Explore the State Parks in Southern Utah

Posted: July 01, 2022 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 5 minutes

State Parks in Southern UtahKnown as the University of the Parks, Southern Utah University soars when it comes to outdoor adventure opportunities. The University is within a five-hour drive of more than 20 national parks and monuments in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada, and has seven Utah state parks within an hour of campus. These seven state parks in southern Utah offer camping, hiking, horseback riding, boating and so much more. So, the next time you are looking for a close-by and affordable adventure, check out one of these southern Utah state parks.

7 State Parks in Southern Utah

Frontier Homestead State Park

1 mile from campus, a 3-minute drive
Entrance fee: $4 per person

Step back in time and learn about the history and development of Iron County at the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum. Museum displays include horse-drawn vehicles used from 1850 to 1920, a collection of pioneer artifacts, and the only known remaining artifact from the original iron foundry – the town bell.

In addition to the permanent collections, changing special exhibits highlight artists from the local region, as well as rarely seen artifacts from the museum’s collections. Other items of interest include several historic cabins, a large collection of horse-drawn farm equipment, and Cedar City’s oldest remaining brick home, the Hunter House.

Learn more about the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum.

Snow Canyon State Park

62 miles from campus, a 55-minute drive
Day use fee: $10 per vehicle for up to 8 people

This scenic park is home to ancient lava flows, red Navajo sandstone, and a diversity of plant and wildlife species seen nowhere else in the state. Outdoor enthusiasts from all over appreciate the sandstone cliffs and the wide variety of activities available. Whether you enjoy camping, hiking, photography, nature studies, wildlife viewing, or canyoneering, Snow Canyon has you covered. With almost 40 miles of hiking trails, including a paved three-mile trail, and 15 miles of equestrian trails, this place is an explorer’s dream! Visitors enjoy seeing lizards, foxes, quail, falcons, and even frogs while taking in the history of the area that was inhabited thousands of years ago.

Learn more about Snow Canyon State Park.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

78 miles from campus, 1 hour and a 30-minute drive
Day use fee: $10 per vehicle

Open year-round and with nearly 4,000 acres, this park provides abundant opportunities for outdoor adventure. Camp, hike, photograph, watch wildlife, horseback ride, or take an ATV for a spin in this blissful desert playground. Temperatures are generally mild, but it is best to visit from March - October. As if you need more reason to visit, they also allow pets providing you have your companion on a leash. While you’re there, take advantage of the picnic and RV sites and make it a fun-filled weekend getaway.

Learn more about Coral Pink Sand Dunes.

Gunlock State Park

71 miles from campus, 1 hour and 15-minute drive
Day use fee: $10

Located northwest of St. George, Utah, you’ll find the chance to boat, fish, camp, swim, kayak, and more! The red rock surroundings create a stunning landscape that keeps visitors stopping by year-round. Feel free to have fun with your favorite water sports and then rest on the beach or at one of the designated picnic areas. You can also spend your time with some quality fishing by catching catfish and bass. No matter the reason you visit, we’re positive this is one place you need to check out.

Learn more about Gunlock State Park.

Kodachrome Basin State Park

96 miles from campus, a 2-hour drive
Day use fee: $10 per vehicle

Named by the National Geographic Society, the red rock sandstone spires surround a superb area to camp, hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, and more. Just 10 miles southeast of Kodachrome Basin State Park, you’ll find the double-arched Grosvenor Arch. Let your imagination and inspiration take flight by the beautiful sights of the sandstone layers that reveal 180 million years of geologic time.

Learn more about Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Sand Hollow State Park

53 miles from campus, a 50-minute drive
Day use fee: $15 per vehicle

Change up your surroundings and add warm blue water surrounded by red sandstone at this 20,000-acre park! This popular location is a dream for anyone longing to boat, fish, ride ATVs, camp, picnic, or spend an afternoon on the beach. You’ll find an endless supply of adventure and fun less than an hour away from campus, perfect for a quick getaway with anyone you choose.

Want to take your blue water adventure up a notch? Sand Hollow’s rental shop includes ATVs, UTVs, kayaks, paddle boards, and more. A dive shop is also available that provides equipment and instruction for scuba diving and snorkeling at the reservoir where under the water divers will find an old school bus and a plane.

Learn more about Sand Hollow State Park.

Quail Creek State Park

41 miles from campus, a 40-minute drive
Day use fee: $15 per vehicle for up to 8 people

Searching for some warm waters within our desert landscape? Quail Creek is the spot if you want to boat, camp, hike, fish, or volunteer. Two dams form this reservoir full of trout, catfish, and bass. It’s a popular location year-round due to its ideal temperatures. If you're looking for a chance to help out, it checks off two items on your list – adventure and volunteering. You can help out the reservoir for a few hours, a day, or even a year. Kayak, paddleboards, PWCs, and more are available for rent making it an ideal adventure spot for everyone.

Learn more about Quail-Creek State Park.

Affordable Recreation and Adventure at Utah State Parks

Having fun on a student budget can be tricky. If you are looking to save money while enjoying Utah’s State Parks, you may want to consider purchasing an annual pass. For about $100, the annual pass covers day use entrance fees at Utah State Parks and is good for 12 months from the date of purchase. Typically the entrance fee is per vehicle, so this annual pass also covers any friends or family you bring along.

No matter which state parks in southern Utah you choose to visit, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty and abundant opportunities for outdoor activities. As the University of the Parks, SUU encourages you to get outside and explore! If you’re looking for a way to rent some gear for your next adventure, be sure to check out SUU Outdoors to help you out. Whether the plan is to camp, hike, bike, or be on the water, they’ve got you covered.

Tags: Outdoors Student Life

Related Posts