We’ve reached the end of 2013. And we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch want to thank all our guests for a great time together. We hope that the new year promises new chances for more exploration. Happy 2014, everyone!
To conclude the year, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten places that we’ve visited this year. (A little something to get you thinking about your own plans for 2014.) Here’s the list:
Calf Creek – Grand Staircase – this is one of our favorite places to cool off in the summer. You can hike up Lower Calf Creek until you get to the falls. But we prefer Upper Calf Creek. Just remember to bring a swimsuit – you will get wet.
Red Canyon – Waterpocket Fold – located just behind the Cedar Mesa campground in Waterpocket Fold, Red Canyon is a great place to plan a day hike. And if the wasteland scenery doesn’t impress you, we don’t know what will.
Goblin Valley State Park – quite possibly our favorite state park, especially with family in mind, Goblin Valley should be on everyone’s Utah Wishlist. Play among the centuries old hoodoos, wander up Little Crazy Horse Canyon, and watch the stars come out at night.
Dead Horse State Park – this is probably our second favorite state park in Utah. The overlook of the Colorado River is breathtaking (literally, if it’s windy.) Most people equate it to the Grand Canyon, which seems like a fair comparison.
Lake Powell – Glen Canyon – “The Lake” as it is known to most locals, Powell seems to end up on our top ten list every year. We like the isolation of the outer finger canyons, and with over 160,000 acres of water, there is plenty of solitude if you want it. And we are always impressed with the size of Rainbow Arch.
Nine Mile Canyon – (we know, we know, it’s actually 40 miles long.) Nine Mile Canyon is pretty cool for a couple of reasons. First, the stark desert landscape looks like it was pulled straight from a John Wayne movie. And second, the archeological value of the site is unmatched in Utah. Rock art, ancient ruins, even pioneer cisterns can be seen in the canyon. If history excites you, check this canyon out.
Cedar Breaks National Monument – nicknamed “Little Bryce,” this amphitheater of hoodoos is located at the top of Cedar Canyon. The overlook at sunset is worth the drive. This is the perfect side-trip if you are attending the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City.
The San Juan River – this is one of the best rivers to raft in the state of Utah. The river is diverse, and there are lots of entrance and exit points. Which means you can “custom make” your rafting trip. And, of course, the Southern Utah scenery completes the experience.
The Burr Trail – Waterpocket Fold – the Burr Trail is a reoccurring destination on our blog – for good reason. The 60 mile drive through the cascading rock formations of the Waterpocket Fold into the alpine village of Boulder, Utah, is, in our opinion, the best off-road-trip in Utah.
Kolob Canyon – Zion – Zion National Park is without a doubt an amazing place. (It could even be called THE place in Utah.) If you find yourself traveling along the I-15 corridor, do yourself a favor and stop at Kolob. A quick drive up the canyon, and you will see why we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch love Southern Utah so much.