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14 Best St George Hikes To Complete This Weekend!

14 Best St George Hikes To Complete This Weekend!

If you are a hiking enthusiast, there are seriously some of the best hikes in St George Utah!

And I’m not just talking about Zion National Park (which also has great easy hikes and is located in an easy 30 minute drive from St George!) Honestly, St George has some seriously awesome hikes in its own right outside of Zion if you don’t feel like facing the crowds in the NP.

Why Utah is such a great hiking location is the epic terrain it offers from stunning red desert landscapes and canyons to white snow capped mountains. You will of course see more of the former rather than the later in St George. We suggest you visit Salt Lake City for hikes among snow capped mountains!

So Utah Vacationers (or locals), we have done the research for you and rounded up 14 of the top rated hiking trails in St George. We have trails included in this list for ALL different skill levels from easy strolls among the desert flora to challenging treks into the heart of rocky canyons.

Due to the overall mild climate, you can hike pretty much year round in St George – so no more excuses, get out this weekend and complete one of the best St George hikes!

14 Best St George Hikes To Complete This Weekend!

1. Scout Cave Trail

Scout Cave Trail is one of the longer hikes located in St. George, Utah. It provides an exciting experience complete with lava rock formations, volcanic steam beds, and a large cave looking out across a gorgeous view of Utah’s desert terrain.

Along the hike, you’ll gain beautiful views of natural desert landscapes and endless red rock formations. If you plan to hike during summer, prepare to opt for an early morning hike to enjoy the shade from the mountain— without the morning shade, it can get quite hot here! Make sure to bring plenty of water, go early in the day or during the evening, and use caution when traversing around active steam beds.

There are portions of this trail that require scrambling and some loose rocks, but it’s still doable for families with children. No dogs are allowed on this trail, so please leave them at home. Expect to pay a small fee in the main parking lot for trail access.

The best times to enjoy this trail (and St George hiking in general) are fall, winter, and spring as it gets really hot in summer.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 4.4 miles
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 600 feet
  • Location: St. George, UT
Scout Cave Trail hikes st george

Scout Cave Trail/ Facebook

2. Owen’s Loop Trail

If you are feeling lazy, one of the closest hiking trails to St George is Owen’s Loop Trail is a moderate, out-and-back option suitable for hikers, walkers, and cyclists.

It is a really nice hike and totally worthwhile doing. The hike features the expansive beauty of the Mojave Desert, the local residential skyline, and plenty of juniper trees along the way.

The Owens Loop Trail is quite easy which means all hiking levels can tackle this hike, including families. Along the trail, you’ll encounter informative plaques detailing the area’s flora, fauna, and geological history, giving you several opportunities for a fun, educational experience in addition to a good workout.

The trail’s picturesque overlook provides sweeping views of the surrounding landscapes, including the colorful sandstone cliffs and the sprawling St. George Valley.

Tip – Bring a picnic basket with goodies with you! This vantage point is a perfect spot to picnic, take in the scenery, and capture a few pictures.

Note: Dogs are allowed on the trail but they must be on a leash. Some parts of the trail can present loose gravel, so practice responsible trail etiquette.

  • Difficulty of this St St George Utah hiking trail: Moderate
  • Length: 2.7 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 416 feet
  • Location: St. George, UT
Owen’s Loop Trail

Owen’s Loop Trail/ Facebook

3. Yant Flats to Candy Cliffs

Just a 40-minute drive from St. George, the Yant Flats Trail leading to Candy Cliffs Trail is an absolute must-see. It is for sure one of the best hikes near St George Utah!

This out-and-back trail spans 3.4 miles, with mostly flat, sandy, and rocky terrain. The awe-inspiring views at the summit are worth the journey, as the swirling mixture of red rock and white sandstone lends to its name “Candy Cliffs.”

As you hike to the top, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush vegetation and towering evergreen trees. During the spring and summer, expect to see plenty of wildflowers along the path. There is not a lot of shade along the path, so it’s recommended to hike early in the morning or near sunset to avoid the summer heat. The best times to enjoy Yant Flats to Candy Cliffs are from Spring to Winter.

