Hiking in Scenic Southern Utah is a great way to explore the region and experience the beautiful scenery off the beaten path. There’s everything from arches to waterfalls, ancient forests to slot canyons and majestic overlooks. Trails range from easy walks to challenging overnight excursions. Be prepared with a good supply of water, good hiking shoes, maps, sun-screen and plenty of time.
Coal Creek Walking Trail
Located in Cedar City, this paved walking trail meanders along the banks of Coal Creek with drinking fountains, exercise stations and benches. Distance is 3.4 miles one way. Plan on 1 hour. Easy paved trail. Pets are allowed on leash. Trail can be accessed from several points including the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, Cedar City Canyon Park, Visitor Center and Bicentennial Park.
Bristlecone Pine Trail
An easy loop trail that provides great views of the Virgin River and Zion National Park while winding through ancient Bristlecone Pine trees. Distance is 0.6 miles.
Alpine Pond Trail
A high-country trail. Distance is two-mile double-loop through forest and meadows. The lower trail offers excellent views of the “breaks.” The upper trail passes meadows of native wildflowers, through spruce-fir-aspen forest, and past ancient deposits of volcanic materials. Located half-way through the loop is the natural, spring-fed Alpine pond. A trail guide is available at the trail head and Visitor Center for $1.00. For a shorter trail, take the cut-off at the pond to make the hike a one-mile loop trail.
Timber Creek Overlook
Trailhead is located at the Kolob Canyons Picnic Area. Distance is about one mile round trip. Plan for about a half hour. Trail follows the ridge top to a small peak. Offers views of the Timber Creek, the Kolob Terrace and the Pine Valley Mountains.
Cascade Falls Trail
Named for the water fall that flows out of the side of the cliff, this trail is a local favorite providing spectacular views of Zion National Park and beyond. The water that flows over the falls is supplied by Navajo Lake through an underground lava tube or sink hole. Distance is 0.8 miles.
NOTE: The lava tube is closed to travel due to the low levels of oxygen and high water flows.
A moderate trail winds through a wildlife study area then traverses a granite rock fall to a 20 foot waterfall. Use care the last 100 feet due to the uneven surface where trail is not established. Distance is one mile roundtrip, is considered moderate and takes approximately ½ hour to an hour.
Spectra Point / Ramparts Overlook Trail
A high-country trail. Distance is four miles round trip along the plateau rim passes a stand of ancient bristlecone pines at Spectra Point and ends at a viewpoint overlooking the Cedar Breaks amphitheater. At 10,500 feet, this hike is moderately strenuous and is not recommended for persons with cardiac or pulmonary health problems. If you hike to Spectra Point Overlook the trip is only a two-mile roundtrip.
An excellent introduction to hiking in a slot canyon. Located at the south end of Kanarraville (9 miles south of Cedar City). Distance is 2 miles. Plan on 2 hours. Optimal time to hike Spring Creek is Spring thru Fall. Water in the creek varies. Watch weather forecast, do not attempt if rain or flash flooding is predicted. Follow old jeep trail through large meadow into a deep, narrow canyon. Follow the stream bed for 1.5 miles. Canyon wall will narrow and you’ll need to climb boulders and logs. Trail will become difficult to pass without climbing skills and equipment; this is a good point to turn around.
Located in the Dixie National Forest. Distance is 2 miles round trip. Moderate. Trailhead is 3 miles up Yankee Meadow Road from Hwy 143. Trail crosses Bowery Creek, works its way up to a natural spring. Continue to the top of Henderson Hill for a scenic view. Great equestrian trail.
C – Trail
The trailhead is 8 miles east of Cedar City via Hwy U-14 to Right Hand Canyon turn off (or Kolob Reservoir Road), follow to trailhead sign. This moderate 4.2 mile hike is best late Spring thru Fall. Allow 2.5 hours. The trail follows a steep grade down the face of Cedar Mountain. Beautiful views of the Cedar City valley. It is best to have a shuttle of two vehicles. Leave 2nd vehicle at the dirt parking lot at 820 South and 300 East in Cedar City. Also used as a mountain bike trail.
Located in the Dixie National Forest, this moderate hike is a high elevation hike with a sheer drop-off at the end of the trail, so use caution. Unique features of this hike are the Bristlecone Pine trees and the view into Cedar Breaks National Monument. Distance is one mile roundtrip and takes approximately one hour.
Middle Fork of Taylor Creek
Trailhead is located approximately two miles from the Visitors Center along the Kolob Canyons Road. Distance is about five miles round-trip. Plan for about three to four hours. Moderate in difficulty. The trail follows the middle fork of Taylor Creek past two old homestead cabins to the Double Arch Alcove.
Kanarraville Falls Slot Canyon
The hike begins in the small town of Kanarraville; there is a small parking fee of $10. Kanarra Falls is considered moderate to strenuous because the hike includes river hiking and water can be chest deep and quite cold. Be prepared if hiking early in the morning or when the weather is cold. Required equipment includes sturdy, sticky river hiking shoes and quick dry clothing; dry bag for equipment and food, as well as water, energy snacks, and first aid kit. Carabineers and rope might be needed if the ladders are damaged. Best Season: Summer/Fall when the water is warmer. Kanarra Creek is a slot canyon and like any slot canyon there is a very real danger from flash flooding. Do not hike this trail if it is raining. Remember a storm far off can trigger a flash flood. Flash flood danger is high. Average hike time is 4 hours. Round trip distance is 3.5 Miles to the first waterfall, 3.7 Miles second Waterfall, and 4.4 Miles to Turnaround.
Vermillion Castle Trail
The trail works to a rim and overlooks the road and Vermillion Castle Campground. Rock formations are on the rim and are composed of conglomerates and sandstone. The trail climbs steeply through grotesque rock formations before working to a ridge spine continuing up the spine below a massive red rock cliff, crosses a side hill of pinyon/juniper until it comes out to a large flat rock platform looking directly into Vermillion Castle and across the canyon to Noah’s Ark. Distance is 0.7 miles.
Virgin River Rim Trail
32 mile moderate trail that’s good for hiking, mountain biking and horses. The trail has several access points so you can make the journey as long or as a short as you like. There are access points from Navajo Lake from the Te Ah Campground, as well as Cascade Falls and Strawberry Point trailheads.
Trailhead is located approximately three and half miles from the Visitors Center at Lee’s Pass. Distance is 14.4 miles round-trip. Plan on this being an all-day hike. The hike is considered to be strenuous and is not recommended during the months of July and August since the summer temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. The hike starts at Lee’s Pass and follows the LaVerkin Creek into the Kolob wilderness to the world’s largest free-standing arch.
The trail begins at the base of Brian Head Peak winding its way across the mountain, past the town pond and down Giant Steps face, returning back to 9,600 feet at Giant Steps Lodge. A vigorous pace will give you a great work out, while a leisurely hike will allow you to take in the majestic views into eroded red sculptures of Cedar Breaks National Monument and Sugarloaf Mountains. Half way down the hike Brian Head Town below unfolds, as do the valleys and red hoodoos of Vermillion Castle. Distance is 4 miles and takes approximately 1.5 hours.