Winter time in Southern Utah is a great time to explore some of the area’s hidden gems. In addition to outdoor activities, there are many things you can do indoors. Typically the winters here are mild. It does get cold but the temperature averages just below freezing to 10 degrees Celsius, primarily at night. During the daytime hours it usually gets up to about 60 degrees F.

St. George Children’s Museum

View of the music room at the museum. Lots of hands on instruments.

The Children’s Museum is nestled in downtown St. George at the old Dixie Academy building. The historical Dixie Academy opened its doors in 1911. Teaching many students from Dixie High School and what was back then, Dixie State College. As well as preserving the building itself, they have kept it a place of learning. Which gives the Children’s museum a wonderful place to be. The museum itself was founded in 2011 but came to the Dixie Academy building in March of 2013.

As if one floor wasn’t enough, the museum is two levels. The purpose of the Children’s Museum is to allow children of all ages to learn, explore and create. Each room is kid-friendly with lots of interaction. Kids of all ages, adults included, can sit in the president’s chair or scale castle walls while fighting a dragon. The possibilities are endless.

Winter hours are 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday, admission is $5 a person and children under 2 are free. This is one of the most popular winter activities.

Fiesta Fun

A view when you walk into the door of Fiesta Fun, arcades, grill and laser tag facility

Our Fiesta Fun Family center is another hub for indoor activities. Although they do offer some outdoor activities like bumper cars and Go Carts as well. The Bowling Alley is equipped with over 20 lanes, various bowling balls, and shoe rentals. If you’re not the bowling type, don’t worry, the rest of the building is packed with arcade technology complete even a classic game or two of Pacman and pinball.

Another great part of the facility is the 2-story Laser Tag arena. Team up with total strangers or girls versus boys and do your best under the black light to avoid being spotted by an opponent. After running around working up an appetite, walk across the room and they have a grill. The Grill is complete with pizza, burgers, and salads for those eating healthier. Fiesta fun also has a great space for hosting birthday parties and larger groups.

Hours are Monday through Thursday 10 AM to 11 PM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM to midnight and Sunday’s 11 AM to 9 PM. Pricing depends on the attractions you decide to do!

Brigham Young Winter Home

Brigham Young's Winter Home open for tours year-round, especially in the winter.
Photo Credit: Hike St. George

Brigham Young was one of the first “snowbirds” to come to Southern Utah. The year-round sunshine helped to ease his arthritis. His winter home is located in the heart of St. George. It was built in 1871 and after he died, the home was passed around until the LDS church bought it and began the restoration process. Now the home is open to the public for tours, as a museum.

 House of Jump: Trampoline Park

The House of Jump is one-of-a-kind in Southern Utah. Providing 25,000 sq. feet of pure bounce. Besides the main trampoline area, there are 2 dodgeball arena’s, climbing walls, and a stunt pit. In addition, 2 “warp walls,” “aeroball” and virtual reality. There is an activity for every age here! They love to host birthdays and larger groups as well.

The House of Jump is open Monday through Thursday from 3 PM to 9 PM, Friday 1 PM to 10 PM and Saturday 11 AM to 10 PM. Pricing varies depending on age and the amount of time you want to spend.

The Grip: Ninja Gym

If you’re looking for one of those hole-in-the-rock winter activities, The Grip Ninja Gym is a blast! in Southern Utah. Since September of 2018, they have been open, offering classes as well as open gym time for anyone to enjoy the facility. Take a chance at being a ninja on the various types of obstacles similar to that of NBC’s hit show, “American Ninja Warrior.” This particular place is sure to get the wiggles out and is fun for all ages. Locally owned and operated by 2 American Ninja warrior competitors themselves, the idea is to make fitness fun.

Open Gym hours are Tuesday through Thursday 7 PM to 9 PM with Friday and Saturday hours 6 PM to 10 PM.

All in all, there are plenty of winter activities in Southern Utah. Be sure to plan a visit to one, if not all, of the places when you arrive for your adventure tour with ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours.

Written By: Kathryn Bowler

Lonny Boy’s Barbecue is family-owned with only one goal in mind, to make the greatest bbq “this side of the Mississippi.”

In the Kitchen

In order to achieve the best barbecue, the pulled pork and beef brisket are smoked for over 12 hours alone. Your sniffer will smell juicy aromas from State Street in Hurricane because the smoker is on the outskirts of their parking lot. Wafting downtown with campfire smells, is one way to wrangle in the masses for some delicious BBQ. According to Lonny Boy’s, their food is said to “Improve test scores, enhance the immune system, increase fertility, cure cancer, and end loneliness.” It is that good! Keep an eye out for that saying and many others posted around the restaurant.

Appetizers, Meats & Sides

Barbecue chicken on french fries named "Frychos"

Lonny’s menu is simply nothing short of homestyle comfort food. Start off the meal with a great appetizer like “Frychos”, a delectable combination of french fries covered in any choice of meat and barbecue sauce. For those not as daring, they have chicken wings and regular BBQ nachos. The most popular entrees for ultimate hunger are one and two meat plates with your choice of meat and a few sides. They have a sampler for deciding what meat you want is difficult when they all look absolutely pig-out worthy. They also offer full and half racks of ribs drizzled in signature barbecue sauce.

