“Cedar City is a hip mountain town that has world-class cultural attractions—like the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival—and is in [close] proximity to Utah’s stunning national parks and monuments,” says Maria Twitchell, executive director of Visit Cedar City•Brian Head.
With Zion and Bryce national parks leading the way, the natural attractions are the area’s, well, main attractions. Twitchell notes that travelers have plenty of options for outdoor adventure awaiting them beyond those big two parks, though.
“Paved trails weave the perimeter of our town, connecting you to the great outdoors and miles of recreational paths for mountain biking, hiking, and off-highway vehicle riding,” she says.
With more than 200 miles of downhill paths in Brian Head and 50-plus miles of trails around Cedar City, the area is a mecca for mountain bikers. The 32-mile Virgin River Rim cross country trail rolls through the Dixie National Forest and Kolob Canyon, and the chairlifts at Brian Head take cyclists to the starting points for the Bunker Creek and Sydney Peaks rides.
The dirt roads and paths in the Dixie Forest also provide a prime spot for some of the best OHV riding in the state. Local outfitters such as Brian Head Outdoor Adventure rent out vehicles and can suggest routes.
For those ready to hit the trails on foot, both easy nature walks and moderate to strenuous hikes await. Whatever visitors choose, they will have views of mountains, buttes, and possibly hoodoos. At Cedar Breaks National Monument, daily ranger-led walks go through wildflower-laden meadows and to scenic overlooks. Other popular hiking spots are the Bristlecone Pine Trail, the Navajo Lake Loop, and the Cascade Falls Trail.
Twitchell also recommends the walk to Kanarra Falls, a slot canyon that’s home to two waterfalls. An advance permit is required, though, as the trail to Kanarra is limited to 150 hikers per day.
And, when the winter months roll in, Brian Head Resort is a popular spot for skiers and snowboarders.
Top photo: Skiing and snowboarding are popular activities Brian Head Resort.
Photo by Jay Dash