6 Cheap or Free Things to Do in Southern Utah

Janine Brandt | 08.30.21

A family trip doesn’t have to drain your finances, especially if you’re visiting Southern Utah. The area is full of amazing attractions and activities, many of which are highly affordable or even free to enjoy. From outdoor recreation to resorts full of fun, there are plenty of ways to make new family memories without breaking the bank. So you can save time and money on your next trip, here are our top six cheap or free things to do in Southern Utah.

Don’t forget to download our FREE Southern Utah Vacation Guide for even more information on the best areas and activities near Brian Head and beyond!

Parowan Gap Petroglyphs

Discover fossilized dinosaur tracks and ancient Native American rock art at this National Historic Site. The smooth pass walls of Parowan Gap contain an artful display of geometric shapes, animal images, human figures, and other designs that experts believe are at least 1,000 years old. The pass is located right off the road, making this a fun and free day-trip just minutes from Brian Head.

Take a Scenic Drive

Minus the cost to fuel up your car, a scenic drive is a fun and free way to explore the stunning scenes of Southern Utah. The Patchwork Parkway (Scenic Byway 143) winds for 55 miles between Panguitch and Parowan, passing through a patchwork of diverse landscapes and picturesque communities. If you prefer a longer drive, Scenic Byway 12 begins in Panguitch and runs nearly 123 miles to the mountain town of Torrey. Along the way, you’ll catch glimpses of deep slot canyons with rugged red-rock formations, lush forests full of evergreen trees, rolling mountain meadows, and more.

Cedar Breaks National Monument

This impressive geological wonder is a natural amphitheater that offers a wealth of adventure (but doesn’t hurt your wallet). Visitors can hike miles of stunning nature trails, stroll through fields of blooming wildflowers, enjoy stellar stargazing, and participate in expert-led Ranger Programs. The cost is just $10 per adult over 16 and passes are good for seven days.

Take the Scenic Chairlift Ride at Brian Head Resort

Ride to the top of Brian Head peak to soak in stunning views of three entire states. At the top, families can enjoy fun activities like a Mini Zip Line or Avalanche Tubing, or you can ride the lift back down the mountain. The chair lift ride and all other activities are just $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. The resort is open on weekends only from June through September.

Discover the Dixie National Forest

The Dixie National Forest covers nearly two thousand acres of Southern Utah, and most of it is open to the public free of charge. The landscapes are diverse, including everything from alpine lakes and rolling meadows to massive mountains and ancient lava beds. Don’t miss the chance to explore Mammoth Cave, one of the state’s largest (and oldest) lava tubes.

Enjoy the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

This phenomenal state park offers a unique opportunity to pick your way through an ancient, petrified forest full of lava flows and rainbow-toned trees. After exploring several nature trails, visitors can head to Wide Hollow Reservoir to kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and fish its calm and cool waters. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors.

Find the right fit with Family Time Vacation Rentals!

Whether you’re looking for luxury or booking on a budget, Family Time Vacation Rentals can help you find a rental that fits your family. If you want great amenities for all ages, consider a cozy condo right near the resort that includes a game loft, a gas fireplace, an oversized jet tub, and a private outdoor balcony with breathtaking views.

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