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    Category: southwest

    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  or   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 for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.  Register today.  We’ll be waiting for you!

    Living here in St. George, Utah we know that many of you like to come and visit family and friends for and during the holidays. We also know that those friends and family don’t always have enough room in their home to host your whole family or group in their home during your stay. We also know that many of your first initial thoughts are to just book a hotel and it will be for “sleeping” only and you can hang out and enjoy your holiday itinerary with your friends and family at their place. Sound about right to you?

    May we fill you in on something? Booking a vacation rental with St. George Resort Rentals instead of a St. George, Utah hotel during your holiday vacation could potentially be less per night depending on the size of your group. To many of you it is surprising to hear that a beautiful and spacious condo is comparable in price to a night in a stuffy and crammed hotel room. What you may not know is that the amenities that come with the St. George Resort Rental vacation condo alone far surpass what you are getting at a hotel.

    Take a look at these St. George Resort Rentals diagrams to help you better decide on where you’re going to stay during the upcoming holidays to St. George, Utah:

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    Imagine an opportunity to meet someone who lived more than a century ago. Suppose you could ask him or her about what life was like “back then,” before air-conditioning, before our modern forms of transportation … even before indoor plumbing. What would you ask?The educational and entertaining St. George LIVE! is your opportunity to query such early pioneers as Brigham Young, Erastus Snow, Orson Pratt, Jacob Hamblin, Judge John Menzies Macfarlane and other southern Utah settlers.

    St. George LIVE! begins at 10 a.m. at the St. George Art Museum, located in the Pioneer Center for the Arts. On the corner of Main Street and 200 North, volunteers and buses are waiting to introduce you to some of this community’s most interesting early citizens. Every Tuesday through Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, you will travel to six sites aboard an air-conditioned bus where historic figures, in authentic costumes, come alive to describe what it was like living in Dixie at the turn of the century.

    You will see the Opera House, Tabernacle, Pioneer Courthouse and Brigham Young’s home, all with restrooms and water available. Guests interact with the pioneers, see a replica of the odometer which measured the walk across the Plains, participate in a water stealing trial, hear stories of the settlers and gain a new appreciation for those who came before us. Tickets are $3 per person for those 12 and older. Younger children are free when accompanied by a paying adult; and, parking is available behind the Art Museum off 250 North.

    For more information or group reservations, call Angie at 435.627.4510 ext. 112, or 435.673.5818. Also visit St. George LIVE! online at If you need reservations for the best in vacation rentals, register online today at for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.


    Red Hills Desert Garden

    This amazing, nearly 5-acre interactive desert garden is so new, even many locals don’t yet know about it.  Located at 375 E. Red Hills Parkway, on the hill overlooking St. George, the Red Hills Desert Garden “promotes the education and research of conservation as well as serving as an outdoor social and recreational amenity for public enjoyment,” states Karry Rathje, Public Information Manager for the Washington County Water Conservancy District.

    Every visitor to the garden is certain to enjoy the firsthand experience of learning about plants and irrigation in the desert, including the chance to see the endangered Mojave desert tortoise and and a replica slot canyon leading to an 1150-foot stream meandering through the beautiful landscape and stocked with some of the rarest fish species on earth. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite for these amazing  encounters, the Red Hills Desert Garden also has some exciting surprises for dinosaur lovers.  Visitors will find a variety of unique fossil tracks made by the 20’ long Dilophosaurus, the 10’ long Megapnosaurus and the 25’ tall Scutellosaurus all which roamed the area approximately 200 million years ago.

    If fish, dinosaurs or desert tortoises are not your thing, the garden also includes what most gardens are expected to include … flowers!  More than 170 beautiful and water smart specimens are making the desert “blossom as the rose” and will delight visitors to the area as well as inspire local residents looking for landscape ideas to cut back on water usage.

    Whether its history, 360-degee vistas, or Utah’s one-and-only interactive desert garden, Southern Utah has it all.  Register today for a week or a month at St. George Vacation Resort Rentals to enjoy all St. George, Utah has to offer.

    Most people who live in the United States are not aware how amazing the country really is. They have no idea of how much natural beauty can be found in the country. All they get to see is the big cities and the big amusement parks when they go on a vacation. If they knew about the history of Zion’s National Park they might want to find out some more information about visiting it.

    The park is located in the southwest part of the United States. Its 229 square miles are located near Springdale, Utah. The park features a canyon that runs for 15 miles. Visitors to the park will see a wide variety of both plant and animal life.

    Native Americans were the first humans to inhabit the area over 8,000 years ago. Several different tribes called this area home throughout the centuries. The white man first started settling in the area in the early 1860’s when the Mormons began to relocate to the area. The area was declared a National Monument in 1909 by President William Howard Taft. It was given the name Makuntuweap National Monument. The name was changed in to Zion National Park in 1918 by the newly created National Park Service.

    The name Zion was chosen by the park service because they thought it would appeal to a much larger audience at the time. An additional section of the park that was called the Kolob section became a part of the park in 1956.

    Visitors to the park will be able to marvel at the canyons that have been formed through 150 million years of nature’s handiwork. She has managed to create 9 different recognizable formations in the park.

    There have been many modern amenities added to the park to make it more accessible to visitors in more recent times. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive provides visitors with a road that allows them to drive through the park. In the 1990’s the park service added a bus shuttle service to ease the traffic that had grown on the scenic drive. The buses use propane gas powered engines that are more environmentally friendly.

    Some of the popular activities for visitors include hiking on the different trails and rock climbing. The pictures that can be taken in this national park are often breathtakingly beautiful. A trip to Zion National Park will allow people to see a part of the United States that most people are not aware of. It is definitely something that is worth seeing and learning about. It is also one of those areas that are regretfully overlooked during vacation planning.

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