Like most of you, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch love to go hiking. And we’ve often talked about the many amazing trails in Southern Utah, most especially in the national parks. But since there are so many great locations to play outside in this state, we wanted to talk about some of the lesser known places where you can hike and bike ’till your heart is content.
Boulder Mountain – this is a mountain range near Capitol Reef National Park. It is heavily wooded, so it’s a cooler place to hike in the summer. There are many spots along the scenic drive to get out and explore. For example, there are a bunch of trails behind the Wildcat Ranger Station, mid-way up the mountain. The town of Boulder sits near the elevation summit of the range, and offers even more places to hike.
Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument – this monument is accessed from the north via the town of Boulder, and from the south via Escalante. It is a huge wilderness with incredible sandstone geology. (You may know of it because Utah’s famed Highway 12 runs through it.) In the Grand Staircase there are multiple hikes just off the highway. Upper and Lower Calf Creek are two of our favorites.
Henry Mountain Range – this range is one of the truly wild places of Southern Utah. Untouched and unmapped until the 20th century, it is still relatively unvisited. The Henry’s are also near Capitol Reef National Park and the Waterpocket Fold. The most popular hike is Mount Ellen via the Bull Creek Pass. This will give you amazing views of the national park and the West Desert.
Of course, there are many, many more locations to explore in Southern Utah, and almost all of them have great hiking trails. We’ll write more about these lesser known hiking spots in the future.