This trail is popular among hikers, mountain bikers, families, and horseback riders. Keep in mind that summer hikers have reported encounters with lots of bugs, so packing bug repellent might be a good idea. Dogs are allowed on a leash throughout this trail.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 3.4 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Elevation Gain: 330 feet
  • Location: Washington, UT
Yant Flats to Candy Cliffs

Yant Flats to Candy Cliffs/ Facebook

4. Fossil Canyon Trail

Hiking the Fossil Canyon Trail in St. George, Utah, is like leaping back into prehistoric times. One of the top rated St George hiking trails for good reason!

As the name indicates, fossils are etched into the rocks along the trail, making it both a great hike and a chance to hunt for ancient treasure. This 3-mile out-and-back trail is located within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. It’s a must-see if you and your family want to witness some ancient remnants!

As you hike along Fossil Canyon, you’ll enjoy the towering red rock walls formed over millions of years. The highlight of this hike is the opportunity to not only complete a fulfilling trek but to take your time while doing it. You’ll want to discover the array of fossilized plants and creatures embedded in the sandstone.

Fossil Canyon Trail is moderately challenging with some steep and rocky sections, making it suitable for hikers seeking both adventure and a bit of a challenge. Climbers also frequent this trail as a quick bouldering practice. As you hike, take in the desert beauty that surrounds you. Fossil Canyon Trail is a unique and educational hiking experience, ideal for locals and tourists of all ages.

This trail is not ideal for dogs because it requires some scrambling up and over boulders.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 3 miles
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Elevation Gain: 311 feet
  • Location: St. George, UT
Fossil Canyon Trail hiking trails st george

Fossil Canyon Trail/ Facebook

5. Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail

About 30 minutes northeast of St. George, Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail takes you on a beautiful journey through the heart of Utah’s red rock country. This trail, located in the renowned Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, offers a shorter, equally as memorable, and typically less crowded experience than hiking the main Zion Canyon trails.

This trail ventures you through some towering sandstone cliffs, abundant greenery, and the refreshing sounds of water trickling through the creek. You’ll meander through the one-of-a-kind canyon surrounded by Navajo sandstone walls, which take on brilliant hues of orange and red as the sun rises and sets.

One popular highlight of this trail is the iconic Double Arch Alcove, which is an incredible rock formation. Because of the beauty of the rock walls along this trail, many photographers, nature enthusiasts, and geologists frequent this spot.

The Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail is accessible to hikers of various skill levels. Since it’s open year-round, you can experience different kinds of enchantment with each season. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, this trail promises an unforgettable trek. No dogs are allowed on this trail.

  • Difficulty: Moderate-Hard
  • Length: 5 miles
  • Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 590 feet
  • Location: New Harmony, UT
Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail

Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail/ Facebook

6. Elephant Arch at Red Cliffs Conservation Area

Elephant Arch is a classic natural tourist destination and one of the most rewarding, easy hikes near St. George, Utah. This trail takes you through plenty of desert landscapes and a fascinating journey through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. The hike is a 3.8-mile out-and-back trek, featuring a large rock formation at the end shaped like an elephant’s head— hence its name!

While this hike is generally easy, prepare to come across some steep, sandy wash areas in the summer and slippery mud in wet seasons. There is very little shade, so bring plenty of water in the summer. You’ll pass by plenty of boulders to scramble or climb up if the hike is too easy for your preferences, lending a fun surprise for hikers of all levels. The trail is often reported to be peaceful and offers beautiful views at every turn.

When walking or hiking this trail on foot, keep an eye out for horseback riders and other outdoor enthusiasts. Dogs are allowed at Elephant Arch Trail when kept on a leash.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 4 miles
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 340 feet
  • Location: Washington, UT
Elephant Arch at Red Cliffs Conservation Area

Elephant Arch at Red Cliffs Conservation Area/ Facebook

7. Red Reef Trail at Red Cliffs Conservation Area

Just 18 miles from St. George and barely a dozen miles from Elephant Arch Trail mentioned above, Red Reef Trail is another worthwhile nature spot to behold. This trail has everything you’d want for a southern Utah hike. It features plenty of beautiful views, red rocks with ancient petroglyphs, a natural pool, and even a waterfall!

