Greater Zion Is a Multisport Paradise

Few places in the country—or the world—can hold a candle to Utah’s bounty of wild geography and epic natural playgrounds. And within the Beehive State, it’s hard to beat the awe-inspiring dreamscape that is Zion National Park. But you knew that already.

What you might not know is that Greater Zion, the region surrounding the iconic park, is similarly blessed and even more ripe for adventure. Take Snow Canyon State Park, often referred to as “Mini Zion,” for example: you can hike it, bike it, climb it, rappel it, SUP it, ogle it. Whatever your goal, here’s how to adventure in the best corner of red-rock country.

Way northwest of Zion’s exceedingly popular namesake canyon are the Kolob Canyons, where you’ll find some of the most stunning and secluded viewpoints in the park. From one of those viewpoints, Lee Pass, you can make the 14-mile round-trip hike across a high, sage-dotted plateau that gently drops to La Verkin Creek. This may be the Zion you were dreaming about—big horizons, solitude, a verdant creek—but the highlight lies ahead. From the creek, a half-mile side trail leads to Kolob Arch, spanning 287 feet, among the largest natural arches in the world.

The closest to St. George of all Zion-area canyoneering sites is Yankee Doodle, which has everything you want in a half-day adventure. The first rappel is 30 feet, then you descend another 80 en route to many more drops in the 20-foot range.

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