Their sides are ones that typcially only reach your tastebuds when grandma is in town. Buttery Garlic Red Mashed potatoes, Mac ‘n Cheese, Baked Beans, and hush puppies make an appearance. Give the “Fried Cauliflower” a try, it’s an item that sets them apart. It’s a tasty and unexpected adventure for your mouth with the mild taste of cauliflower and the crunch of some good old fried batter. As a bonus, it’s a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies!

For anyone 10 and under, the kid’s menu offers a great selection of meats and other typical kid-friendly food items. Choose between pork, brisket or chicken, a pork sandwich, corn dog or chicken fingers! These meals include fries and a drink.

Sandwiches & More!

Besides meat and potatoes, sandwiches like the “Thunderbird”, half and half pork and beef brisket for the indecisive, and the “KING” pulled pork with a “crown” of coleslaw and of course, the crispiest bun west of the Mississipi. Keep in mind that they do have smoked chicken and turkey that can be dressed in any style or sauce.

In addition to their in-house menu, they have a bulk menu that allows you to buy pounds of smoked pork, brisket, and even a whole chicken. Also, they have a variety of their sides available in quart and pint sizes. Too bad you can’t take the barbecue with you on the plane!

Since it can’t make your flight smell heavenly, bring the barbecue to your hotel room and enjoy yummy food. Especially if you’re looking to feed a family or group of 6-8 people. The “Family Meal” is perfect. With choices of beef, pulled pork or chicken and 4 pint-sized sides and a half dozen cornbread muffins or rolls, assuring that there is something for everyone.


To quench thirst, they have a variety of Coca-Cola products like Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Barq’s Rootbeer and many other classics. Lonny Boy’s Barbecue also serves beer and wine.

Atmosphere

When a guest walks in the door at Lonny’s, they know they’ve arrived at the barbecue hub. After taking advantage of the perfect photo opportunity on their 4-seater motorcycle out front. Warm, smoky aromas steal away their appetite. Lonny Boy’s Barbecue challenges that “I don’t think I’m hungry” thought. Be prepared to think again! In addition to the air, the lighting is cozy and the decor is simply rustic. It feels like home especially so, when seating is up to you.

Starting is as easy, and more delicious, as the assembly line at your local Cafe Rio. After grazing the menu overhead, start at the “order here” sign and watch the barbecue magic happen. After that, pick up and pay for your food at the “pick up here” sign. They have an assortment of BBQ sauces at the table as well as next to the fountain drinks. Most people wander over there after getting their food to see about adventuring into some new flavors, or to get more barbecue sauce! Because a little more BBQ never hurt anyone!


Location and Hours

Lonny Boy’s Barbecue is located in downtown Hurricane, UT on State Street. Take Exit 16 for Hurricane from I-15 and hop onto State street. Be on the lookout for the 4-seater motorcycle in front of the restaurant. If you’re coming from Zion or Springdale, it’s a half-hour drive. In addition to an appetite, Google Maps can direct you here as well. They are open Monday through Thursday 11 AM to 9 PM, Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 9:30 PM and closed on Sunday.

“Put some south in your mouth” as Lonny Boy’s Barbecue says, after exploring over 16,000 acres of Southern Utah nature on the seat of an ATV or UTV on a Half-Day Sunset Adventure with ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours.

Written By: Kathryn Bowler

Zion National Park is no longer just a summer destination. The Winter Off-Season in Zion is becoming a quite popular time to visit the park. Last year over 4.5 million people visited Zion National Park, primarily in the summer months. The park slows down after Thanksgiving thru mid-March for the winter months. With the push to visit the “Mighty 5” national parks Zion has seen about a 70% jump in yearly attendance and can be quite crowded in the summer months.

Photo by N4rwhals

Visiting Zion in the winter months has many advantages. The foremost reason is you avoid having to wait in line at the entrance stations. The lines at the entrance stations can be very long in the summer. To avoid the long lines in the summer you want to enter the park no later then 7:00 am. In the off-season you can enter anytime of the day with little to no wait in line.  In the off-season you also won’t have any problem finding close parking, you can easily find great hotel options and you won’t typically have to jockey with so many others on the trails. Some trails you may not see anyone else on the trail during your hike in the off-season. The summer vs winter months at Zion National Park are like night and day.

In the winter you will find peace and quiet in Zion canyon. No wait at the tunnel and be able to see deer grazing almost everywhere in the park. The streets of Springdale are almost void of other cars. You can really experience the solitude and beauty of Zion National Park.

There are so many other reasons to consider planning your holiday in the off-season months too.

