Described as an early-season race with breathtaking American Southwest scenery, and fresh, crisp spring air, the Ironman 70.3 in St. George, UT is considered, “the toughest race I have ever done. I did a full last year and it was easier than this half. I have done three difficult ones, but St. George is so much tougher. I was good until Snow Canyon … about killed me for the run. They say St. George is the second toughest race there is and I believe it, but what could possibly be the number 1 toughest??? Love the town and the people!!”
Most people who know St. George, UT think hot, hot, hot … so it’s probably a “best kept secret” this corner of the state can be pretty cool – temperature wise – in the winter months. Of course, if you are coming to St. George from Chicago, Wyoming or Seattle, you may not agree but for those of us who live here …. brrrrr!!!
In the early 1990’s, a committee was formed in Washington County, UT with a mission to create a plan to protect the endangered Mojave desert tortoise, threatened by rapid development and habitat loss here in southwestern Utah. The committee included members of the Washington County Commission, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, the Washington County School District, environmental and equestrian groups, local land developers and government officials from around Southern Utah, Salt Lake City and even from Washington, DC.
Their combined efforts resulted in plenty of media attention – some positive, some not so much – but also a lot of gaffaws and chortles from the community and many disgruntled and unbelievably vile letters to the editor of the local newspaper. “Why spend all this time and money to protect the descendants of turtles my grandparents brought home to St. George in the trunk of their car?” queried more than a few. “They’re not anymore native to this area than some of our new residents,” said others. Ultimately, the Washington County Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) approved in 1996, created the Red Cliff Desert Reserve setting aside more than 62,000 acres of scenic wildlife and protection for the Mojave Desert tortoise and other rare plants and animals, at the merging of three ecosystems: the Mojave desert, the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau.
Two decades later, the reserve contains – not homes, condominiums and golf courses – but, some of Washington County’s most spectacular scenery, the most northern healthy populations of the desert tortoise, Gila monster, sidewinder rattlesnake, and chuckwalla – as well as other reptiles, critters and plants, some which occur no where else in the world.
The Reserve, approximately 20 miles wide and 6 miles deep, spans the beautiful red rock country along both sides of the I-15 freeway in the north central portion of Washington County, north of Ivins, Santa Clara, St. George, Washington City; south of Leeds and west of Hurricane and LaVerkin. Accessible to hikers, bikers and horseback riders, the Reserve has many access points and trails leading to amazing recreational opportunities … and it has been many years, since anyone driving through our red rock country has done anything but smile at the beauty which has now been preserved for many future generations to enjoy.
Speaking of enjoyment, you can be certain to enjoy your beautiful home-away-from-home at St. George Resort Rentals or Five Seasons Vacation condominiums. Register today online for a beautiful, comfortable and affordable vacation resort rental at stgeorgeresortrentals.com or laspalmasresortcondos.com. You’re going to like us … a lot!
From late March to mid-May, the southern Utah desert comes alive with color when wildflowers dot the landscape making such places as Snow Canyon State Park, Zion National Park and the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve a tourists’ delight! Here in Washington County, at the unique confluence of three ecosystems – the Mojave and Great Basin deserts and the Colorado Plateau – a plethora of early season flowers include spectacle pod, desert marigolds. Fiddleneck, elegant lupine, Palmer penstemon, firecracker penstemon, sego lily, yellow evening primrose, pale evening primrose, globemallow, desert 4 O’clock, purple sage, indigo bush and desert willow. Blooms on prickly pear cactus and purple torch plants come later in the season, but are usually worth the wait.
When viewing wildflowers in our high desert, you are encouraged to stay on well-established trails, even when picture taking since the desert soil is itself, a living organism critical to the ecosystem. And, please don’t pick the flowers. Leave them for others to enjoy.
When taking in the beauty of our wildflowers, be sure to bring along your camera – and it can’t be said too often – always be certain to bring bottled water, a hat and sunscreen!
You are certain to also enjoy the beautiful, comfortable and affordable home-away-from-home available at St. George Resort Rentals or Five Seasons Vacation condominiums. Whether you are looking for a week or a month to getaway to Southern Utah, you can register online at stgeorgeresortrentals.com for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums. Register today. We’ll be waiting for you!