As you follow the hiking path along Red Reef Trail, you’ll end up in a narrow canyon where the landscape transforms into a grassy plain. The high sandstone walls create a cool, shaded environment which is a relief when the sun is high in the sky. At the end of the hike, you can enjoy the nearby waterfall and take a dip in the natural pools (if they aren’t dried up during summer).

Also located in the Red Cliffs Conservation Area, this is an easy 2.2-mile hike if you begin from the campgrounds. Alternatively, for more of a challenge, you can begin at the Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness and take Quail Creek drainage canyon to Red Reef Trail. However, know that this longer route is just over 5.5 miles and requires some technical footwork through rocks and natural obstacles.

Plan your trip to Red Reef Trail by learning more about it from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website. Dogs must be leashed at all times on this trail. Know that several areas that require climbing may be challenging for animals and young children.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 2.2 miles or more
  • Time: 55 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 220 feet
  • Location: Leeds, UT
Red Reef Trail at Red Cliffs Conservation Area

Red Reef Trail at Red Cliffs Conservation Area/ Facebook

8. Paradise Canyon Trail

Paradise Canyon Trail is one of the longer St. George hikes that’s popular among locals and other nature lovers such as birders and mountain bikers. While it’s best to visit during the spring, Paradise Canyon Trail is open year-round.

Take the Paradise Canyon Trail loop and enjoy one of the most popular hikes through the Red Cliffs Conservation Area. You’ll experience beautiful views of the ancient red rocks and naturally carved sandstone, as well as expansive desert landscape scenery and plenty of wildlife. Paradise Canyon Trail is known for the abundance of tortoise sightings among hikers and walkers! Plus, it’s easy to get to Scout Cave from this trail, which is a bonus.

The trail itself lacks reasonable shade cover, so be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and lots of water during the summer. It’s generally wise to hike this trail on weekdays or early mornings since its highest traffic happens during the weekends. Pay attention to trail signs, as this one intersects with several other paths. Dogs are allowed throughout Paradise Canyon Trail if they’re on a leash.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 5.4 miles
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 855 feet
  • Location: St. George, UT
Paradise Canyon Trail

Paradise Canyon Trail/ Facebook

9. Snow Canyon Loop via Whiptail Trail

For serious hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers looking to log some miles in St. George, Snow Canyon National Park has plenty of options. This 16-mile, strenuous yet stunning loop via Whiptail Trail offers a memorable experience throughout all seasons of the year.

Much of the trail for this route is on a paved bike path, which is why it’s ideal for bikers and runners. However, there is a lot of elevation gain and plenty of amazing views the entire hike, so you’ll benefit from the challenging inclines no matter what your adventure preferences are. If on foot, you need to bring extra water and maybe a snack.

You can bring your dogs on this trail, but since it’s a difficult and long trek, be responsible and keep your dog leashed. You can expect to see a lot of wildlife along the trail as well!

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Length: 16.6 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 1,435 feet
  • Location: Ivins, UT
Snow Canyon Loop via Whiptail Trail

Snow Canyon Loop via Whiptail Trail/ Facebook

10. Snow Canyon Trail

If you want to hike the natural wonders of Snow Canyon National Park without trekking long miles or wandering through offshoots, the marked Snow Canyon Trail is the perfect option. This 3.5-mile, relatively moderate trail is kid-friendly, educational, and an incredible sight that’s unlike other trails in the region.

There are a few self-guided interpretive signs that explain some of the native plants and wildlife along the trail. There are also sandy portions of the trail, adding an extra challenge but a great opportunity for a workout. Use caution after rain because it causes puddles and water-logged washes along the path.

Snow Canyon Trail’s red rock and sandstone hills are layered in between many sand dunes, lava tubes, and gorgeous overlook points. There’s a variety of terrain to enjoy here, from red and white sands to sedimentary and lava rock. One of the lava tubes now exists as a rocky cave you can visit if you are willing to scramble over a few rocks to the entrance.

