My family and I recently embarked on a cross-country road trip, and we thought we had planned out our route perfectly. However, as soon as we crossed the state border into Utah, our plans changed. Originally, we had planned to drive straight through Utah, but once we saw the endless natural beauty of this state, we decided to make some last-minute changes to our road trip itinerary.
As soon as we decided to spend more time in Utah, we pulled up HotelTonight’s app and booked a last-minute hotel in St. George. This popular city in Utah is a great home base for visitors looking to explore some of the national and state parks in the area, and we wanted to experience the majestic beauty of parks like Zion and Snow Canyon. Within minutes, we had a hotel room booked in St. George, so we headed straight to our hotel, dropped off our bags and changed into some better hiking gear. We were ready to make the most of our short stay in Utah.
You won’t find any slides or swings at this community park. Rather, you’ll find picturesque red rock formations, great hikes, and beautiful views. There are trails for all levels of hikers, from easy beginner trails to steeper advanced trails, and if you love rock climbing this is definitely the place for you. One of the best parts about this beautiful park is that it’s completely free to enter, so it’s a budget-friendly activity for the whole family. We spent the morning hiking and exploring the dramatic red cliffs of Pioneer Park, and we considered it our warm up for the bigger hikes to come.
Located about nine miles north of St. George is Snow Canyon State Park, a beautiful state park that features sand dunes, red sandstone cliffs and even volcanic cones. Geology lovers won’t be able to get enough of the diverse landscape in Snow Canyon State Park, which sprawls over 7,400 acres and features dozens of hiking trails. If you visit Snow Canyon, you may actually recognize the landscape from some major Hollywood films, such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. We spent the entire afternoon wandering trails and admiring the unique rock formations, and by the end of our time in Snow Canyon, we all agreed we were glad we made the spur-of-the-moment decision to stay and explore Utah.
St. George isn’t known for its bustling metropolis – it’s known for its stunning natural surroundings. So we weren’t expecting too much of downtown St. George as we drove back into the city, but we were quickly surprised at how much we enjoyed this charming small town center. Downtown St. George has a rich, unique history, and a stroll through its streets will take you past historic sights like the Brigham Young Winter Home, the Jacob Hamblin Home, the St. George LDS Temple and Ancestor Square. St. George played an important role in the history of the Mormon religion, so it’s a fascinating place to visit if you want to learn more about the roots of the Latter Day Saints. Downtown also has a great selection of restaurants, so it’s the perfect area to visit if you want a delicious, filling meal after a long day of hiking.
The next morning, we checked out of our hotel and hopped back in the car for one last Utah adventure. Our destination – Zion National Park. This famed national park is about 45 miles outside of St. George, which is why St. George is the perfect home base if you want to explore multiple parks in Utah. Zion is a legendary destination for great hiking, as it boasts epic views, beautiful clear pools and dramatic canyons and arches. Driving into Zion feels as if you’re entering a whole new world, or possibly a new planet, and we enjoyed an entire day of hiking the trails and discovering all of the unique areas in this popular national park. If you don’t have an entire day to spend exploring the park, you should at least take a scenic drive through the area, as this park boasts sensational scenery you won’t want to miss.
At the end of our road trip, we looked back on all of the places we visited, and St. George was definitely one of our favorite spots. This Utah town was charming, but the real reason we loved St. George so much was because of its unbelievably beautiful surroundings. Nature lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to visit St. George and the surrounding parks during any road trip through Utah. So if you find yourself in Utah and want to make spur-of-the-moment changes to your travel plans, simply book your last-minute hotel in St. George through HotelTonight.