Dixie Rock an old pioneer fire pit is hidden in a rock shelter. History found in surprising places.

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St. George, Utah is a terrific place for outdoor recreation. The area really caters to an active, outdoor lifestyle. All the hiking and walking trails are free and even the other activities are very inexpensive and readily accessible. Why not consider St. George for your next vacation? The nearest airport with good flight options is Las Vegas, an hour and a half away and the fares in and out of Vegas are usually very reasonable, besides it’s a fun place to spend a few days. Check it out!

Posted under: Utah

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