The Best Adventure Travel Ideas for Cedar City, Utah

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This content was most recently updated on May 25th, 2017

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The Best Adventure Travel Ideas for Cedar City, Utah


I’m convinced that Utah is one of the best hidden gems of the United States.  Anytime you ask someone who loves adventure or the outdoors where they want to go or where they suggest going in the States – Utah is ALWAYS on the list, if not at the top of that list.

Many know all the great adventure and outdoor related things there are to do in Utah while others may be reading this and thinking…Utah?  What the hell is in Utah?

Well, this article is for you, my friend – The Best Adventure Travel Ideas for Cedar City, Utah.

Cedar City is located in the very Southwestern corner of Utah – very close to the Nevada and Arizona borders.


National Parks

If there is one thing Southern Utah has, it’s National Parks and really what more could an outdoors lover ask for?

Bryce Canyon

Located less than 80 miles East is Bryce Canyon National Park.  Bryce Canyon is a very unique park in that it includes the largest collection of hoodoos – odd-shaped pillars of rock – in the world.

During the day, you can enjoy hiking, horseback riding and more!  And, during the night you can stay at one of the two campgrounds and enjoy star-gazing – seeing 7500 stars on a moonless night!  That’s triple the amount you can see in most rural areas.



Located even closer than (70 miles South) Bryce Canyon, is Utah’s first national park – Zion National Park.

With plenty of things to do, you can never get tired of this gorgeous national park.  Backpacking, hiking, bicycling, camping, canyoneering, climbing, birding, horseback riding and boating on the Virgin River are all great activities to do here.

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Hiking The Narrows and The Subway are too unique experiences at Zion National Park.  The Narrows is the narrowest region of Zion Canyon with walls a thousand feet tall and the Virgin River sometimes just twenty to thirty feed wide.


Grand Canyon

Want to take a side trip from Cedar City?  Head to the Grand Canyon – 3-6 hours away depending on if you want to go the North or South rim.

The Grand Canyon doesn’t really need any introduction and is considered one of the natural wonders of the world.


National Monuments

Grand Staircase-Escalante

Located 82 miles East of Cedar City is the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  This national monument offers many activities including horseback riding, ATV, hiking, fishing and camping.


Cedar Breaks 

Located 21 miles East of Cedar City is the Cedar Breaks National Monument.  Considering that Cedar Breaks was named as one of USA Today’s Ten Great Places to Stargaze, consider heading here at night.  Take advantage of the remote location and high elevation and enjoy one of the darkest skies in the country.

Other things to do here include hiking, mountain biking, ATV, camping, and skiing.


Dixie National Forest

Dixie National Forest occupies almost two million acres – meaning tons of space for hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, horseback riding, winter sports and more!

Located within Dixie National Forest is Navajo Lake, Brian Head, Mammoth Cave and many other well-loved landmarks.


Cedar City is a great base for tons of outdoor adventures at national parks, monuments and forests.  With Cedar City as the center of Dixie National Forest and within 2 hours of Bryce Canyon, Zion, Cedar Breaks and Grand Staircase and only a half a day drive to the Grand Canyon, Southern Utah is a definite must for any outdoor lover.


Other National Parks located in Utah include Canyonlands (5 hours), Capitol Reef (3 hours), and Arches (5 hours).

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Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, veganism, mental health, and more. Passionate about animal rights, sustainable travel, and social impact, she seeks out ethical experiences whether at home or on the road. She shares these experiences on her website,


  1. Jim

    March 8, 2016 at 5:48 PM

    Great post! Zion and Bryce are a couple of my favorite spots! That whole area offers so much in terms of sheer natural beauty. Awesome pics too!

  2. Stef

    March 10, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    I’ll probably go the west coast of the US this year and hope to have some time for Utah as I’m far more interested in US national parks than the big cities. So cross your fingers and thanks for sharing. I’d love to see Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon and actually Antelope Canyon as well which is not far away. We’ll see how it goes. Probably everything is not possible, so if you have some preferences, I’d be happy to hear which nationalparks are your favorites in this area! Cheers!

  3. Brianna Simmons

    April 3, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    I loved my time time exploring Zion and the Grand Canyon a few years ago. I definitely need to get back and explore more of southern Utah!