This picturesque 240-acre reservoir, located 15 miles northwest of St. George off U. S. Highway 91, captures water from the Santa Clara River for irrigation and flood-control purposes in a majestic red rock and black lava rock setting. Named after the nearby small community of Gunlock, the lake, created in 1970, is approximately 2 miles wide, about a half mile wide and reaches a depth of 115 feet. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy boating, windsurfing, waterskiing, personal watercrafts and great fishing for largemouth bass, black crappie, threadfin shad and channel catfish. Because boating options are few in and around our high desert Southwestern Utah community, Gunlock is popular and usually very busy. We suggest early- and late-season use when the sun is still comfortably warm. You are also advised to avoid weekends and holidays at Gunlock for a much more enjoyable experience. Be aware, there is an excellent boat ramp and port-a-potties available, but not much else. So whenever you decide to visit Gunlock Reservoir State Park, be sure to bring along your sunscreen, a broad rimmed hat and a picnic lunch, including plenty of drinking water.
No need to fish around for a great deal on a comfortable resort rental for your next Southern Utah vacation.
Whether you are here for a week or a month, we will be waiting to make you comfortable at the 5 Seasons Vacation condominiums and St. George Resort Rentals. Register online today at stgeorgeresortrentals.com for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.
The Hurricane Canal, which for more than 80 years carried Virgin River water from the “upriver” communities of Springdale, Rockville and Virgin to homes and farms on the Hurricane Bench, is an engineering miracle. The story of its construction by second-generation settlers is one of backbreaking labor, creative innovation and sustained determination against the odds.
The canal is a suspended rock-lined delivery channel on the hillside on your right, clearly visible to tourists and residents traveling to Zion National Park. You may not recognize it as you motor through small communities and up the hill toward the park, but this 17.5-mile waterway was chipped through rock cliffs by 3 – 300 laborers using only picks and shovels – and an occasional blast of dynamite – to bring water to the parched Hurricane Valley. Today, there are other water sources for farming and ranching in this part of Washington County, but it is thanks to a handful of visionary men committed to stay put and raise their families here that the Hurricane Canal was built.
The Hurricane Canal, dry since 1985, is now a pleasant and memorable hike. There are places where the canal has been ravaged by years of neglect, and there are the anticipated critters along the way, so hikers should be alert but will certainly find lots to enjoy, including seashells along your way – left over from the ancient Lake Bonneville which millions of years ago covered this part of Utah to the tops of the mesas.
A word of warning: hiking the Hurricane Canal is not advised in the heat of the summer. Despite its name and history, there is no water anywhere along the way. Exploring the canal is something you will want to do on your vacation in Southern Utah, but it is best done in the cool part of the year (mid-November to mid-February) and always with reliable, close-toed shoes, a big brimmed hat and lots of bottled water.
No warning is necessary when it comes to finding a beautiful resort rental as your home-away-from-home when vacationing in St. George. Whether you are here for a week or a month, we will be waiting to make you comfortable after your hiking adventure at the 5 Seasons Vacation condominiums and St. George Resort Rentals. Register online today at stgeorgeresortrentals.com for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.
The Arizona Strip is a 2-million acre section of northwestern Arizona, although in many respects it is more a part of Washington County, UT. The Arizona Strip, located between downtown St. George and the world-famous Grand Canyon National Park, provides prized grazing for sheep and cattle and located between downtown St. George and the Grand Canyon, has the lowest elevation and the highest temperatures in the state. It is also a region of colorful rocks, breathtaking beautiful scenery, and impressive contrasts in terms of rainfall, vegetation, animal life and geology.
The Dixie Arizona Strip Interpretive Association (also known as DASIA), a non-profit organization which came into being in 1994, has a mission to enhance understanding of the Arizona Strip’s history and natural resources in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management in both Utah and Arizona, and the National Forest and National Park Service offices in southern Utah.
The DASIA office, located at 345 S. Riverside Drive, oversees five wilderness areas, including the internationally known Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs, the Old Spanish National Historic Trail; nine Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, and two river segments suitable for Wild & Scenic River designation. In these remote areas of the desert, there are approximately 4,000 miles of unpaved roads leading to spectacular scenic vistas, remoteness and solitude among rough scenic canyons and ponderosa pine forests.
DASIA’s on-site retail store also offers an assortment of interpretive resources, detailed maps, and souvenirs, while the Field Experience trip planning program can assist in your planning needs.
