Spring Break in Southern Utah

Southern Utah has long been a favorite destination for Utah families that also attracts visitors throughout the Intermountain region and southern California. St. George in particular has taken the top position as the most popular of all southern Utah destinations with Moab not far behind. As a result, these two popular recreation hot spots located on opposite sides of the state have become very busy and crowded especially on weekends. There are options! In this KSL Studio 5 segment I give five “last minute” places to stay at destinations surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery and family adventure that are less crowded. Click here to watch KSL Studio 5 segment.

Sand Hollow

Ok, wait a minute, isn’t Sand Hollow in or near St. George? Yes, it is but the place I’m recommending is off the beaten path known as St. George Blvd and away from the city traffic. When I say Sand Hollow, I’m not talking tent or RV camping next to the reservoir in sand. The place I’m recommending is quite the opposite.

Location, Location, Location

Centrally located between Zion National Park and St. George with easy access to four state parks, golf courses, hiking, mountain biking, off-roading, watersports, and the lists goes on. You can point your car in any direction from your vacation rental and find something nearby.

If you’re a Sand Hollow State Park fan, this is the place! You can nearly throw a rock from your rental to the park. It’s ideal for the off-road enthusiast as a staging area for riding the popular trails of Sand Mountain and Warner Valley. If you don’t own a UTV you can take a guided tour with BASH Powersports.

Located minutes from the most popular outdoor adventure, scenic attractions, shopping, historic sites, and other things to do in Greater Zion.

(See map below for places I recommend checking out that are an easy drive away.)


Bryce Canyon National Park

As one of Utah’s Mighty Five national parks, Bryce Canyon is not only a favorite of Utah travelers it’s a popular destination for travelers worldwide. Although the park can become very busy and often crowded during the peak tourist season, spring break is not a problem since it barely overlaps the beginning of this season.

Bryce Canyon is one of my favorite parks for its unique landscape of salmon colored limestone hoodoos, spires, pinnacles, and craggy cliffs. Some of my favorite hikes are in the amphitheater of the main part of the park namely Peekaboo, Navajo Loop, and Queens Garden trails. These are wonderful hikes that descend to the bottom of the canyon giving hikers a very different view and perspective of the park. Remember at an elevation of 8,000 ft. coming back up will take some effort. Pace yourself, take your time to enjoy the scenery.

Spring conditions in the park can be a bit unpredictable with the transitioning of seasons so pack accordingly.

Beyond Bryce Canyon Ruby’s Inn makes a great hub for visiting area attractions within an hour’s drive. A few of these attractions include Red Canyon to the west on Highway 12, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Kodachrome Basin State Park to the east near the town of Cannonville, and the ghost town of Widtsoe to the north.

For more information about Bryce Canyon National Park visit Bryce Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) For Ruby’s Inn visit Bryce Canyon Lodging I Historic Ruby’s Inn Hotel (rubysinn.com)



Escalante is located on Utah’s only All-American Road, Highway 12 that runs from Highway 89 just south of Panguitch on the west to the town of Torrey near Capitol Reef National Park to the east with some of the most eye-popping scenery in the world in-between. Within the Escante area and withing a few minutes is a plethora of outdoor adventures and natural wonders. Here are some must-see attractions and activities worth visiting.

  1. Calf Creek Falls Recreation Area: Although it takes a bit of effort to get there, the Calf Creek Falls are well worth the journey. The trail leads to a stunning waterfall surrounded by red rock cliffs, making it a recommended site for nature enthusiasts 1.
  2. Scenic Byway Route 12: Known as one of the most scenic drives in the country, Route 12 winds through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National MonumentAlong the way, you’ll encounter breathtaking vistas, unique rock formations, and picturesque viewpoints 1.
  3. Devil’s Garden: Explore the impressive and peculiar rock formations at Devil’s Garden along the Hole in the Rock RoadThe geological wonders here include arches, swirls, and intricate potholes etched into the sandstone 1.
  4. Peekaboo Gulch: This narrow slot canyon is famous for its last 100 meters, where the ravine deepens, revealing interlinked potholes, extravagant rock swirls, and several arches. The name “Peekaboo” aptly captures the curious features of this canyon 1.
  5. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park: Visit the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, where you can marvel at ancient petrified wood, explore hiking trails, and learn about the fascinating geological history of the area. The park offers a unique blend of natural beauty and educational experiences 2.
  6. Hogback Ridge Overlooks: Take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from the Hogback Ridge. The rugged terrain and distant vistas make it a photographer’s paradise.
  7. Anasazi State Park Museum: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Ancestral Puebloans at this museum. Discover artifacts, ancient dwellings, and learn about the history of the region.
  8. Burr Trail Scenic Backway: Embark on a scenic drive along the Burr Trail, which winds through red rock canyons, past towering cliffs, and offers glimpses of the rugged wilderness.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking natural beauty, Escalante has something to captivate every traveler.



Hanksville may be a bit off the beaten path, but it’s situated perfectly at the crossroads of two scenic byways (24 & 95) that give easy access to the region’s most popular and out of the way places to explore.

  1. Goblin Valley State Park:
  2. Robber’s Roost:
    • Butch Cassidy and his notorious Wild Bunch Gang frequented this area after their heists in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
    • Shrouded in mystery, Robber’s Roost is a remote desert region with spectacular canyons. Legend has it that Cassidy used it as a hideout 23.
    • Explore the remnants of an old corral and stone fireplace, imagining the outlaws who sought refuge here.
  3. Lake Powell:
    • While not directly in Hanksville, Lake Powell is nearby and spans the Utah-Arizona border.
    • This massive reservoir offers boating, fishing, and stunning red rock vistas. It’s a must-visit for water enthusiasts 4.
  4. Unusual Attractions:
  5. Nearby Attractions:

Step off the beaten path and discover the rugged charm of Hanksville, where history, nature, and adventure converge.



Bluff, a town in San Juan County, Utah, United States, is a hidden gem nestled between sandstone cliffs and the San Juan River. Here’s what makes Bluff special:

  1. Rich History:
    • Under the direction of John Taylor, Silas S. Smith, and Danish settler Jens Nielson, about 230 Mormons embarked on an expedition to start a farming community in southeastern Utah.
    • After forging their own trail over difficult terrain, the settlers arrived at the site of Bluff in April 1880.
    • The town was aptly named for the bluffs near the town site .
  2. Gateway to Ancient Wonders:
  3. Geography and Landscape:
  4. Climate:
  5. Lodging and Exploration:

Step into Bluff’s rich past, soak in its natural beauty, and embark on adventures in this captivating corner of the American Southwest!

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