The Dixie National Forest occupies almost two million acres and stretches about 170 miles across southern Utah making it Utah’s largest national forest which straddles the divide between the Great Basin and the Colorado River. Elevations in the forest vary from 2,800 feet near St. George to 11,322 feet at Blue Bell Knoll on Boulder Mountain. Nowhere else can you be skiing in the morning at 10,000 feet and mountain biking in high desert that afternoon.
Recreational opportunities on the forest are highly diversified. You can also enjoy camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting and swimming; and with 83,000 acres of wilderness you can find solitude away from the sights and sounds of motorized vehicles. If engine powered is more your scene, the forest has hundreds of miles of snowmobiling, OHV riding, plus boating and water skiing.
The Dixie National Forest supports a wide variety of wildlife species. Terrain varies from gentle plateaus to rocky cliffs and furnishes habitat for many different wildlife species such as the cougar, bobcat, blue grouse, golden eagle, cottontail rabbit, wild turkey, antelope and Utah prairie dog. Big game hunting has traditionally been the major wildlife attraction on the forest. Mule deer are harvested on every ranger district, and elk are expanding their range on the forest. Fishing: Good fishing is found in the many lakes, reservoirs and streams on the forest. Game fish include brook, rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout. Bring your camera and your binoculars to observe forest creatures in their native environment, just remember not to bother or feed them, they’re called “wildlife” for a reason.
Must See & Do
The Dixie National Forest has hundreds of miles of trail for hiking and backpacking. The landscape of the forest is extremely varied in elevation, plant life, and geology. Hike in the rocky pinyon and juniper forests, through lush meadows full of wildflowers, through rugged lava fields, to high mountain lakes, or to the rim of mesa tops with scenic views of the lower red rock canyons below.
For more information and additional trails visit www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie.
There are thousands of miles of trails and roads in the Dixie National Forest. Many of these trails are accessible by mountain bike. Also the roads that wind through the forest are ideal for cycling. For a list of trails visit www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie.
There are 500 miles of fishing streams and 90 fishable lakes in the Dixie National Forest. Game fish include brook, rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout. For a list of Lakes, Ponds, Rivers, and Streams in the Forest visit www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie.
Opportunities for winter sports such as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are available in many areas. The Forest Service works with Utah State Parks and Recreation to maintain trails for skiing and snowmobiling near Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon. There are also over a thousand miles of timber roads that can be used for these sports. There’s also Brian Head Resort which offers down hill skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing.