I've rafted this river ever since I was a kid and still love doing it. The drop-in is just a few miles down the road from Marysvale near a bunch of train cars that the city made into hotels. These hotels alone are even a cool enough reason to visit. The run isn't super technical and is perfect for beginners who are just learning how to run rivers, but still exciting enough for more experienced rafters. The length is just right with one run at a little less than an hour depending on the flow of the river. The river flow always depends on how much water they are letting through the Paiute Reservoir Dam for the farmers. The last time I ran it, it was running at around 4000 cfs, which is pretty fast, making it a worthwhile and super fun trip. I have also rafted the river when it was much lower and it was just as amazing. This river is interesting every time you go down. I usually end up running it two or three times in a day. The canyon that the river runs through is truly beautiful with some of the most magnificent rock formations that aren't sandstone like many other places in Southern Utah. Another interesting stretch of the river runs along an old abandoned train track with tunnels that add to the rich history. The area is so beautiful and you get to experience the rural nature of central and southern Utah. All in all, this river is perfect for anyone wanting to do a quick river run, whether experienced or just learning.
Location: South View Trail System, Cedar City
Up the Lichen It and down the Lava Flow: This was the very first time I had ever been mountain biking so I grabbed a rental mountain bike from Cedar Sports and the trail was perfect for me. I went up the Lichen It trail and down the Lava flow. The incline was gentle and manageable making a perfect cross country trail. The system is well maintained. There were only a few rocky sections but I was able to ride over most of them as a first timer. It can be as easy or as intense as you make it because there are options to hit some natural features if you so desire. The berms were high enough that I never felt uncomfortable going fast. The downhill portion was the perfect grade for a beginner because it wasn’t too steep. The views are beautiful at the top of the mountain before the downhill section because it overlooks Cedar City. This trail is great for a wide range of skill levels. It took me about an hour and a half to do this trail, but other’s have done it as fast as 22 minutes. Overall this trail is beautiful and enjoyable.
Down the Upper Lichen It and Lava Flow: There are also other trails in the South View System, so it is possible to hit multiple in the day. I went up again another day with a downhill mountain bike from Cedar Sports and shuttled to the Green Lakes Trail head. This path takes you down the Upper Lichen It and then connects to, either, the Lichen it or Lava Flow trail head. The Upper Lichen It doesn't have anything too steep, but there is a little bit of pedaling until you get to the Lava Flow. It is a great downhill trail, just remember to bring your keys with you so you can get back up. I know this because I forgot mine at the top, which can make for a very long day.
All of the trails in this system are incredibly beautiful. You can turn around at any point and make it a worthwhile day.
Location Angels Landing-Zion National Park
Angel’s Landing is one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park. I would recommend going on a non-holiday weekday because that is when I went and it was still packed. I’ve talked to a lot of people that weren’t even able to get up to the top because it was so busy, and let me tell you, the view at the top is DEFINITELY worth it. This is a hike for the more daring people that enjoy an adrenaline rush. On the way up, there are chains to hold on to, but you are walking up the skinny spine of a very tall mountain. Expect a lot of switchbacks on the way up (these are paved almost all the way up). Bring good hiking shoes. If you are afraid of heights this probably isn’t the hike for you. I would also recommend leaving the small kids at home for this one. Despite the negatives I have brought up, the beautiful views at, not only the top, but all the way up are absolutely breathtaking. Take advantage and go if you can. It is worth it!
Location:Thunderbird Canyon’s Trail System, Thunderbird Gardens Trailhead
(Start out on the Ghost Flats trail and it will break off into Thor’s Hideout)
This was an easy to moderate hike. There were a few steep sections, but they weren’t long. The trails are well marked with a couple different options. This hike can be a short or long hike depending on your preference and availability. The whole loop is going to be about 4 miles round trip, but turning around or cutting across to the other side of the loop is easy and convenient. This trail would be good for families, but probably not super small kids. To get to this trailhead you will have to drive on a dirt road for about a mile, but I have seen a wide variety of cars make it there just fine.The green trees against stark red rock is absolutely beautiful. I would highly recommend this loop.
This is an awesome local spot in Cedar City with a wide variety of climbs ranging from 5.9 and up. The hike up is short and gentle, which makes it easy to carry gear. There is a lower tier and a short hike up to an upper tier with more climbs starting at 5.10. The lower tier is shaded in the morning making it a perfect climbing temperature. The rock will probably be a little chilly from the night before, but you can find spots to warm them up in the sun after a solid climb. There are a couple sharp spots, but overall the holds are smooth and nice to grab on to. I used the simple device and carabiner that Cedar Sports rents out and it went incredibly smooth. This is such an awesome climbing spot that is close to Cedar City making it perfect for those that don't want to travel far to get a few routes in.
Each week we will post a new blog about our outdoor adventures in Southern Utah. Climbing, skiing, snowboarding, paragliding, kayaking, canyoneering, river rafting, biking and more! If we can do it in Southern Utah then we will write about it here!