Mother Nature often gives us warm days in the winter months

Photo by James Udall

A big part of getting around in the winter at Zion is that you can  driving your own car on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Turn up the heater, open up the windows and sunroof and enjoy the majestic views. But this is a wintertime experience only. The weather in the winter is often quite the surprise for visitors. Southern Utah has much warmer winter days than people think. The average daytime temperature often climbs into the 50’s, 60’s or even up to the 70’s. But nighttime temperatures can get down into the high 20’s or low 30’s making for chilly night and outstanding days. Since the lower area of Zion National Park are roughly at 3,900 feet it is highly unlikely that you will see snow on the ground. The tops of the mountains and rock peaks are often blanketed in a beautiful white snow in the winter months. Winter may bring cooler weather but remember there are less crowds and the temperatures are not up in the 100’s in the winter months. You get the best of both worlds in Zion during the winter months. 

Accommodations cost a lot less and are easier to find.

With Springdale being less crowed in the off-season then finding the best in accommodations is also a lot easier. The boutique hotels that are booked a full year in advance for the summer often have more then enough vacancy in the winter months. You may even be able to arrive and get a room with no reservation. We do suggest still making a reservation ahead of time. This may not apply during the holidays so still make sure to plan ahead.

If you have always wanted to stay inside the park at the Zion Lodge then the winter months is the time to do it. It is usually very easy to get a room at the lodge during fall, winter and early spring at a much lower rate per night. The same hotel that may cost you several hundred dollars per night in the summer may now be almost half that amount. During the winter months in Zion you can also almost always pull up to Watchmen campground and get a camping spot. But remember it does it colder at night then during the day so if you are tent camping you will want to plan on bundling up a bit. In the summer months you have to have a reservation to camp inside the park but not in the winter. 

Less people mean less crowed trails

Photo by David Baldacci

With the shuttle bus not running in the off-season you will be able to drive into the park. You will be able to stop and  park at all your favorite trail heads. The trails are also less crowed and you may be hiking the ever-popular Riverside Walk and only see another person or two. The trails are very uncrowded in the off-season leaving more for you to roam. In the summer you may experience waits to get onto some trails but in the off-season typically you park and hike with no waits at all. Even getting up to and hiking Angels Landing and Observation Point will be a breeze with less crowds of people.

There are some good winter hikes where you will typically encounter snow, you may even need snowshoes. Check at the visitor’s center for these trails. Since the park is less crowed in the off-season please make sure to always check in with the visitor’s center and let them know where you are heading.

Winter Wildlife viewing in Zion National Park

Due to less people, traffic, noise and the cooler temperatures the wildlife comes down to visit. The winter or off-season at Zion National Park means more fantastic wildlife viewing. It is not unusual to see deer, elk, big horn sheep or wild turkeys on the side of the road or in the Zion Village. You will probably be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of bald or golden eagles as the soar by. Ask any park ranger where is a great place to view the winter wildlife and they will be more then happy to tell you. Just remember the animals are wild and do not approach them. Also, don’t think you are doing them a favor by feeding them. Enjoy from a distance and take all the photos you want. 

Summer crowds equal summer traffic but not in the off-season

During the off-season traffic in the park is almost non-existent. In the summer months you may end up waiting over an hour to enter the park.  Then another 30 – 45 minutes just to drive through the Zion Tunnel. In the winter months there is usually at most a 5 to 10-minute wait. This gives you more time to really experience the park. You can drive through the 6.5 miles of canyon at your own pace and stop at whatever trail heads or pull outs you choose.

In the summer you must ride the shuttle bus and get off at predesignated stops. In the off-season but you can just take your time and wander around a bit more. You will be able to enjoy the amazing sites such as Big Bend, the Great White Throne, East and West Temple and the three Patriarchs directly from your car if you choose. Don’t forget to take in the fantastic view of Checkerboard Mesa as well.

Less Crowds means easy parking in Zion National Park and Springdale.

Photo by Tinycaravan

In the summer season you may not be able to find parking anywhere in town and if you do it is going to cost you dearly to park. In the off-season you will more then likely find ample parking off the roadside inside the park or at any of the many pull out areas. You can often pull right up to the beginning of a trail head and park there in the winter months. No waiting for shuttle buses or waiting in line to get on a shuttle bus.

The parking situation in Springdale can be a bit over whelming in the summer months. In the off-season you will find parking everywhere. To park for the day it is still going to cost you, yes even for street parking, but you can usually find ample parking almost anywhere in the off-season.

Top 10 things you can’t miss during your winter trip to Zion National Park

Be it off-season or in the peak season there are 10 things you should not miss out on when you visit Zion National Park.

  1. Emerald Pool trail
  2. The Riverside Walk
  3. Weeping Rock trail
  4. The Mt. Carmel Highway Tunnel
  5. The Canyon Overlook Trail
  6. Seeing the Checkboard Mesa
  7. Court of the Patriarchs rock formations
  8. The Narrows, the water might be a bit cold in the winter months.
  9. Angels or Scouts Landing
  10.  Wildlife Viewing

Don’t forget to check out Springdale and surrounding areas

The cooler weather of the off-season is a great time to rent a bicycle to ride the 6.5 miles of the stunning canyon. Stop by Zion Adventure Company in downtown Springdale to check out all the bicycle rentals they have. Make sure to stop by the Springdale Visitors center to find out about all there is to do outside of Zion National Park. There are wonderful hiking trails just outside of Springdale. Or you can take a ride up to Gooseberry mesa for some great mountain biking or hiking or you can even visit Grafton which is a real ghost town. Or you can just take your time and stroll through the various unique shops and eateries in Springdale. Don’t forget to head on down the mountain to take advantage of less crowed ATV/UTV tours with ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours.

