Monday, February 22, 2021

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

 More St George Hikes

The Red Cliff National Conservation Area, 15 miles north of St. George is a real treasure with 25 moderate trails ranging from 1.1 to 17.1 miles and from 2,929 to 5,121 feet above sea level. The sunshine made hiking with temps in the 50s and 60s very pleasant. With so many to chose, here are a few that we tried.

Turtle Trail

The Turtle Trail wasn't well marked and we missed the turnoff, giving us a pretty bonus mile. Thank goodness the All trails app got us back on track.

March to October the protected desert tortoise can be found wandering around this area. 

Flintstone House?

Lots of bike paths too but too little time.

Red Reef Trail

The Red Reef trail starts out of the BLM Red Cliffs campground 1 mile west of Interstate 15 at Harrisburg.  This relatively easy trail following the Quail Creek out of the campground and enters a winding, beautiful red rock canyon. ½ mile up the canyon  is a large pool of water over an 8-foot sandstone wall with carved-out foot holds (locally called Moki steps) with assistance from an anchored rope.
This was such a neat trail.

Moki steps
The wonderful Red Reef Trail was only 3 miles and a half mile trail leading to a group of Anasazi pit houses and other archeological ruins with interpretive displays was on the opposite  side of the campground. There was no reason to hurry back so we headed over to check it out.

Leaving the Anasazi site, there was a sign that I wasn't sure what it was indicating until we got closer and read dinosaur prints.

The two miles around the west Cinder Knoll was a great walk on a rest day and only a mile from the campground. Every trail was completely different and so many more to explore. 


Friday, February 19, 2021

St George, Utah

Getting Oriented in Utah

 Three Falls Trail, Hurricane, Utah

We have enjoyed spending the past 7 winters in Arizona. But we have had enough staying in the same RV parks for the past 11 months and we were itchy to move on. We had reservations at the Wild Willow RV Park in Hurricane and were looking forward to something new. 

We didn't mind the new snow as we headed out on our first hike a mile from the campground. The Three Falls Trail in Gould's Wash was dry but snowy without much sunshine. 

The view from above the first fall was beautiful but the decent from there was icy and we turned around to climb down from where we had just been.

Johnson Canyon Trail, St George, Utah

After only a mile, we regrouped and headed to St. George to check out the trails. The Johnson Canyon Trail is just before the ranger's station of Snow Canyon State Park.

Johnson Canyon Trail is a short 1.8 mile hike at the mouth of Snow Canyon State Park. It boasts a natural spring, black lava flows, red-rock walls, cottonwood and willow glades, and an impressive arch near the end. There are only minor up-and-downs on this route between the road and the 200 foot 
span Johnson Arch.

It was a good introduction to this surprisingly amazing area.

Brian Head Ski Resort

We brought our skis along since Brian Head Ski area is a 90 mile drive from Hurricane and boasts some impressive snowfall when they get it.

Utah’s highest base elevation. Covering over 650 acres, this Utah ski resort has two connected mountains, Giant Steps, and Navajo, offering 71 runs and 8 chair lifts.

The snow was falling and the light was flat but we had the mountain to ourselves most of the time.

We had to take the magic carpet lift to get back to the mountain where we started or pull ourselves up hill. The fog also rolled in.

We were happy to once again be exploring new places.

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