National parks are one of our absolute favorite things in the whole world! Lucky for us there are 4 national parks near St George that we visit all the time! In this blog we’re going to go over what they are, and some of our favorite things to do in each one! And as an added bonus, we’ve included some information about the best places to stay in St George near the national parks to make planning that much easier!
Grand Canyon National Park
Although this is the longest drive from St George, this park is well worth the trip. This jaw dropping destination lives up to its title as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. At just under a four hour drive from downtown, it’s still very possible to make this a day trip.
Here you can try hikes into the basin, river rafting trips, and aerial tours in helicopters, airplanes, and hot air balloons! It’s no exaggeration to say that the possibilities really are endless in this spectacular destination.
PS. The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the country. To avoid the crowds, try visiting on weekdays or in the early morning. This will allow you to see the park unobstructed by other visitors!
Capitol Reef National Park
Sitting a little closer to St George is the Capitol Reef National Park. This beautiful portion of Utah’s central desert has come to be known for its beautiful sandstone cliffs and features throughout the park. This is one of the most interactive parks in the area because of all the incredible activities you can do!
ATV’s, horseback riding, and mountain biking are all common activities for guests in the park. If you’re looking for something a little easier, there are tons of amazing hikes to explore. There are also lots of beautiful scenic roads if you’re looking for something to pass the time on your way to Southern Utah. This park is just under three and a half hours from downtown St George.
One of the other great things about this park is the abundance of wildlife. It is not uncommon to see large herds of antelope, flocks of birds, and plenty of other animals scattered around. Be sure to be respectful of all the wildlife so as not to disturb them or their habitats.
Bryce Canyon National Park
This is arguably one of the most unique national parks in the country. Bryce Canyon National Park is unlike anything else in the world! Tall orange and red hoodoos line the massive natural amphitheater that marks the center of this incredible park.
Similar to Capitol Reef, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy all day long! Hop on a bike, a horse, or even just the shuttle that takes you through the most scenic parts of the site. No matter how you decide to explore, we are confident that you are going to love everything about Bryce Canyon. Best of all, it’s only a two hour drive from the center of St George.
Bryce Canyon is at a higher elevation than the other parks mentioned in this blog. That means that you do get a lot of snowfall here in the winter months. If you’re willing to brave the cold, the snow capped hoodoos are a one of a kind experience you won’t find anywhere else.
Zion National Park
As one of the most famous national parks in the world, we’re pretty happy to call Zion National Park our backyard. At just a 45 minute drive from downtown Southern Utah, this is definitely our favorite place to go. Although fewer activities are permitted in the park, there are plenty of things to do to stay occupied.
Hiking is one of the most popular because of the numerous trails that split off through the park. One of the most famous hikes is Angels Landing. This stomach churning ascent is well worth the view at the top! If hiking isn’t for you, we highly recommend going for a scenic drive through the canyon! If you can only make it to one national park near St George, this is the one to see!
As an added note, depending on the season, cars may not be allowed in the canyon. When this is in effect you can still take the shuttle to get to any of the popular spots in the park. It’s also important to remember to bring a water bottle because temperatures can get very high during the day. This is especially true in the summer months.
As you can see, there are incredible opportunities right outside your door in St George Utah. These world renowned places are favorites for us, and we’re confident that they will be for you too! If you are looking for a place to stay between your excursions, there is no better place than the Estancia Resort.
With top of the line amenities and unmatched location in Southern Utah, we’re confident that they will make your family vacation unforgettable! Contact us for any additional information about national parks near St George, Utah!