In the spring of 2015, Southern Utah introduced one of Utah’s first interactive desert gardens. The garden was built in an effort to teach a healthier way to landscape in the dry desert. But another main function of the garden is so parents can teach their children about the beauty of the desert. Since the garden is high up on the parkway over looking the city, the views from the garden itself are breathtaking. You can see the entire Saint George valley area and even further on the many clear (non-polluted) days we have. The Red Hills Desert Garden is a project by the Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD), the City of St. George and the Virgin River Program. Not only will you see a lot of native plants but the have replicated a slot canyon where you can walk through and see the area’s endangered fish species. Along the paths you might also spy some 200 million-year-old dinosaur tracks, keep your eyes open!

Getting Here

Nestled on a sandstone bluff, this nature spot overlooks all of St. George City. The views of the historic heart of downtown, old airport hill, and surrounding mountains in the distance are sure to please. Aptly named, it’s location is on Red Hills Parkway. Easily accessed from exit 8 off of I-15 and a 1.3-mile drive northwest. Likewise, a simple navigation in Google Maps will bring you to this hidden gem in Southern Utah too. Once you arrive you will find there are bathrooms, drinking fountains and a gazebo area with shade and seating. Throughout the entirety of the space, there are signs directing you around to the different sections. As well as, covered benches and swinging seats scattered in the garden.

Flora

Over 250 different types of plants contribute to the flora of the year round garden. The indigenous plants include succulents, cacti, and many other desert species. The Beavertail Prickly Pear cactus makes an appearance throughout the design space. In Spring and Summer you will see the incredible magenta blooms of the Beavertail Prickly Pear Cactus.  The Jumping Cholla is a plant you are sure to see adventuring with ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours. Blooming red in the Fall, it’s sharp spines will “jump” on you at the slightest brush. Hence the name “Jumping.” Not the prickly cactus type? Look for the soft Coral Rain Lily. A very drought-tolerant pink colored flower that blooms in the spring. The over 250 varieties of plants at the garden are all indigenous to our local area. See if you can find all 250 different plants at the garden!

Fauna

As a result of the man-made stream that runs through the garden, the Virgin River Program was able to bring in some rare and endangered fish. The rare and beautiful Virgin River Chub is among five other fish that make up part of the fauna of this particular area. At the end of the slot canyon, the stream flows through a few viewing spaces where you can try to spot the different variety’s of fish. Typically you will see many types of lizards, squirrels, rabbits and maybe even the Mojave Desert Tortoise . The Mojave Desert Tortoise is among the species of turtles or tortoises protected and preserved in Southern Utah. Only a few feet from the Red Hills Desert Garden you will find a special conservation area for the tortoise.

Events at the Garden

The Red Hills Desert Garden involves the community with events and workshops held year-round. Xeriscaping is the highlight of the garden, known as landscaping in a “style that requires little to no irrigation.” There are special events held on the property through out the year. Mid-October, they decorate for the Scarecrow walk and Haunted Canyon. Scarecrow’s of all fashion line the sandstone walkways of the garden. Just a few days after Thanksgiving The Red Hills Desert Garden becomes a holiday wonderland. Thousands of colorful, twinkling lights glisten alongside the garden. Thousands of bright, cheery lights wrap around the 5 acres. Don’t forget to check with the City of St. George to see when events are happening at the Desert Garden.

The garden not only raises awareness of conservative water use in the desert but does a spectacular job showcasing Southern Utah’s unique flora and fauna. Hop off the plane, step out of the car, its the perfect place to go and stretch your legs with views like no other! After you’ve done that, head on over to your Full-Day Adventure with ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours and keep an eye out for these indigenous plants.

Written By: Kathryn Bowler

Food in Southern Utah is very diverse. From American to Italian foods around the world and back again. The Red Fort Cuisine of India is becoming the talk of the town with its recent opening in September of 2018. Toasty aromas of curry spices, ginger and a slight hint of coconut greet hungry guests. The service is efficient, friendly and professional. Certainly making it the perfect stop after working up an appetite adventuring with ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours.

The Red Fort Delhi, IndiaThe main gate on Independence day at Red Fort Delhi, India

The restaurant name refers to a Red Fort in Delhi, India. The name Red Fort is the English translation from “Hindustani Lal Qila” Referring to its sandstone walls and corridors. The Mughal Dynasty built the Red Fort and lived in it until the late 19th century. It is now home to local art, events, and fascinating museums. Every year on August 15th, India celebrates their independence from the United Kingdom. The night before, Prime Minister Narenda Modi delivers an “Address to the Nation.” Then posts a tri-color flag at the main gate of the Red Fort in Delhi. Followed by singing their national anthem, watching parades and pageants showcasing the feat of their triumph.