  4. Bell | Wanderlust Marriage

    April 3, 2016 at 5:09 PM

    Wow what beautiful photos!! This is a great guide to checking out some National parks! Thank you. We really hope to get out that way some time soon and be away from the city! And all those stars sound simply amazing!

  5. Harvey (H-Bomb's Worldwide Karaoke)

    April 3, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    Those hoodoos at Bryce are otherworldly — it’s almost like I’m looking at space aliens. And Zion also, in particular, sounds like it offers gorgeous scenery (although I don’t think I’d be up to the strenuous physical challenge of traversing the Subway). 🙂 Also, as someone who goes months with seeing virtually no stars at all in my city’s night sky, I like the idea of seeing the sky brilliantly filled with innumerable stars over Bryce or Cedar Breaks. (The last time I saw a night sky like that was when I was at the Grand Canyon.) Some great ideas here!

  6. Winederlusting

    April 4, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Fantastic wrap-up of the main attractions to hit in Southwestern Utah. I literally just got back from Zion last weekend and had a total blast. By far one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The Narrows were epic, and we enjoyed Angel’s Landing as well, though it was quite nerve racking! Heard great things about Subway but we didn’t have a permit or time to do it… We wanted to hit Bryce for the top-down view but unfortunately timing wouldn’t allow for it either. Definitely making my next Utonian trip long next time!


  7. Jocelyn

    April 4, 2016 at 7:19 PM

    Utah parks are on many people’s bucket lists 🙂 They are just amazing, but I would not be able to deal with the heat or crowds in the height of summer. I want to go hike the subway and narrows and to see the milky way or a meteor shower in UT!

  8. Buena Montero

    April 5, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Bryce on my list:) MY gosh…. there’s a lot to add… LOL Great post:)

  9. Holly

    April 16, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    My friend has been trying to get me to visit so I will def keep these places in mind. Especially since I have never been to Utah.

  10. Knycx

    April 16, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Great post! I just had a road trip to Zion last December and we were chatting with a bunch of rock climbers during Sunset… Suddenly all the rock on the cliff changes colors and we all gasped in amazement… !!!

  11. Christina

    April 16, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    I absolutely love this area. It is a photographer’s dream. The only national park I haven’t been to is Arches. Will need to head out there soon.

  12. Karla (Karla Around The World)

    April 17, 2016 at 3:56 AM

    Nothing can really beat the beauty that nature offers. It took long years before these were sculpted to perfection. Love your list!

  13. Madi | Restless Worker

    April 17, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    These all look like great places! I’ve heard amazing things about Bryce Canyon as well. Would love to get there one day. Unfortunately, flights from Toronto are still pretty pricey into Utah. Guess I’ll just have to keep waiting!

  14. Catherine Sargent

    April 19, 2016 at 5:19 PM

    Utah sounds like a great place to go on vacation. I would love to see Bryce Canyon in person.

  15. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    April 19, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    I love the looks of the western area of the U.S. I want to get out there and visit places like this so much!

  16. Rebecca Bryant

    April 19, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    Wow what a beautiful place to visit. I am adding this to my travel list of places to visit. Stunning views.

  17. Alicia Taylor

    April 19, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Wow! I just want to grab my backpack and start hiking through all those parks and monuments. It looks like a great place to really have some old fashioned solitude

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 21, 2016 at 6:01 AM

      Yes! Which I’m in desperate need of right now haha

  18. Lois Alter Mark

    April 19, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    What gorgeous scenery. I would love to visit – and take lots of photos!

  19. Amanda

    April 19, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    Wow, that looks like a breathtaking place to vacation. Putting this on my bucket list right now!

  20. Tonya C

    April 20, 2016 at 12:24 AM

    The landscape in Utah is just amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Carol Bryant

    April 20, 2016 at 12:43 AM

    I have been to Utah but never to this area. I plan to go cross country to Phoenix in June and may need to stop by!

  22. Liz Mays

    April 20, 2016 at 6:49 AM

    Those are some of my favorite national parks ever. It is exquisitely beautiful out that way.

  23. Laura Funk

    April 20, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    When I was 16 we went on a 3 week excursion to all of these places. The mule train to the bottom of the Grand Canyon was amazing and I highly recommend it!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 21, 2016 at 6:00 AM

      Amazing! What an amazing trip for a 16 year old too!

  24. Mama to 5 BLessings

    April 20, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    I have never been to Utah before. These canyons look stunning, I would love to go and just snap photo’s!

