Let’s Go On A Break!
It’s Spring Break, baby! Let’s go traveling! Southern Utah and the national parks are prime locations for Spring Breakers. But paradoxically, the parks will be pretty packed during most of March and April as college students and families head there in an attempt to get away from it all. Which… can be frustrating. But don’t worry, we at the Lodge at the Red River Ranch have you covered. Here are the best places that you can visit that are off-the-beaten-path, so you can avoid the most crowded areas, and have a great time Spring Break-ing in 2023!
Cedar Breaks instead of Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is a popular spot for Spring Breakers, and it’s got a lot to offer. Hoodoos, hiking, pine forests and more. But it does get pretty busy. So if you want a little more time to yourself, maybe consider going to Cedar Breaks.
Cedar Breaks National Monument is basically a small Bryce Canyon. It’s located near Cedar City and is basically unknown. Point Supreme Overlook is the main attraction of the monument. Park at the parking lot and walk to the overlook. It’s a truly wonderful view. The hoodoos seem to march down the alpine mountain face.
There are several trails that will let you can hike. (Here’s the link to the website’s trail guide.) But if you can only do one, make it Sunset Trail. It’s great! And easy!
The night sky is especially beautiful at Cedar Breaks. So if you’re an amateur stargazer (or an astronomy major) be sure to stay after sunset.
You can technically camp at Cedar Breaks at the Point Supreme Campground, but it’s only open from mid-June to mid-September. Not very helpful for Spring Break. Cedar City is the closest town with accommodations.
Kolob Canyon instead of Zion Canyon
Just to be clear, Kolob Canyon is part of Zion National Park. It’s just not really connected to the main section. So, it gets far fewer visitors. Which is a shame, because it’s a pretty cool place to explore, but also great, because know you know about it! Kolob Canyon has towering, red-sandstone cliffs with fun little trails that lead into the canyon’s narrow crevices or into the most wild parts of Zion National Parks. Drive up to the top of the canyon and admire the simply fantastic scenery. Walk the extra mile from the parking lot up top and see the Timber Creek Overlook.
Here’s the trail guide for Kolob Canyon. If you only have time for one hike, make it Taylor Creek Trail.
Kolob Canyon is also located near Cedar City, so it would be good idea to see Cedar Breaks while you’re there too. There is technically camping available on the La Verkin Creek Trail, but it’s main designed for people on horseback traveling deep into the heart of Zion. If you’re just a causal visitor, we suggest you stay in Cedar City.
Capitol Reef instead of Moab
Moab is synonymous with Southern Utah adventure. And, we concede, it’s a great place to hang out. We’ve even written an itinerary about what you can and should do in Moab. But it gets crowded, especially during Spring Break. So here’s our pitch: you can do almost everything you want to do in Moab in Capitol Reef National Park – and avoid the traffic doing it.
Hiking and backcountry exploration are abundant in Capitol Reef. (That’s kinda what our how blog is about.) If you want to stay in the main Fruita section of the park, you should check out Cassidy Arch. And if you want to head into the wilds, try heading south into the Waterpocket Fold and hike to Brimhall Bridges. Check out this page with info about the trail in different parts of the park.
You can also rock climb here! You will need a permit. You can find all the information about climbing here on the official page.
You can rent Jeeps and ATVs here too! And while you can’t go off-road in the park proper, you can make use of them on the tougher dirt roads in Cathedral Valley and the Waterpocket Fold. Plus there are TONS of off-road trails in the general vicinity. We can recommend Dixie Top Outfitters for rentals and tours of the area.
You can camp at any of the three campsites in the park. But if you want to stay in the main only, you’ll need to reserve a spot online at recreation.gov. You can also find accommodations in Torrey, or you stay with us!
Get Out There And Rock On!
There is something about going to the places less traveled. It’s more fun, and it’s more rewarding. Sometimes being stuck in a throng of people while trying to admire the natural world cheapens the experience. So head to these lessor visited places and avoid those maddening crowds! Happy Spring Break 2023! Have a great time and be safe in Southern Utah!