Location & Hours

At a glance, it might be a little more hidden than most eateries in St. George. Just south of exit 8 on I-15, it’s tucked behind the Red Rock commons shopping plaza. The Red Fort Cuisine of India is across the street from Courtyard by Marriott Saint George and up from the TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Directions can be found on their website or easily maneuvered in Google Maps.  The Red Fort Cuisine of India is open Monday-Saturday, closed Sundays. They are open from 3 PM to 10 PM for the perfect late lunch and dinner. Plus, if you’re not up for going out and are wanting to stay in the comfort of your hotel give them a ring and enjoy delicious takeout.

Unique Atmosphere

The restaurant environment is similar to the food that is served. Warm, ambient lighting with culture-specific decorations. Namely arches, golden elephants, plants and vibrant colors. In addition, the service staff, waiters, hosts, and even the table bussers are dressed in typical Indian clothing. Unlike most American restaurants where you leave with a doggy bag and feel 20 pounds heavier, the food is served in well-proportioned amounts.  Hammered silver-like dishes are brought to your table, with the rice in its own dish to the side. The seating is comfortable and well spaced.

On the Menu

Appealing to all walks of food life, they offer gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian dishes. Not a fan of spicy food? Here that’s not a big deal, you can order any meal at mild, medium, hot or very hot spice levels. I for one, love curry. The “Chicken Coconut Kurma” with mild heat had great presentation and even better taste! Thirsty? Another menu favorite is the “Mango Lassi,” a typical Indian drink consisting of fresh mangoes and homemade yogurt blended together. There are two other flavors as well, Strawberry and Rose. They also offer a careful selection of beers and wines. The menu was a bit overwhelming at first because they use correct Indian cuisine terminology. Luckily they do describe the dish’s contents and preparation under each name. Phew!

Above all, Red Fort’s Indian comfort food is the best pit stop after experiencing adventure with ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours. The majority of those visiting the Red Fort Cuisine of India say that it is the most genuine Indian cuisine of Southern Utah.

Written By: Kathryn Bowler

Paradise Village at Zion, a master planned vacation resort community, was voted 2016 Best in State and is located in Santa Clara UT. It is home to some of the most beautiful vacation rentals, second homes and even primary residents in the area! These aren’t just your regular resort style homes though, enjoy arcade games, Jacuzzi’s, views and even green space. You will only be minutes from Tuacahn and about a 45-minute drive from Zion National Park!

Paradise Aesthetic and Amenities

Firstly, the views are unreal at the Paradise Village at Zion community. The majestic mountains of Snow Canyon State Park, Red Cliffs preserve and Red Mountain surround this incredible 25.5-acre area property as well as the lush ground on the property. Each home is equipped with modern technology, comfortable beds, and beautiful decor. All the homes are immaculate inside and out.

Not to mention the vast amenities. Most of the homes come equipped what a hot tub on the balcony or backyard and some even have a private swimming pool. Onsite there are also several pickleball courts, a sand volleyball court, a wonderful palm tree-lined pool area, a very large spa-like hot tub, and clubhouse with a fitness center and lounging areas. There is even a grocery store down the road from the property. All the amenities combined provide a supple resort-like relaxation. Currently, they are working on the finishing stages of a private water park and lazy river. All of this is included with your own private resort style home.

An accommodation for everyone.

Most importantly are the homes themselves! Paradise Village, part of Utah’s Best Vacation Rentals, is the place for vacation rentals, a second home or even a primary residence. They offer a variety of sizes of homes in the community. They are sure to have just the size vacation home you are looking for right here in Southern Utah. Southern Utahs Best Vacation rentals have homes from 1-bedroom to 9-bedroom. The smallest home offered is a 1 bed/1 bath spacious Casita, that comfortably sleeps two guests. If you’ve got up to 24 in your group, the 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a double-decked house will be perfect. With the largest home having 9 bedrooms I am sure they could accommodate almost any size party! Paradise Village is the place for any occasion.

Location, Location, Location!

Paradise Village is on the outskirts of Saint George about 10 minutes northwest in the city of Santa Clara, UT. A 5-mile radius accesses historical downtown Santa Clara, Snow Canyon State Park, and the world-renowned  Tuacahn Amphitheater. Tuacahn amphitheater is a fantastic venue to be able to take in a Broadway show with the red rock beauty surrounding you. There is also backyard access to bike paths, underground lava tubes near and numerous hiking trails.  Take a short 5-minute walk and you are at Gubler Park. Gubler Park has Baseball fields, playgrounds, pickleball courts, and even a splash pad! Not to mention its only about a 45-minute to Zion National Park. Due to the location of this property, you are in solitude but still close to everything.

How to book a stay?

