With numerous scenic attractions in the area, it is hard to see everything. If you are looking for a side day trip, here are a few sights to see.
Anasazi Indian Village State Park
Visitors to the Anasazi Indian Village State Park will go back in time to 1050 A.D. when the Fremont and Kayenta Anasazi occupied the area. An estimated 200 people once lived at the site, making it one of the largest Anasazi communities west of the Colorado River. Anasazi Indian Village State Park is located in Boulder on Scenic byway 12. It is open daily all year.
Capitol Reef National Park
Covering over 240,000 acres, the park is remarkably formed by red sandstone cliffs, domes and spires. Early Native Americans referred to this area as the “Land of the Sleeping Rainbow” Explore Waterpocket Fold, the 186-mile-long, 3-mile-wide buckle in the earth’s crust which began to form over 65 million years ago. The contours of Waterpocket Fold catch pools of rainwater throughout the year. Located east of Torrey on Utah 24.
Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
Hike past large specimens of petrified wood and dinosaur fossils at Escalante Petrified Forest. It is located one mile west of the town of Escalante on Scenic Byway 12, Interpretive hiking trails wind through the park provide information about the colorful mineralized wood and bones. The park’s modern campground is open all year. All services are located in Escalante.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a vast area of sandstone canyons, plateaus, unique rock formations and cliffs. Almost two million acres of desert became a national monument in September 1996. Most of the roads inside the monument are dirt roads that are impassable when wet, and some require four-wheel drive vehicles. No services are available inside the monument. Call the Interagency Office in Escalante for current information.
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Located nine miles south of Cannonville, just off Scenic Byway 12, Kodachrome Basin State Park is open all year. Temperatures are comfortable in the early spring and the late fall in this semi-desert climate. Cacti and other wildflowers bloom in the spring and winter brings a little snow that caps the spires, making the colors even more intense. A campground with hot showers and rest rooms make camping enjoyable at Kodachrome Basin.
Kolob Canyon, part of Zion’s National Park, is located along the western edge of Zion National Park. the visitor center is accessible from Interstate 15, Exit 22, 20 minutes north of St George. You can hike trails, view wildlife and take photographs of the massive red rock formations of the Kolob Fingers from pullouts along a five-mile paved road. Drive time from St George is about 20 minutes.
Lake Powell, formed by Glen Canyon Dam, is the second largest man-made lake in North America. The lake has 1,960 miles of shoreline, which is greater than the length of the entire U S west coast. The crystal blue lake, surrounded by red sandstone cliffs, is known to be an artists’ dream. Lake Powell is 250-square miles of unsurpassed water recreation. Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy water skiing, jet skiing, boating, swimming and fishing in the warm waters. Also boat tours, river trips, scenic flights are offered. You can find nearby hotel and dining accommodations. Located 90 miles east of Kanab—via Hwy 89.
North Rim of the Grand Canyon
The North Rim features pine and aspen forests of the 640,000 acre Kaibab Plateau. You will find viewpoints of the Grand Canyon higher than that on the South Rim. Magnificent views from the lodge. Located 45 miles south of Jacob Lake. Drive time from St George is approximately 3 hours.
Pipe Spring Monument
This desert oasis was declared a national monument in 1923 as a “memorial of western pioneer life”. It is located on the Kaibab Indian Reservation and they operate the nearby campground. The Monument is an easy 25 mile drive southwest of Kanab via U.S. Highway 89A and Arizona Highway 389. Tours of Winsor Castle are provided daily on the hour and half hour, all year long. More information on the Monument is available at www.nps.gov/pisp.
Scenic Byway 12
This 120-mile long Highway 12 Scenic Byway winds through the heart of Bryce Canyon Country, including the newly designated Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The paved route has been chosen one of the top ten scenic byways in North American by Car and Driver Magazine. Colorful canyons, desert slick rock, cool clear lakes, and forest covered mountains rising to 9600 feet above sea level are all within a few hours’ drive. Take time to explore this incredible route.