The best hikes in southern Utah and Bears Ears National Monument
• Please visit with respect •
Vacations are precious.
Make sure you get the most out of them.
This guide is the result of 25 years of exploration. It's aimed at those of you who wish to experience all the Utah desert has to offer – its stark beauty, its complex history – often without the crowds. True, you’ll find some very popular attractions here but they’re included because I consider them to be unique or so unmissable that it would be a shame to ignore them.
Every hike or car trip is rated so you can decide what's best for you. The contents are highly subjective and certainly not exhaustive; I’ll never see everything in my lifetime, but I’ll try.
How to use this site
This is a not a trail guide site, though I have included some general directions in my expanded trip reports. Other people have done this better than I ever could. Most of the destinations can be found on the web or in the many guidebooks of the area, or by asking others. That’s how I found them. So pick an area, check out my Resources page, do some homework and hit the trail.
If you have kids then you’ll know that it’s best if there’s a ‘reason’ for doing a hike. Many of these trips here have an obvious destination or ‘reward’ and been taken with children as young as seven, even on the longer and more difficult hikes.
There's also a hints and tips section which you may find useful, as well as ratings for all the trips: ease of access to the destination/trailhead, how 'quiet' the destination is likely to be, and the degree of of hiking difficulty - I’m assuming you’re of average fitness, and sensible. I started with small hikes and learned the ways of the desert before progressing to more challenging adventures. You should do the same.
The accompanying photos are the best I could find from our collection but there are some gaps. That's because many are pre-digital age, and also that I was predominantly shooting video.
Special thanks go to my wife, the Mellor family – our hiking partners for more than 20 years – and Rick Kaylin who joined us on many adventures and provided me with some of his stunning images.
Bob Palmer • London UK
Disclaimer: this website has been created in good faith and I accept no liability for the information you find here.
It’s your responsibility to check the accuracy of it.