Above all, Utah’s Best Vacation Rentals provides all the pricing, sizing and booking abilities you will need for your next getaway! Booking online is simple and fast. Not tech savvy? Give them a call to book and ask any questions. ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours is proud to say we are partners with some of the best vacation rentals in Southern Utah. Furthermore, don’t forget to mention your stay at Paradise Village and receive discounts on Tuacahn tickets as well as a discount on your next adventure tour with ATV and Jeep Adventure Tours.

Senior Guide Rob Olson

Rob Olson

Adventure Tour Senior Guide, Rob is originally from Seattle, Washington. Hanging up his raincoat, he came to Southern Utah to retire from UPS and care for his mother. Not to mention the 360 days of sunshine and fun! He revel’s in sharing an excellent level of service and focus, in addition to his adventuresome track record. Besides guiding in the sand dunes, Rob spend’s his time studying the universe, golfing, hiking and SIM racing. He also loves to occasionally dine-in at Cappeletti’s, a local 4 star Italian restaurant. After working with AJAT for almost 4 years now, he wants every one of his guests to leave with a lifetime memory of visiting southern Utah.

 

John Couture

Adventure Tour Guide John Couture

While John was trekking across the United States from Connecticut, he stumbled upon the ambiance and more relaxed pace of life we harbor here in Southern Utah. Previous to joining our crew as Guide and Mechanic, he worked as a service technician for a company in Connecticut and a natural gas company in Colorado. John’s favorite part about Sand Mountain is the open trail, especially in the spring and fall. Outside of making sure our machines are up to par, he enjoys tending to his family’s vegetable garden, day-tripping on his motorcycle and travelling the beautiful USA. John owns his own off-road machines as well and loves to ride in the wilderness and go rock crawling. Too him, the best part about touring with ATV & Jeep is that our guests get to see areas they wouldn’t see normally on a hike.

 

Cary Glade

Adventure Tour Guide Cary Glade

Cary was raised in Utah’s capital Salt Lake City. After serving in and retiring from the United States of America Air Force, he came to live in a land of unlimited adventures. Also a place where family and friends love to come visit and play. Cary explains the best thing about being a part of the AJAT family is the diverse and unique people that adventure with him. He too owns a few Can Am ATV’s and a Side-by-side that allow him to further explore Southern Utah. Even when Cary isn’t out guiding, you bet he’s discovering new trails on Sand Mountain. To him, the perfect outdoor adventure time falls between the equinox’s. Cary has been an adventure Tour Guide for over 2 years now and believes that our excursions are a “Once in a lifetime experience!”

 

Tammy GladeAdventure Tour Guide Tammy Glade

We are beyond lucky to have Tammy providing wonderful memories for our guests alongside her husband, Cary. Tammy grew up in Fredonia Arizona. Now she continues raising her family in Southern Utah. She loves showing off our beautifully unique surroundings. Particularly with new people from all around the world. Tammy loves Saint George because of its colors and wonderful year round weather. Our adventure tours, from her standpoint, are the best and safest way to get to know Sand Mountain. In addition, Tammy’s favorite part of Sand mountain just so happens to be going to the Flintstone house. A special spot that mother nature created, where our Full-day Adventures often stop for lunch. 

 

David Cox

Adventure Tour Guide David Cox

David grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. He and his family decided to move north after his retirement from law enforcement. David has been riding ATV’s since the age of ten years old. Since then he has set his heart on adventuring alongside the temperate fall weather here. David’s other interests besides equipping our guests with unforgettable moments, are hiking and mountain biking. He also does a phenomenal job guiding our Off-road Van Excursions. Spotlighting ancient history, dinosaur tracks and pioneer heritage. Besides the fact that “we get paid to play,” Dave’s favorite part of sand mountain are the Navajo sandstone rock formations.

 

 

Bill McKinney

Adventure Tour Guide Bill McKinneyBill and his family traveled south from Northern Utah to bask in his retirement from owning his own company and to take part in the adventuresome lifestyle here in Southern Utah. In his own side-by-side machine Bill adores taking his grandchildren out the most. Since Bill has been with AJAT, he has come to savor meeting new people. He believes that we are an awesome tour company because we are where safety and fun meet. It cannot get any better than that. Bill is very fond of riding the big sand dunes on Sand Mountain in the Fall.

 

Alan Haycock

Adventure Tour Guide Alan Haycock

Alan fell in love with Southern Utah after calling Utah County home for most of his life. He loves gliding in the sand with our guests. Before catching up on sunshine, he finished his career as a coal miner. What brought him to southern Utah was the snow, or lack of it!  He is fascinated by the Iron Oxide in the sand. Which is responsible for it’s deep orange and red hues. Alan likes living only 2 short hours from anything you can imagine doing outdoors. Other than guiding for ATV and Jeep, he enjoys smoking meat in his charcoal smoker. He is quite the grill master! The Sand Highway on Sand Mountain captures his love to have a blast exploring the desert. If you want to see “mother nature in her raw,” adventure with Alan.

