We’re all, inherently drawn to warmth. Warm climates, warm food, warm people.
And these pages are filled with ways to find it—whether it be through camping in Southern Utah, sipping Mexican Hot Cocoa, strolling through galleries of SouthWestern art or lighting candles on observance of an ancient Hindu holiday.
The first four pages are devoted to unique place for camping and hiking. Volumes ought to be dedicated the rugged majesty of Southern Utah. It was painful to limit our scope to these few brief pages. But, we figure, the best way to experience Southern Utah isn’t on newsprint anyway.
We all flock to warmth in our own ways.
We hope these pages will help you on your way.
Moon and the Walls of Jericho, is overwhelming and outerworldly.
The area is remote,
and you may go for miles, or days, without seeing another person.
The hike to calf creek falls is as interesting as it is lovely. The red sandy path runs alongside the river for the better part of the three mile hike (6 miles round trip) which takes you past cliffs, petroglyphs, and sometimes even wild (but friendly) turkeys. Although the hike is short, plan extra time for navigating through the thick sand, and take a great pair of shoes. Once you reach the falls your breath will literally be taken away, if not by the pristine beauty of the falls then surely by the sharp temperature of the water. Overall, one of the best hikes around.
As inconspicuous as Thompson, UT may seem, nature has created something from nothing and produced a geological wonder. Wind and water eroded away pieces of stone and sediment revealing Delicate Arch, something so distinctly Utah, it stands as an invitation on license plates and postcards for all to join in the awesome wonder in our backyard. The mystery and history draws tourists in and the spirit and curiosity of nature, as well as the insignificance of oneself is suspendedt in the negative space of the arch, binding us together through the natural beauty the exists all around us.
there are several ways to hike into this remote canyon, but because of the isolated location it may take a few days to complete the trek. Once in the canyon be prepared to get wet. Hikers will need to wade and, depending on the time of year, swim in the cold stream running through the Death Hollow. Getting wet is part of the experience of Death Hollow and the reward is breathtaking views of clear streams, beautiful green foliage and sandstone walls that tower over visitors that enter this oasis.
knowing the ins and outs of Goblin Valley can be a tricky thing. The unique rock formations make a playground for the inner child inside us all. Or a space explorer. The alien planet on Galaxy Quest (starring Tim Allen & Sigourney Weaver), was filmed on location and used for it’s Mars-esque setting. The wonder of Goblin Valley provides for a life changing over-nighter or an awe-inspiring day trip. Also be sure to check out Little Wild Horse canyon, nearby.
The Golden Cathedral is just as majestic as it sounds. But
getting there is rough. The hike begins atop a plateau, and the
first section of the trail is unforgivingly steep. After the descent, the
trail traverses 4 miles of rolling dessert, a wash, and then plunges into
a deep canyon. The entire landscape changes in the ravine. Lush vegetation springs from the rocks, large trees brush the canyon walls, and the trail
follows a winding stream as it carves against massive, overhanging sheets of stone. The trail leads to Neon Canyon, which can be hiked in two directions— either up or down. The hike up the canyon stops at the base of Golden Cathedral, a massive cavern crowned with a stone oculus where light beams through, shimmering in a pool of water below. The hike down the canyon, requiring rappelling gear, is much more technical but infinitely more rewarding.
The hike includes swimming through slot canyons (which is
difficult while holding a camera above your head)
and three rappels, the last of which is an
80ft descent through the oculus of
the Golden Cathedral, ending
in the pool of water below.
Location: Canyonlands National Park (Island In The Sky District)
Travel: 5 hours in the car, 10 min. hike.
After a small, ten-minute hike up Whale Rock, you get to an overlook where you can see a massive crater-like space with hills of sandstone in greenish purples, ominous grays, deep rust reds, and chocolate browns. Once thought to be the result of dried up ocean salts, it is now the confirmed remains of a meteor impact which occurred sometime in the last sixty million years. When you get to this place, the sheer atmosphere of ancient traumas is immediate. Go just to experience the enigma. Hiking the rim is easy. But for those who laugh at the sight of danger (and have strong feet), heart-stopping thrills and positively unearthly sights are rewards for those who dare descend into the crater itself.
Location: San Rafael Swell
Travel: 3 hours in the car, no hiking.
The Swell is visible from the highways; it looks like an immense, petrified reef that nevertheless perfectly matches the sur- rounding desert scenery. Near the official campgrounds, there are panels of ancient pictographs—sacred carvings made thousands of years ago by the mysterious peoples known as the Barrier Canyon tribe. The carvings are of animals and tall shadows…which are strangely adorned with horns and halos, or space helmets and antennae, whichever you choose to believe. Some even have wings. No one knows how to explain these pictures,
and very little is known about the Barrier Canyon tribe. Whether they were angels, aliens, or simply a deeply spiritual people, what they left behind is nonetheless a sight to see if you’re going anywhere near the Swell.
MORNING GLORY BRIDGE
Location: Negro Bill Canyon
(outside of Moab)
Travel: 4 hours in the car, 45 min hike.
One of my best friends is a Moabite. Her mother, who died recently, lived in Negro Bill Canyon for some time. It’s a wonder- ful hike across the canyon’s craggley stone and sand. Never boring, for you’ve got
to be on the lookout for cute frogs and lizards, cool and quiet streams, and the occasional mess of poison ivy. After forty minutes or so of walking, you arrive at a chamber-like alcove with a massive stone bridge above. A tiny crack splits through the wall and ground, and inside the crack the rushing sound of water can be heard. Two people can stand far from one another and yet hear each other speaking perfectly. A soft magic is there.
DEAD HORSE POINT
Location: Dead Horse Point State Park, Moab
Travel: 3.5 hours on the road.
Dead Horse Point is a gorgeous area in Southern Utah, pretty close to Arches and Canyonlands. It has great views of Can- yonlands and the Colorado River. The leg- end of Dead Horse Point is pretty interest- ing too. The mesa provided a unique way to corral the wild horses without using
too much fence. The cowboys would pick which horses to keep and the rest were left to get off the Point by themselves. For some reason, a particular band of horses died of thirst, having never left the Point. Dead Horse Point just has spectacular and unique views of the canyons and the river. Great place for photographers too! Kristen Knorr
Location: Bryce Canyon National Park Travel: 4 hours on the road.
The drive into Bryce Canyon alone is guaranteed to put a kink in your neck and dry out your mouth from gawking at it’s beauty. It’s full-on earth-gasmic.
DIAMOND FORK HOT POTS
Location: Uinta National Forest Travel: 1 hour on the road.
It’s great for the fact that it’s completely natural, and the water is toasty. Plus it’s free.
Location: Paria Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area
Travel: 5 hours on the road, two days of hiking.
With nearly 15 miles of uninterrupted narrows, it’s easy to lose oneself in the ancient beauty of the sculpted sandstone walls. Car-sized boulders and the woody remains of once proud trees serve as a reminder of the raw power of flash floods that reshape the canyon each rainy season. While the hike can be completed in one, very long day, break the hike into two days to better experience this ever-chang- ing landscape.
Location: Cedar City Travel: 4 hours on the road.
This is a beautiful redrock slot canyon just south of Blanding Utah. Technical climbers can descend from the top of the canyon for a technical challenge and less experienced climbers can hike in from the bottom and explore other slot canyons in the area.