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Category: ZIon National Park

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!

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. 

Zion National Park boasts some of the world’s best canyon hiking trails, which never disappoint. From rushing rivers and streams to impressive spires and steep canyon sides, hikes through Zion National Park are unique and fun. Some trails require permits while others do not, so find out before setting out on one of the many trails available to hikers. Each trail has its own challenges and breathtaking scenes.


The Narrowsare perhaps one of the most popular trails in Zion with 3.1 miles that follows the Virgin River. The trail begins and ends at Temple of Sinawava. This trail is perfect for a hot day because hikers walk through water most of the time. If you want to add on to that 3.1 miles, you can follow the trail up to Orderville Gulch which will add 2.5 miles onto your hike, right into the canyon. Many hikers take the trail to the top and then hike back down to Temple of Sinawava. If you want to go even further, consider Chamberlain Ranch down to Temple of Sinawava, a 16 mile route with the trailhead located near the North Fork Road. Permits are required for this trail.


Angel’s Landingis a 2.5 mile hike perfect for the thrill seeker as it takes hikers to the top of Angel’s Landing, a sandstone fin 1,488 above the floor of the canyon. This trail begins across from the Grotto Picnic Area at Zion Canyon where the terrain is pretty flat until the series of switchbacks leads hikers to Refrigerator Canyon. After Refrigerator Canyon, hikers navigate through 21 switchbacks, known as Walter’s Wiggles. Hikers then reach the ridge at Scouts Lookout where you climb the challenging Hogsback, which is very steep and has chains to help you stay on the edge of the cliff. Finally, you reach the final stop of Angel’s Landing Summit. This trail is very steep but fairly easy to maneuver.


The Subway, named after the 4 mile pipeline gorge, is a strenuous trail that requires hikers to swim, climb and hike. The trail follows the North Creek the entire way. Most hikers take this trail from the top down, with a hike that includes rappelling and climbing down through waterfalls. This trail begins at the Wildcat Trailhead, The subway lower end wraps up the trail with a small waterfall where you then hike downstream to the Left Fork Trailhead where you then climb out of the canyon and catch the shuttle. Shuttle and permits are required for this trail.


After a long day of hiking on any one of these trails, enjoy a beautiful and rejuvenating stay at Cable Mountain Lodge, nestled just near the cliffs of Zion National Park. Guests can rest, relax, and enjoy a swim in the heated pool overlooking the Virgin River and Zion Canyon. This Zion lodge also features a pub, market, and free shuttle service.  

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