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Southern Utah Spring Break: 2024

Southern Utah Spring Break: 2024

Posted in: Outdoor adventures, Travel on March 6, 2024.

Did Someone Say “Spring Break”?

It’s March again! And you know what that means? It’s Spring Break, baby! In a couple of weeks, kids from every grade level from elementary school to college will have a week off to celebrate the coming spring. And that means vacations! Vacations with your friends, vacations with your children, vacations to every sunny spot in the country. So, as you can imagine, Southern Utah becomes a hotspot for people trying to savor their week of fun. Now you just have make an itinerary for your trip…

The iconic Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

Photo by Cayetano Gil via unsplash.com

Our Top Picks: National Parks and More

There is a ton to see in Utah. But lucky for you, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch are experts at helping plan vacations in Southern Utah and the national parks. We’ve compiled our best suggestions from the past five years of Spring Break blog posts to present to you our Ultimate 2024 Guide to Spring Break in Southern Utah. Let’s get to it!

The view from inside a vehicle that is driving on a scenic, winding dirt road

Photo by Clark Tibbs via unsplash.com

Arches and Canyonlands

Let’s start by looking at the twin parks of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks! The town of Moab, is the gateway to both Canyonlands and Arches. So you’ll likely spend a lot of time there. And you’ll definitely want to explore both parks, since each is uniquely awesome. We suggest that you spend a least two days in Arches and one full day in Canyonlands. This should should be doable, since you will have a week of Spring Break – even allowing for travel time to get to Moab and back to your home. Check out some of these awesome hikes while you’re there:

Canyonlands National Park

  • Grand View Point – This is probably the best overlook in the park. You’ll get to see an expansive mesa, with the Green River below you, cutting canyons in the stone. It’s pretty great.
  • Mesa Arch – A very short hike will take you to the most famous location in Canyonlands. It’s one heck of an arch, with an equally impressive backdrop.

Arches National Park

  • Delicate Arch – You gotta hike to Delicate Arch. It’s just something you do when you visit Utah. It’s a little strenuous when you reach the uphill, slickrock section, but we think it’s worth the climb.
  • Double Arch – This is a trail is easy (easy enough for kids) and leads to a great, and also very famous arch. We’re pretty sure you’ve seen it a few times before in film and television.

A car drives up a red sandstone canyon

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan via unsplash.com

Road Trip Through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Maybe you’re looking for a little more time on the open road, and a little less time hiking? Then road trips are the way to go! Here are a couple in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that we think make for excellent Spring Break drives.

  • Hell’s Backbone Trail – This is a great backcountry roadtrip that covers areas of the national monument that don’t get seen as often. It also has a fantastic bridge over a 1,000-foot drop off, which is pretty impressive. Get more details about Hell’s Backbone Trail here.
  • The Burr Trail – We never pass up an opportunity to recommend the the Burr Trail. It connects Capitol Reef National Park with the Grand Staircase. It’s got great views, fantastic canyons, and some pretty intense switchbacks. Read our in-depth guide to the Burr Trail here.

Hikers in the remote section of Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef

Photo by Brady Stoeltzing via unsplash.com

Capitol Reef

Speaking of Capitol Reef – come to Capitol Reef! This is our favorite national park in Utah, and not just because we live next door to it. (Hey, you can stay with us)!) If you’re looking to avoid the crowded and rushed feeling of Arches and Zion (we’ll get to Zion next!) you’ll love the laid-back atmosphere of Capitol Reef. Wander through the orchards, stop by the Gifford House to buy goodies, and get hiking on some of these great trails! Plan on about three days in the park – two to explore Fruita, and one to wander into Cathedral Valley or down into the Waterpocket Fold.

  • Cassidy Arch – This is a fantastic trail with a fantastic view of Capitol Reef and the Waterpocket Fold. The trail is a bit steep at first, but it levels out to a flat slickrock mesa, and leads you to the natural arch. And yes, you can totally walk across it. (Just be careful.)
  • Hickman Bridge – This is the most popular hike in Capitol Reef. It’s fun, it’s short, and it’s got a cool bridge at the end. What’s not to love?
  • Cohab Canyon – This is great canyon hike that connects the two main roads in the Fruita section of the park. It’s pretty easy, leads to great views of the Waterpocket Fold, and has several short, slot canyon spurs that you can explore.

A woman stands at the top of Angels Landing in Zion

Photo by Kristina Wagner via unsplash.com


Thinking about visiting Utah’s most famous park, Zion? You’ll probably be staying in Saint George , the main population center near the park. Zion, like most of the parks, has a lot to see. So be sure to plan on spending three or four solid days there. Stop by the visitor center, take the tour bus up Zion Canyon, and absolutely hike one of these trails:

  • Upper Emerald Pools – A great, easy hike with big payoff. It will take you up into the cliffs of Zion Canyon to a remarkable set of still pools. Don’t stop just at the lower or middle pools, the top one, Upper Emerald Pool is our favorite.
  • Angel’s Landing – If you’re up for a challenge, Angel’s Landing is the quintessential hike in Zion. It’s a pretty tough climb, but the view from the top is something you’ll never forget. Also, you just might see a California Condor up there with you. Check out this link to start the process to reserve a hiking ticket.

Honestly, You Can’t Go Wrong!

Wondering which of these awesome parks or road trips to do on your Spring Break? Never fear! You literally can’t make a wrong choice. You’ll love everything in Southern Utah! And, don’t worry you can always come back and visit the other locations next Spring Break. Have a great time, and enjoy you’re vacation!

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