From Yonder Escalante to Under Canvas Zion, Immerse Yourself in the Great Outdoors
People from all over the world travel to this pocket of the western US for one-of-a-kind views, epic hiking trails and a taste of the Wild West lifestyle. From Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park, the scenery in Southern Utah is otherworldly, showcasing intricately detailed red rocks, narrow canyons and jaw-dropping waterfalls. A road trip through Southern Utah is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list, and we’re showing you the best spots to stay along the way—so you can really immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. Southern Utah Road Trip
Coming from Southern California, consider flying into Las Vegas, renting a car and then making the two and a half hour drive to your first destination in Utah.
Zion National Park
Stay: Under Canvas
From the famous Angel’s Landing hike to the overall serene and tranquil atmosphere that exists in Zion National Park, it’s a must-visit destination in Utah. Whether you’re an avid hiker or not, simply driving through and taking in views of the vast canyon will leave you in awe. Stay a couple nights in safari-inspired tents at Under Canvas, which offer upscale glamping accommodations. You’ll wake up to views of the red canyon walls and have easy access to the park itself. Their seasonal and locally sourced menu beats the standard hot dogs and pb&j while camping; dinner options might include chickpea tacos, pesto zucchini and roasted trout. Enjoy nightly s’mores under the starry-night sky before waking up and heading to your next destination.12/27
About an hour and a half from Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park is home to hoodoos (those spiraly rock formations), an alpine forest and even more stunning views. Choose among hikes like Fairyland Loop Trail, Wall Street and Queens Garden Loop and Sunset Point to Sunrise Point. Spend a day here exploring before heading to your next stop, which is about a 50-minute drive away.
Stay: Yonder Escalante
Last but not least, you can’t leave Southern Utah without staying at Yonder Escalante. This 20-acre desert oasis features chic Airstreams and tiny custom-designed cabins while also providing RV sites for on-the-go travelers. Chairman and co-founder Charles Tate says, “The concept is rooted in the spirit of the American road trip with the goal of connecting travelers to timeless Americana, the nostalgia of our past, an appreciation for the present day and a bright outlook toward the future.” After a morning of exploring nearby hiking trails (ask the knowledgeable employees for recommendations), chill out at the lounge pool and head to the spa-inspired bathrooms for a relaxing, private outdoor shower. Meal kits are available to cook on your patio’s fire pit, and there’s an on-site food truck for other delicious eats. The stand-out feature of this desert resort is the drive-in movie theater, featuring nine restored classic cars. Timeless movies play seven days a week, and there’s a snack bar located in one of the Airstreams—not to mention complimentary popcorn. “Guests are afforded an immersive connection to nature and the opportunity to partake in new experiences to explore the outdoors, while staying true to a well-appointed lifestyle and never sacrificing on comfort, quality or style,” Tate says.
There’s so much to see in Utah, and if you’re going for more than a few days, add Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park and Monument Valley to your itinerary too. And don’t forget to pack plenty of water, comfortable workout or hiking clothes, hiking shoes, a hat and a sweatshirt or two for your adventure through Utah. Leave your phone on silent for a few days and really soak in the beauty around you. And remember: when exploring any national park or outdoor area, leave no trace!
Taylor is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. She is our Los Angeles and Orange County editor. You can find her dining at a new restaurant, in the ocean or planning her next adventure. Say hello!