St. George is Utah is known as a gateway to four national parks: Zions, Bryce Canyon, North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Cedar Breaks National Monument
It also boasts of four nearby state parks: Sand Hollow, Snow Canyon, Quail Creek, Gunlock.
There’s much to experience but here are my top 5 family friendly things to do:
I refer to as a “mini Zion’s”. Each hike is a manageable 1 – 4 miles round trip with a variety of rock formations, sand dunes, petrified sand dunes, white rock, molten volcanic rock, and volcano. It ‘s the locals solution to Zions beauty without the crowds.
Hike or Bike: Families can bike through the park along the paved trail, camp among the various campgrounds, or spend the day hiking. And with a mere $5 entrance fee per day it fits into the family budget.
These are a must-see southern Utah thing. Remember to never walk on or touch petroglyphs and help others enforce these rules because there are no rangers around to tell you what to do and how to treat the artifacts. Check out “Lunch with Rock Stars” for directions
Veyo Pools and Crawdad Canyon
The locals head here when it starts to get hot. The Veyo canyon’s generally 15 degrees cooler than in St. George. It’s set back in a shady green canyon at a higher elevation.
This is a private climbing area, so even if you just want to wade in the canyon and hunt for crawdads it costs $4 – worth the price with access to bathrooms/locker rooms, picnic tables, volleyball courts, and snack bar.
“Sparkle Mountain” or the Glitter Pit.
Kids love this place! This is an easy hike and the kids can mine for glittery selenite (a type of gypsum). Remember to bring water, snacks, gloves, and small buckets to collect glitter.
Located approximately 10 miles south of St. George (about a 20 minute drive).
Zion’s Kolob Canyon
Less traveled and less crowded than Zion’s this riverbed hike in Middle Fork of Taylor Creek keeps you cool in the Spring, Summer and Autumn. Moderate in difficulty. The trail follows the middle fork of Taylor Creek past two old homestead cabins to the Double Arch Alcove.
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 hours. We take the kids and if they are too tired we turn around.
Entrance fee permit for Kolob is $25 per vehicle, good for 7 days. Permit includes entrance into all of Zion National Park including the Main Canyon.
Cool off in Historic Downtown
Bring swimsuits and towels to cool off from the sun and enjoy the splashes from the water fountain and red rock water pools in the downtown square.
Native American Jewelry
M&S Turquoise If you want unique artwork pieces, this is the place to get them. I bought my girls little baskets and arrows.
Check out the Brigham Young House, Mormon Temple, Tabernacle, Jacob Hamblin Home, Mountain Meadow Massacre Memorial, and Daughters of Utah Pioneer Museum.
Family Theater and Plays
Check out the plays at Tuacahn and the Tony Award winning Shakespeare Festival.
Swig sugar cookies, Crankshaw’s pies (get there early for the best choices) and Veyo volcano pie.
Distances from St George
In addition, St. George is a great base came for day trips and a starting point for national park excursions.
43 miles – Zion National Park
128 miles – Bryce Canyon National Park
145 miles – Grand Canyon North Rim
272 miles – Grand Canyon South Rim
80 miles – Cedar Breaks National Monument
150 miles – Lake Powell