Dave Holton

Adventure Tour Guide Dave HoltonBorn in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dave came to Southern Utah for “the life.” Dave loves being a part of ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours, connecting with new people and riding through our awesome scenery. His favorite part of Sand Mountain ties between Jurassic park, wind- carved animal shaped sandstone boulders and Owl’s Nest. Where if you’re lucky, you will see a mother owl nesting. On the side, he dabbles in fishing, rock crawling and loves to travel the world. Dave shares that we provide safe and fun adventures while producing only the grandest memories.

 

Written By: Kathryn Bowler

There’s something extraordinary about golfing in the desert. It’s an experience one maybe doesn’t usually imagine themselves in, but should not be overlooked. What better place to enjoy it for yourself than Southern Utah, with its stunning red rock mountains and gorgeous national parks?

There are a number of golf courses in St. George, Utah, each boasting breathtaking views and intriguing layouts amidst unique desert scenery. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned player, here are nine golf courses you’re sure to enjoy:

Sunbrook Golf Club

First up is Sunbrook Golf Club, which offers a great variety of holes for players of all levels. There are three courses at Sunbrook for a combined total of 27 holes. The Pointe is great for beginners, but is not without some challenges, including one hole bordering a desert cliff. The other courses, Woodbridge and Black Rock, are more difficult but fair. Sunbrook also features sand traps full of vibrant red sand, making for an interesting look next to the well-maintained fairways.

Dixie Red Hills Golf Club

Nestled among sandstone cliffs, Red Hills Golf Club is a treat to play. It’s only a 9-hole course, making it great for a quick game. Novices and pros alike will enjoy the scenery, shooting around boulders and cliffs. It also includes many trees, providing welcome shade during the warmer months. All of this makes for a popular course that books up quick, so be sure to get your tee time in early!

Southgate Golf Club

While not as challenging as some of the other courses in the area, Southgate Golf Course offers fun for everyone. The front nine runs alongside the Santa Clara River, providing water hazards to several holes. The back nine involves a lot of walking, but you’ll enjoy the views so much you’ll hardly notice. Southgate also has a driving range and learning center, with award-winning PGA professionals and instruction programs to help you up your game. For more information, click here.

The Ledges Golf Club

Located just outside of St. George, The Ledges is generally not very busy and has a number of perks. Their clubhouse is great for hosting events, they have a fantastic restaurant, views of Snow Canyon State Park, and vacation rentals located around the course for the perfect golfing vacation. The course itself is 18 holes, and well-maintained. Most of the course is challenging but fair, however Hole #15 is known for being one of the toughest in the St. George area. Start booking your stay or tee time here.

Green Springs Golf Course

If you’re looking for a challenge, look no further than Green Springs Golf Course. Located just ten minutes from St. George in Washington, UT, this beautiful course includes views of Pine Valley Mountain and Red Cliffs State Park. Don’t let the lovely sights lull you into a sense of security, because this course can be tough. Several of the holes are unforgiving, including the two signature holes, 5 and 6, which involve shooting over a ravine. Combined with a great price and well-maintained grounds, this course is sure to be a great time. Check it out!

Coral Canyon Golf Course

Conveniently located right off I-15 in Hurricane, UT, Coral Canyon possesses a great mix of holes for your enjoyment. With breathtaking views of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, this course is all about color and is built around natural land formations. They also offer individualized golf lessons, working with you directly on whatever parts of the game you desire.

Sky Mountain Golf Course

Named for its many elevated tees, Sky Mountain’s views can be so awe-inspiring you may find yourself distracted from the game more than once. Owned and operated by the City of Hurricane, this course is well-maintained and boasts panoramic views of Zion National Park and the Pine Valley Mountain Range. They also possess a driving range, instructors for lessons, and the nearby Sky Mountain Grill is great for a post-game meal. Click here for more information.

Sand Hollow Golf Course

The course at Sand Hollow Resort in Hurricane has everything you could want. With a driving range, a clubhouse containing gourmet dining and Pro Shop, and villas or rental homes for vacationing, this secluded resort makes for the perfect little hideaway off the beaten path. It also boasts two separate golf courses, the 18-hole championship course plus a 9-hole “links style” course for more casual games. The back nine of the championship course play along a ravine for a thrilling experience. For more info, click here.

Entrada At Snow Canyon Country Club

The last, but not least, of our list is a private country club, but guests of the Inn at Entrada are also welcome to the golf course there as well. If you’re planning a luxurious golfing vacation, this may be the place for you. Their 18-hole course is challenging, well-maintained, with an incredible layout built in and around black lava flows. Top-notch service and amenities, and regularly ranked among the top ten golf courses in Utah, Entrada may be exclusive but it is definitely worth it! To start planning your stay, click here.

If you are looking towards Southern Utah for your next family vacation, we have some favorite spots we think you should check out. Most of our staff lives in St George and have become well versed in the many attractions and activities around here. Our top “to-do’s” are listed below, let us know if you have any other favorites that should have made the list.