Speaking of planning, if you’re planning a vacation to southern Utah, you’ll need a comfortable home-away-from-home whether your time in the St. George area is a week or a month. Register online today at stgeorgeresortrentals.com for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.
When you come to visit St. George Resort Rentals are you often wondering which adventures you can take your kiddos on? We understand that can sometimes be quite a dilemma. However, Mother Nature always provides here in the beautiful Southwest! If you are looking to get out, explore, or hike around some, but not wanting to have it take up the entire day, (because lets be real, that is not happening with the littles right?) then we have a handful of trails/hikes to share with you! If you happen to have a little over an hour or even two hours to set aside to get out and enjoy the lovely scenery, get the wiggles out of the little ones, and burn off some of that extra energy, then you should consider venturing on one of these family friendly hikes. Most of the hikes we suggest will take less than two hours roundtrip, but a couple just a little longer. All of these trails/hikes are in or nearby St. George so that you don’t have a long drive to get to them before you even get on the hike! Nothing better than getting out and enjoying the fresh air and beautiful Mother Nature!
Here are our top 5 Family Friendly Hikes in/around St. George, Utah:
- White Rocks Trail in Snow Canyon
- Johnson Canyon Trail
- Temple Quarry Trail
- Anasazi Valley Trail
- Elephant Arch Trail
When you are ready to take a real adventure, browse through one of these family friendly hikes and try and hit the trails as a family. Your kids imaginations will let loose, being outside and getting fresh air is a cure-all for fussiness and agitation, and most importantly, you are showing your children how to have an active lifestyle. Your family adventure awaits you here at one of our Five Seasons Vacation Rentals!
Driving through the 500-million-year old Virgin River Gorge – with its 17-mile stretch of Interstate 15 linking Mesquite, Nevada and the southwestern Utah community of St. George – is like traveling 55-miles-an-hour through the bottom of the Grand Canyon. In a word, this heavily traveled section of interstate highway is spectacular. Not only did this marvel of engineering take many years to complete, it is also one of the most expensive segments of interstate highway ever constructed! Through it all, the Virgin River wends its way back and forth across the canyon, which is also popular for rock climbing, hiking and camping out under the stars.
Until the I-15 corridor was completed, motorists were required, for more than a century, to swing far to the north along U. S. Highway 91 to reach their destination. In the early 1960’s, highway engineers suggested a freeway be routed through the Virgin River Gorge, much to the dismay of locals who couldn’t imagine how such a feat could possibly be done. Nevertheless, a road was blasted through the canyon (drill marks are still visible in many places), tacked to the ledges and, after several years, was finally open for commercial and economic travel in 1973.
On your road home, you’ll find comfortable accommodations while visiting southern Utah where 5 Seasons Vacation condominiums and St. George Resort Rentals are here for you. Register online today at www.stgeorgeresortrentals.com for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or www.laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.
There are a lot of things to love about St. George, Utah. However, one thing in particular that stands out is how convenient it is to access so many different trails that happen to be so close to the downtown area of St. George. You can easily walk minutes from downtown and be exploring in the unique red rock landscape that prominently encompasses the area.
A favorite trail to many in the area and visitors alike, is the Owen’s Loop. It begins just at the very north end of Main Street (which is not far from the Main Street and St. George Blvd. intersection) at Brooks Nature Park. Owen’s Loop follows the edge of the northwest downtown area on the red rock bluffs above.
You can start your enjoyable little hike onto the Owen’s Loop out by seeing the ducks play at Cox Pond and then head up a slight elevated climb through some shade…the only shade on the hike! As you make your way to the top of the climb walking along the trail you can stop along the rim and take in a really great view of St. George. As you continue on the dirt path trail you will be able to see some unique rock formations and mini arches.
This trail provides some really incredible views. You can see the Pine Valley Mountains in the distance. If you stay on the full loop you can even see the Dixie Red Hills Golf Course looking down off of the rim further down the trail. If you do the full loop, it is approximately 4 miles roundtrip. The trail is not very difficult, however just be aware of where you are stepping…sometimes the rocks can get a little slick.
This can be a fun little hike on your own or with your little family. Remember, if you area already downtown and need to get outside and use up some of that stored energy, Owen’s Loop is a great place to get the wiggles out, get a little bit of adventure in, and take in some beautiful city views!