Posted in: Travel on May 26, 2019.
Thinking About Summer
Hey! It’s Memorial Day Weekend! Which means its officially the unofficial start of summer! Hopefully you’ve made big plans for the weekend – lots of good food, family and fun – to start summer off right. But if you couldn’t make it out for the long weekend, or just want to start planning now, then we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have some good ideas for a great summer vacation!
There are TONS of great places to boat, swim and fish in Southern Utah. If you are planning something for July or August, a water-based vacation makes a lot of sense. It’s the perfect way to beat the heat. Think about hitting up a couple of these places:
- Lake Powell – this is probably the “water-sports capital” of Southern Utah. The lake is impressively large, and impressively scenic. Camp by the water (or heck, get yourself a houseboat for the weekend) and explore the labyrinthine network of flooded canyons via personal watercraft. Then catch a few lake trout, and maybe hike to the incredible Rainbow Arch.
- Green River – the Green River is the powerful erosive force that carved out much of Southern Utah. You can admire the handwork of this river by rafting down it, through one of the various canyons of Canyonlands National Park. You’ll get to see the park from a whole new perspective, marvel at the enormity of geological time, and get to splash around in the water. We recommend taking a few days to raft Stillwater Canyon.
- Fish Lake – this might be the best spot to fish in all of Utah! Fish Lake is abundantly stocked, has a great alpine location, and is super close to Capitol Reef National Park. (It’s also basically in our backyard.) In addition to all that great fishing, you can hike, ride and explore nearby Fishlake National Forest. And while you’re there, say hello to our friend Pando.
National Park Tour
To many people, Southern Utah basically IS a national park. That’s how iconic the parks are. So if you’re in the mood for a roadtrip this summer, then we have the perfect idea. It’s called the Grand Circle Tour and it’s a tour of all five national parks – Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion. The whole trip takes about a week, but you’ll have the time of your life. You can see our take on how to do the Grand Circle here.
Not into boating or long roadtrips? And doing lots of hikes in the national parks isn’t your thing either? No problem. Maybe you want to explore the wilderness of Southern Utah via motorcycle, Jeep or other OHV. Then go ahead and check these spots out:
- Coral Pink Coral Dunes – this is an amazing, little state park that was custom-made for dirt bikes and dune buggies. You can play in the sand all day long, camp nearby, and play again the next day. Plus it’s a really scenic area. Here’s a little more info on the park.
- White Rim Road – this is one of our favorite backcountry roads in the state. Be prepared, you’ll need a 4WD, high-clearance vehicle to tackle the tough terrain, and there are plenty of hazardous spots that will require a certain level of skill. But you’ll never beat those views of Canyonlands and the Green River. If you’re into backcountry adventure, we suggest you put this one on your “must do” list. You can get more info here.
- Burr Trail – this trail is also pretty remote, but you won’t need to fear for your life while driving it. Any high-clearance vehicle should do fine on the graded gravel road. The trail will take you through the best part of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef. (Our favorite part of the park, in case we haven’t mentioned it.) You can get some more in-depth information here.
Time to Start Planning
Hopefully something on this very, very short list grabbed your attention. Summer in Southern Utah is a blast, and now’s the best time to start thinking about your plans. Happy trails!