One way to find some space for yourself this season is a road trip to the southwest corner of Utah. Red rocks and unique desert vegetation provide a vibrant backdrop of the region known as Greater Zion — 2,400 square miles that span across the community of St. George and up through the awe-inspiring Zion National Park.
Start your trip in St. George with a stay at The Advenire, a new and beautiful hotel in the heart of historic downtown. Modern design meets small-town hospitality with this stunning property, and the onsite restaurant Wood. Ash. Rye. adds to The Advenire’s high-level of quality and overall charm.
St. George is known for its sunny weather and access to a variety of outdoor pursuits. Todd Goss owns and operates Paragon Adventures in the area and helps visitors access outdoor recreation in St. George.
“We can offer a variety of different activities over the course of a half day to full day or multiple days,” shares Goss. “We love to help people have an expanded sense of what they’re capable of.”
Connect with Paragon Adventures before you arrive in St. George, so you can hit the ground running on day one.
Once you fuel up with breakfast at Wood. Ash. Rye., head out with Goss or another guide from Paragon for a day of mountain biking, rock climbing or zip lining. Paragon can provide gear if needed, and if you want to really use their knowledge and expertise, ask about some of their more remote experiences.
“I’m going to take you somewhere and you’re not going to see another human being all day,” says Goss. “People don’t get that anymore.”
Quench your thirst after a full day of sweat and sunshine at Station 2 Bar by Zion Brewery, located across the street from The Advenire. For dinner, walk over to George’s Corner and take in some nostalgia from historic images hanging throughout the restaurant and be sure to try the fried chicken.
Road to Zion
Continue your travels the next day with a few hours in Snow Canyon State Park. Many of the hikes are relatively short and you could do a few in one morning, including Scout Cave and Jenny’s Canyon. Grab a light breakfast and beverage before heading to the park at Feel Love Coffee, a short drive from The Advenire.
Be sure to work up an appetite on your morning adventures, so you can drive to Kayenta Art Village and sit outside for salmon tacos and a specialty lemonade at Xetava Garden Café. Meander through art studios and shops after your meal before you hit the road toward Springdale.
If you need an afternoon pick-me-up on your drive, stop at River Rock Roasting Company in La Verkin for a coffee overlooking awesome canyon views on the back patio.
As with most towns bordering National Parks, Springdale is bustling with shops, restaurants and visitors. Stay at Cable Mountain Lodge to be right in the mix, while still having a spacious hotel room or suite with excellent views of Zion National Park’s entrance and surroundings, along with full amenities and dining options.
For a more remote-style stay, Lazalu on Kolob Terrace Road is a 40-minute drive from Springdale on the western edge of the park. Lazalu was an artist retreat for 20 years and now welcomes guests. Reserving the property is ideal for retreats, adventurers, backpackers, canyoneers and small destination weddings. There are only two rental houses on the property with a total number of up to eight guests — Zion Guest House sleeps up to six and the Adobe Suite sleeps two.
Be sure to grab your park pass at a visitor’s center when you arrive in the area late-afternoon, that way you can get going bright and early the next morning. Get a map and plan a hike in the Kolob Terrace entrance of Zion National Park (Hop Valley Trail and Wildcat Canyon Trail are good options) before you head back through Springdale and into the more popular Zion Canyon in the afternoon.
As another adventurous option, many local outfitters offer guided canyoneering in the area, which provides a special perspective of the breathtaking geography of the Zion.
Your drive back home can be filled with many other adventures, all the way up through Bryce Canyon National Park if you choose to make a detour. What’s readily apparent throughout travels in the Greater Zion area is that one visit is never enough to see it all, and that’s why we’re lucky that it’s only a day’s drive away.
Lead photo courtesy of Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office.
Originally published in the Winter + Spring 2020-21 issue of CO YOGA + Life® Magazine.