UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 19, 2024

Become a true southern Utah local: 5 Hikes in St. George for beginners

St. George continues to provide residents with plenty of outdoor activities including many beautiful and easy hikes. Brynlee Wade | Sun News Daily

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It’s time to embrace your inner “St. Georgian.”

With St. George being known for its abundance of outdoor activities, it can almost be expected of the residents to be familiar with the hiking opportunities that draw in all of the tourists.

Here is a list of five easy hikes – from easiest to hardest – to do in St. George to help jumpstart anybody looking to partake in the popular, local hobby.

Secret Sauce/Claim Jumper

Location: Desert Canyons Trailhead, SG-6745-G, 2, St. George, UT 84790

Navigation: Easy

Difficulty Level: 1/5

Estimated time to complete: one hour 30 minutes

Length: 4.5 miles

The “Secret Sauce” hike is the place to start your new journey. In this hike, you will find a well defined pathway that slowly weaves up a small plateau. You won’t find yourself gasping for breathe, or feeling your quads burn, which makes it the perfect hike for anybody wanting an advanced “Hot Girl Walk.” You can walk your pet, get to know someone on a first date or enjoy a casual catch-up with a friend.

Take note that you may feel a little tired due to its length.

This hike doesn’t include the best views that St. George has to offer due to the fact that the highway is right next to the plateau, and there aren’t any red rocks in sight.

Camille Fenton, a dance major from Tooele, said, “There were some moments where I felt like I was in the cars ride from Disneyland.”

This hike may not be the most jaw dropping hike, but its user-friendly and has a name that is undeniably unique.

Temple Quarry Trail

Location: St. George, Utah 84770

Navigation: Easy

Difficulty level: 2/5

Estimated time to complete: one hour 30 minutes

Length: 2.3 miles

Temple Quarry hike is a generally a flat trail that takes you around the old “airport hill.”

This hike was originally built for easier access to the quarry that had the “lava rocks” used to build the foundation, basement and walls for the St. George Temple. There are informative signs throughout the hike that go into more detail.

This hike has a much better view of the city of St. George. After a couple minutes of shallow stairs, you follow a stable pathway with little elevation change. Due to this lack of intense elevation change, this hike is perfect for jogging.

This hike accommodates families, friends and pets. There are benches placed throughout the hike that give a perfect view and also keeps you out of the way of anybody else exploring the quarry.

This hike reveals the often unnoticed black lava rock boulders that live on the quarry. You get to walk within them and it leaves you questioning how you never noticed them sooner.

This hike brings great views, low exertion and a small history lesson while you’re at it.

Owens Loop

Location: 452 N Main St, St. George, UT 84770

Navigation: Medium

Difficulty level: 3/5

Estimated time to complete: two hours

Length: 2.7 miles

Owens loop leads you to scale the classic red rocks of St. George. You witness unique rock formations that try to guide you through the smooth, peaceful and secluded terrain. This hike has a pretty respectable elevation change but for a very low amount of energy exertion. Once you reach the top of the loop, you get a nice view of the city of St. George. Specifically Bluff. Down at the bottom of the hike – if you keep a keen eye out – you can find a fairy garden that has been created by what seems like local children.

This hike is perfect for anyone looking for a taste of adventure mixed in with their hike. The trails are less defined, so there are opportunities to explore – either purposefully or accidentally.

Before blazing this trail, be sure to consider how the weather is. There are moments in this hike that can be a little muddy, especially if it has rained, snowed or frosted over recently. The hike is safe, but your shoes won’t be happy during the wet season.

Elephant Arch

Location: Washington, UT 84780

Navigation: Easy

Difficulty level: 4/5

Estimated time to complete: 1.5 to two hours

Length: 3.8 miles

Elephant Arch is a stunning hike full of beautiful views that truly encompass the beauty in St. George. This hike takes you through an easy to follow trail including views of red mountains, green bushes, caves and viewpoints. This trail is also unique with it being made of sand. With that being said, hiking sandals such as Chacos are the best shoe option for this hike, especially if you don’t want your shoes and socks filled with sand.

In this hike there are steeper climbing moments that feel difficult due to the sand. Luckily, it is only a small portion of the hike and if you ever get tired, take a break and admire the consistent beautiful scenery around you.

Once you reach the destination of Elephant Arch, it can be a little difficult to find it in the mountains before you.

Jalen Robison, an exercise science major from Fillmore, said to “look for the small arch that will be slightly to the left, once you find the arch, imagine it to be the trunk of the elephant; from there let your imagination go wild.”

The rock formations surrounding the elephant are great to explore, climb and stretch your imagination.

Shinobe Kibe

Location: Paiute Dr, Washington, UT 84780

Navigation: Easy

Difficulty Level: 5/5

Estimated time to complete: 1.5 hours

Length: 1.4 miles

For the grand finale, we have Shinbone Kibe. This is an easy to navigate hike, but once you find the entrance, don’t make the mistake of walking around the perimeter of Shinobe Kibe when the entrance to the hike is right next to the neighborhood where you park.

This hike is straight elevation gain, and you’ll feel it. On this hike you will find yourself scaling Shinobe Kibe through switchbacks that take you up the mountain. There are places you can take breaks and admire the progress you have made but don’t get discouraged and push for the top.

Once you hit the top you will find a smooth rocky terrain, an American flag and a notebook. The notebook is filled with hundreds of names of people who have also completed this hike. Be sure to bring your own pen if you want to write your name inside.

This hike can be seen from anywhere in St. George – a constant reminder of the successes you have made as a new-found hiker.

A free app you can download to help support you in your hiking adventures is “AllTrails.” AllTrails helps you search through hundreds of nearby trails and also includes a GPS Tracker within it to make sure you’re staying on the right path. It also has reviews from other local hikers.

Luke Wilkins, the assistant director of campus recreation, has a recommendation for all students interested in taking on hiking.

“Stay hydrated,” Wilkins said. “Hiking in Southern Utah is tremendously rewarding if the proper precautions are taken.”

These five hikes could be just the beginning for a new favorite hobby. Check them out for yourself to see if you have what it takes to be a classic “St. Georgian.”