5 Ways to Social Distance Through Nature in Southern Utah

Janine Brandt | 05.28.20

The great outdoors. It’s called great for a reason – exploring nature boosts your physical and mental health, improves your quality of life, and allows you to escape the stress and crowds of busy city life.

In the wake of COVID-19, those benefits are more important than ever. As people begin to leave their homes, they’re looking for ways to stay active and stay safe. With endless miles of secluded wilderness that offer fun outdoor activities, Southern Utah is a perfect place to get out and get moving while staying safely distanced to protect yourself and others.

Whether you want to get your blood pumping, clear your mind, or just enjoy a change of scenery, there are plenty of ways to experience nature in Southern Utah to beat the stay-home blues.

Hike the Spectra Point/Rampart Overlook Trail

If virtual views haven’t quite done it for you, a hike through Cedar Breaks National Monument is the real deal. This 4-mile trail system winds along the rim of the iconic Cedar Breaks amphitheater, treating you to breathtaking views at every step. Two stunning viewpoints – Spectra Point and Rampart Overlook – offer panoramic glimpses of the monument’s colorful hoodoos and dramatic cliffs from an elevation of 10,500 feet. If you need a change of scenery from your living room, this otherworldly view provides a scene so startling its almost extraterrestrial.

With wide, sloping trails and spacious stopping points, the trail system offers plenty of space to spread out. After your hike, rest your tired muscles at your private vacation rental just minutes from the park! Our Bryce Vistas cabin combines privacy and luxury to give you a lodging experience that’s safe and homey.

Find Yourself at the Hidden Haven Waterfall Trail

We know what you’re thinking – why would I want to keep hiding? But this hidden gem takes the art of seclusion to a whole new level. The Hidden Haven Waterfall Trail is a leisurely hike that takes you to a majestic hidden waterfall that flows from Benson Creek. Along the way, you’ll get plenty of opportunities for a photo-op thanks to fields of wildflowers and curious local wildlife. There is some light boulder-climbing needed to reach the waterfall, offering a good chance to test your muscles (and your shoes). In short, this hidden trail takes you away from the crowds to experience the true benefits of nature’s seclusion – and you may just find yourself there, too.

It’s one of the easier trails in the area, making it a good way for families and inexperienced hikers to enjoy the scenery. Be sure to bring proper footwear and a change of clothes for the kids (they will want to get wet).

Navigate the Narrows

Aptly named, The Narrows trail takes you through the most narrow section of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park. With thousand-feet walls on either side, the trip through the gorge is not for the claustrophobic – or those who don’t like to get wet, as you’ll be wading through sections of the Virgin River. Depending on the time of year, water levels can reach waist-deep, offering a challenging (but refreshing) twist on your hike. It’s a great hike for thrill-seekers and those looking for some heart-pumping action away from the big city.

Without a permit, hikers can only go as far as Big Springs (about 10 miles roundtrip.) This is known as the Bottom-Up trail, and it’s the most popular hike in the park. Water flow rates and weather conditions can make this hike especially difficult, so be sure to check with the park before you hit the trail.

Get Your Golf On

Whether you’re an avid golfer or you’re just missing the thrill of competitive sports, golf is a great way to get your game on while social distancing. Sprawling courses, non-contact rules, and personal equipment make golf one of the safest ways to stay fit and safe while you enjoy the great outdoors.

Cedar Ridge Golf Course offers 18 holes of regulation fun. A Par-71 course, they offer 3 tees at each hole so players of any skill level can compete. With well-maintained fairways and terrific views, golfing at Cedar Ridge is as enjoyable as it is challenging.

Sky Mountain Golf is surrounded by Zion National Park, making it one of the most scenic golf courses in the area. The 18-hole course features extra-wide fairways, sweeping canyon views, and challenging sand traps. They also offer discounts for advanced reservations, meaning you can secure a crowd-free spot for less money. Score.

Fishing at Panguitch Lake

Named “Big Fish” by its Native American settlers, Panguitch Lake offers just that – a whole heap of trophy-sized trout. Fishing is the ultimate isolation sport – safely situated on your private boat, you’ll spend the day in quiet bliss, casting away your cares with each cast of your line. There are a variety of ways of fish – fly, shore, ice, and boat fishing are available depending on the season – but they all end the same way: a refreshed mind, a large catch, and a memorable day on the water.

There are a number of small fishing stores around the lake, making it easy to get your gear and vessel for the day. If you can’t get enough, our Panguitch Lake cabins will keep you right on the edge of the lake for a spot as perfect as your secret fishing hole. Our Scenic Panguitch Lake Cabin even has a BBQ so you can cook up the day’s catch in the safety of your rental!

Ready to experience the benefits a day in nature can bring? Browse our available properties to book your stay today!

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