  25. Rosey

    April 20, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    I always think the pictures I see posted from Utah are nice. I wouldn’t mind a trip out that way.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 21, 2016 at 6:00 AM

      Yep, the pictures have always blown me away too 🙂

  26. Melisa

    April 20, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Utah is so beautiful. I can’t wait to go back. I’m adding these spots to our list of places to visit.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 21, 2016 at 5:58 AM

      Yay, I’m glad you’ll add these spots when you go back. They’re so magical! 🙂

  27. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

    April 30, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    I just returned from Utah and you are right! It really is a gem for outdoor and adventure lovers! We visited Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Canyonlands National Parks and were just blown away by the incredible landscapes and natural beauty. The area has become very popular so if you have an activity like canyoneering or horseback riding in mind, be sure to book it ahead of time or you could end up missing out!

  28. samiya selim

    May 1, 2016 at 3:41 AM

    I had only been to Grand Canyon on this list but all the others look great too! Look forward to visiting many of these when we visit USA next summer 🙂

  29. Vicki | MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld

    May 1, 2016 at 4:31 AM

    I love Utah!! Zion and the Grand Canyon were my favorites but I missed out on Bryce Canyon! It looks amazing and perfect for adventuring!

  30. Joanna

    May 1, 2016 at 7:09 AM

    If I will come to American I will definitely visit Utah and go see the canyons for myself. Bryce Canyon looks absolutely stunning. I never came across any similar landscape in my travels. I would love hiking in the Grand Canyon also.

  31. S

    May 1, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    No need to mention how fantastic the Grand Canyon looks like. But the other national parks are also amazing! Great guide on the opportunities that await there and the adventures you can take. These places must be every photographer’s dream!

  32. Laura @ Grassroots Nomad

    May 13, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Utah has such gorgeous and unique national parks. I would love to visit Zion!

  33. Criz

    May 15, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    Amazing pictures! Cedar city is on my list, I’ll definitely save this. Thanks for this great list!

  34. Sharmistha | That Girl's Life Stories

    May 16, 2016 at 6:34 AM

    Wow! seeing these pictures, even I’m convinced Utah is a hidden gem in USA. Those canyons look surreal!

  35. Christine @thetraveloguer

    May 16, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    Utah sounds awesome!I didn’t know there was so much on offer. I would love to sleep under the stars at Bryce national park! 🙂

  36. Castaway with Crystal

    May 16, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Those photographs are beautiful! I especially want to visit Zion and the pink rocks of the Grand Canyon. Can’t wait!

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  37. Paul

    May 16, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Wow your pictures are amazing. The landscapes of these places are incredible!

  38. Jessica

    May 16, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    A paradise for me. I am more into mountains so these adventures are perfect for me. Very scenic photos.

  39. Akid

    May 16, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    Ashley, these look absolutely GORGEOUS! I have never been to North America (a tragedy I know!), but it looks like I’ll have to hit up Utah first just for the canyoning alone! Also how can you NOT like pickles…its one of my favourite things! 😀

  40. Carol Colborn

    May 16, 2016 at 4:42 PM

    There’s so much to see in Utah. The only ones we have not been to are Dixie, Grand Staircase, and Capitol Reef! We have been there thrice!

  41. Nathan

    May 17, 2016 at 1:41 AM

    As much as I love to travel I always focus on international travel. I forget how many great sights my own country has! These national parks are gorgeous.

  42. Dani

    May 17, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    Beautiful pictures for a beautiful place! I’ have never been to Utah nor anywhere in the U.S, it’s undeniable that you guys have amazing gems worth the visit.

  43. Natasha

    May 17, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Great post! I’ve been trying to plan a road trip to hit most of the national parks. Utah is definitely on my list, love the pictures too!

  44. Jess

    May 17, 2016 at 11:39 PM

    I stayed in Cedar City last week when I was driving through Utah – it was fantastic! I didn’t know much about the area, but the visitor’s center directed me to some amazing petroglyphs and historical sites right outside of town. And the frontier homestead state park was great.

  45. Ashley @ Married Wanderlust Love

    May 30, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    Love this post! I lived in the Grand Canyon for 3 short months during 2009. I’ve been wanting to get out west again to explore what the Southwest has to offer. It’s such a beautiful area!

  46. April Yap

    September 14, 2016 at 3:42 AM

    Thanks for sharing this post! looks fantastic.

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