NOTE: No dogs are allowed on this trail.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 3.5 miles
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 500 feet
  • Location: St. George, UT
Snow Canyon Trail

Snow Canyon Trail/ Facebook

11. Shinob Kibe Trail

Another spot for St. George Utah hiking is the Shinob Kibe Trail. It’s a short but satisfying out-and-back hike that’s accessible any time of the year. You can expect to see wildlife, plenty of wildflowers during spring, interesting birds, and historical wonders along the path. It’s also very kid-friendly, which makes it ideal for anyone looking for a good family hike in the area.

This route is considered a quick, gradual climb, and it’s advised you look out for loose rocks along the path. The main highlight of the Shinob Kibe Trail is the expansive overlook of St. George at the end. Plus, you’ll get a breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains surrounding the area, which are especially enjoyable during the winter.

Whether you want to view sunsets for miles or enjoy a quick hike with lovely views, this is a local go-to spot you won’t want to miss. Follow the trail signage and rules. And if you bring dogs, please keep them on a leash.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 1.4 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 625 feet
  • Location: St. George, UT

12. The Bowl AKA “The Vortex” Trail

Enter a part of Utah that makes you feel like you’ve landed on the planet Mars. The Bowl, also notoriously nicknamed “The Vortex” Trail, is a 2.3-mile, out-and-back exploration of some of the most interesting terrain in southern Utah. With a giant, bowl-shaped indentation carved into the red sandstone, this trail is more than a hike; it’s a chance to observe some of nature’s inspiring artwork.

It’s been noted that there are cairn markings (stacked rocks) to indicate the path on this trail, but sometimes the cairns get destroyed before being rebuilt. You should probably download a trail map or go with someone who knows the way— otherwise, there’s a chance you might get lost along the other trail options. If all else fails, follow the footprints in the sand or ask a fellow hiker for directions.

Dogs are allowed off-leash on certain parts of this trail, just be mindful of other people enjoying their hike. You might have to scramble up some rocks here, and The Bowl itself can be a falling hazard. Use caution and be a responsible hiker.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 2.3 miles
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain:
  • Location: Gunlock, UT
The Bowl AKA “The Vortex” Trail

The Bowl AKA “The Vortex” Trail/ Facebook

13. Whiterocks Amphitheater Trail

Take a break from Utah’s abundant red sandstone features and explore this unique, impressively gorgeous wonder: The Whiterocks Amphitheater Trail. Located in the Snow Canyon National Park, Whiterocks is a delight to locals and travelers alike. Whether you think of it as a giant sandbox to play in or a true natural amphitheater to marvel at, the petrified white rocks offer amazing scenery all around.

This is a short, easy hike with no shortage of foliage, rocks, views, or wildlife to observe. You could easily spend an hour just wandering the Whiterocks Amphitheater upon arrival. The best part is that the trail and landmark itself are kid-friendly and even accessible to strollers.

Dogs are allowed on this trail if they’re leashed, and they typically love wandering the natural playground. It can get hot and quite windy at this location, so come prepared for the weather depending on what season you’re in.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.9 miles
  • Time: ~25 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 127 feet
  • Location: St. George, UT
Whiterocks Amphitheater Trail

Whiterocks Amphitheater Trail/ Facebook

14. Zen Trail

Known mostly by mountain bikers, Zen Trail also offers hiking near St. George, Utah to anyone willing to share the trail. This 6-mile loop is an intense workout with more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The best part about Zen Trail is the unique, “zen-like” rock formations and the overlook views. You can also visit the Hippopotamus Caves of various shapes and sizes.

Zen Trial is open to explore year-round and is fairly popular among all types of outdoor lovers. Dogs are typically allowed on this trail when leashed, just be cautious of mountain bikers who ride at fast speeds.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 6.4 miles
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1,030 feet
  • Location: St. George, UT
Zen Trail

Zen Trail/ Facebook

Best Spots for Hiking in St George Utah

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, there are some seriously cool St George Utah hikes that will leave you in awe of the Earth’s beauty. Grab your hiking boots, pack some water, and enjoy the many unique wonders of this beautiful area.

What are your favorite hikes near St. George? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for more Utah hiking tips!