12 Outdoor Experiences That You Can Have at Utah's Red Mountain Resort

Play, relaxation, and restoration

12 Outdoor Experiences That You Can Have at Utah's Red Mountain Resort

Tucked amidst vibrant red rock cliffs and canyons in Southwestern Utah’s desert country, St. George’s Red Mountain Resort is an outdoor adventurer’s retreat designed with play, relaxation, and restoration in mind. Located adjacent to the sandstone wonders of Snow Canyon State Park and a short distance from the world-famous Zion and Bryce national parks, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to have here.

Whether you’re looking to ascend a rock wall, rappel into a canyon, hike to a vista, or simply ride a horse off into the sunset like explorers of yesteryear, Red Mountain Resort can make it happen. Thanks to the resort’s diverse excursion offerings, you can experience these and other expertly guided outings on your next trip—without lifting a finger to plan it. Here are a dozen things that will make your getaway to Red Mountain Resort something special.

1. Sunset SUP or Kayak at Local Lakes

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Kayak or stand-up paddleboard at one of the two reservoirs near Red Mountain Resort.  

Looking to get on the water? Choose your craft for a sunset ride on a stand-up paddleboard or sit-on-top kayak at reservoirs just minutes from Red Mountain Resort. The resort does the heavy lifting while you bring along your swimsuit and sense of adventure. Paddle at quiet Quail Creek or spectacular Sand Hollow, two southern Utah reservoirs surrounded by the region’s signature Navajo sandstone formations. As the sun sets, take in colorful skies paddling calm, quiet waters. And don’t worry about falling in—Sand Hollow has some of the warmest water in the state.

2. Hike in Snow Canyon State Park

Boasting one of the country’s biggest and best hiking programs, Red Mountain Resort offers complimentary daily guided hikes in Snow Canyon State Park, a 7,000-acre red rock canyon and cliff wonderland just a quarter-mile from the resort. Known as one of North America’s most spectacular places to hike, the park is the perfect spot to join an early morning guided trek where you’ll climb sandstone formations, squeeze through tight slot canyons, and scramble to panoramic vistas. Tackle a different trail each day with three ability levels to choose from. Hikes typically last two to two-and-a-half hours and cover 2 to 8 miles of desert terrain.

3. Rock Climb Outdoors

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With experienced guides, you can enjoy some of Utah’s best rock climbing.  

Perhaps you’ve climbed at a gym before, but that’s nothing like ascending the red rocks of St. George. This is a world-renown climbing destination, and whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned pro, Red Mountain Resort can provide you with guided instruction for top-roping or multi-pitch climbing.

4. Hike the Iconic Zion Narrows

Zion National Park’s towering, varicolored cliffs and slot canyons make it one of the nation’s most visited parks, and it’s only an hour away from Red Mountain Resort. There’s no better way to explore Zion on a hot summer day than hiking The Narrows—a classic slot canyon hike through Zion Canyon’s narrowest section. Trek upstream through the Virgin River with your guides in ankle- to waist-deep waters, beneath dramatic 1,000-foot canyon walls on this epic all-day adventure.

5. Bike to Kayenta Art Village

Bike to the artist enclave of Kayenta on Red Mountain Resort’s most popular bike ride, an expert-led, 12-mile trek on paved paths. Expect a leisurely pace and gradual hill climb during the six-mile ride through the town of Ivins to Kayenta. Once there, admire the galleries, shop for gifts and art, and enjoy coffee at Xetava Gardens Cafe before riding six miles back—downhill—to the resort. Seven-speed bikes and helmets are provided.

6. Unwind with Yoga and Tai Chi in the Red Rocks

Practice your yoga flow with Vinyasas amidst Snow Canyon State Park’s red desert rock faces and Savasana under bluebird skies. For a gentler practice, try the ancient art of tai chi with a guided session in the park. This ancient martial art is “meditation in motion” that’s said to restore your energy while promoting balance and alignment.

7. Try Horseback Riding

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It’s no surprise that several movies have been filmed in this corner of Southwestern Utah. Take a horseback ride, and you’ll feel like you’re starring in your own western.  

Time travel to the Wild West with a horseback ride through Snow Canyon State Park’s red and white Navajo sandstone cliffs and spires. This location has long served as a backdrop for favorite westerns like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and it is the perfect setting to learn to ride. An instructor teaches the basics of walking and trotting as you explore the diverse plant, wildlife, and geology of the southwest desert.

8. Experience Sunset Rappelling

Take yourself to new heights—and depths—with a thrilling rappelling class taught on southern Utah’s high canyon walls. Stepping off the cliff is exhilarating, and you’ll enjoy the ride of your life on a rope to the bottom with multi-hued sunset views the whole way down. Exploring slot canyons often requires rappelling skills, and this class shows you the ropes of rappelling safely so you can feel more comfortable going into Utah’s spectacular canyons.

9. Explore the Lava Tubes

Right in Red Mountain Resort’s backyard is another natural wonder—a hidden cave formed by prehistoric lava flowing underground. Once you’re outfitted with headlamps, experienced guides take your small group beneath the surface for a two-mile, nighttime scramble on loose sand, crumbled lava rock, and sandstone through this natural network of caves.

10. Amble Through the Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon’s varicolored hoodoos and towering spires make it one of Utah’s most beloved national parks, and it’s hard to imagine visiting the state without seeing it. Take an all-day journey to see Bryce’s limestone rock formations up close as you hike through this expansive canyon. With an elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level, Bryce is the perfect escape when St. George’s temperatures are soaring.

11. Go Birdwatching

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You can try to spot the more than 200 species of migrating birds that make their way through this part of Utah.  

St, George may be in the desert, but you can still find greenery and a host of migrating birds if you know where to look. Join Red Mountain Resort guides at nearby Tonaquint Nature Center, a lush oasis in the desert where more than 200 bird species gather annually. The nature center’s location along the junction of the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers make it a favorite gathering place of traveling birds and an ideal destination for watching them fly by.

12. Pound Puppy Hike

Miss your dog? Guest of Red Mountain Resort can take advantage of the Pound Puppy Hike, in which they can take rescue dog from a nearby shelter on a walk through the incredible landscapes of St. George Valley and Padre Canyon. The shelter even provides treats for you to give the dog, ensuring that you’ll have a happy companion. Be aware that the dogs are available for adoptions—and often hard to turn down.