Lava Tubes at Snow Canyon State Park

The lava tubes in Snow Canyon State Park and the perfect adventure for family fun. There are 3 main tubes that you can explore and a few others that require some tights squeezing to enter. Inside you can find geological wonders and cooler temperatures. Some of the paths require a little bit of climbing so we suggest bringing a headlamp and backpack if you really want to explore. This excursion can take as little as 30 minutes or as long as 2 days if you explore in depth.

Zion National Park

If you are in the area and have the time, we highly recommend spending some time in Zion’s National Park. Zion offers great hiking and camping for all ages and experience levels. For the beginner we suggest the riverside walk, for the adventurer we suggest spending a day hiking the Angel’s landing trail. For a full list of our favorite hikes in Zion click here.

Kanaraville Falls

Kanaraville Falls is a beautiful hike that takes you on an adventure through a slot canyon with extraordinary views and a chance to climb up a waterfall! This hike is growing in popularity, but doesn’t have the same crowds that you will find in some of the larger national parks. This 4.8 mile hike is great for most ages, but keep in mind there are some trickier parts that might not be a great fit for young inexperienced hikers. Bring shoes you can get wet, some sunscreen, a camera, and an adventurous spirit to make this hike a memorable experience.

Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon

Hoodoos rock structures that resemble a totem-pole. These large structures are formed through erosion of land overtime, and range from 5 to 150 feet tall. One of the most common places to find these glorious formations is right next door in Bryce Canyon National Park. The variety in the rocks makes for a fun learning experience for children and geological enthusiasts alike! To learn more about these exciting formations check out this article on Bryce Canyon Geology.

Outdoor shows at Tuacahn

Tuacahn is a world famous outdoor amphitheater just a short 18-minute drive from St George, UT. The theater boasts visits from world famous performers and frequent Broadway shows. Their family-friendly season make this theater a must for any family vacation. Experience some of your Broadway favorites like you never have before with advanced technical design and the unique backdrop of Southern Utah red rock. For more information and a list of events visit their website  here.

ATV Adventure

Our final “must” for the St George area is taking an ATV adventure tour with our staff. A great tour for any level of experience would be our three-hour sandstone teaser. This adventure is perfect for individuals who don’t have a ton of time, or just want to try out an ATV ride. You will explore the beautiful Sand Hollow Park visiting geological sites and experience breathtaking views all guided by our skilled staff. This adventure covers 14-18 miles of unrepeated terrain. Climb red rock and glide over sand dunes in this thrilling adventure. To book this adventure click here.

Once you have decided on Southern Utah for your next vacation the first step to planning the perfect trip is figuring out where you are going to stay. Luckily, there seems to be a never-ending list of accommodations to make your trip a memorable one. You could try camping in Zion National Park or visiting one of the various RV Parks in the area. If you are anything like my family, you will want to spend at least a few nights in a hotel. There are several high-quality hotels in the St George area, from family and budget friendly to resort quality spots that are perfect for a romantic getaway. Here is a list of some of our favorite places to crash after a full day of adventures.

Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites

The Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites is an excellent hotel for a family vacation. Their prices are very modest without skimping on any of the commodities. This Hotel offers free WiFi and parking, a pool with excellent views, and a fabulous hot breakfast. Travelling with a pet? Crystal Inn allows you to bring your fur babies with you for a small fee. Reviewers frequently cite them as a relaxing, clean, and comfortable getaway.

Best Western Abbey Inn

The Best Western Abbey Inn is another perfect spot for family trips in the St George area. They are located right in the middle of town making for easy access to several downtown restaurants and stores. This hotel includes all the usual amenities and more such as, a fully operational business center, a convenience market and gift shop, guest laundry, bus and RV parking, an extraordinary pool area complete with an indoor hot tub and kids pool, and last but certainly not least, an exceptional free breakfast with an omelet bar, waffle maker, bacon, and other tasty items.

Wingate By Wyndham

The Wingate by Wyndham is an excellent spot for both personal and business travel. This hotel is right next door to a plethora of local restaurants and a large shopping complex. The hotel offers a free shuttle service to any location within a 5-mile radius of the hotel as well as a complimentary bike rental service making this the perfect hotel for anyone traveling without their own vehicle. This pet friendly hotel offers free breakfast and WiFi, a fabulous pool area, and complimentary viewing access to all Sunday NFL games.

Inn At Entrada

Tucked inside a gated golf community you will find the luxury resort Inn at Entrada. Located just outside of Snow Canyon State Park, this hotel makes for the perfect getaway with easy access to several nearby golf courses, Tuacahn Theater, or the world-famous Zion National Park. Amenities include an outdoor pool, spa and wellness center, family rooms, and of course access to the Entrada golf course (once

Inn on the Cliff

Inn on the Cliff is the epitome of a perfect getaway resort. Each room includes a private balcony, Simmons Beautyrest Plush Mattress, 50” HD Plasma Smart TV, and complimentary breakfast delivered to your room. Other amenities include: Netflix access, fitness center, outdoor pool and hot tub, refrigerator, and personal Keurig with your choice of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Recently ranked as number 7 on Trivagos “18 Spectacular Hotels You Must Add To Your Bucket List”, this hotel is sure to make your stay a memorable one.