Small Town Big Adventure - A Guide To Visiting Hurricane, UT
I am a Hurricane UT girl born and raised so I know first hand how easy it can be to overlook this amazing this little town. I had a picturesque childhood. My parents never locked the doors to our house, we would roam the streets without a care in the world and Zion National Park was practically in my back yard. It was the classic small-town Utah childhood and I had no idea how lucky I was. The minute I graduated from high school I was off to college with hopes of never returning. After graduating from Utah State University I moved to Los Angeles to prove to myself and everyone one else that I was, in fact, a big city girl. I even took off two days before my graduation......I was that ready to be out of Utah!
It took me three years in the city of angels to realize that Utah wasn't as bad as I had originally thought. So with my newly acquired California husband by my side, I moved back to Utah. Still thinking that I was definitely not a small town girl we lived in a suburb of Salt Lake for 10 years.
During this time my parents lived in Hurricane and we would visit them often. My husband slowly started to fall in love with Southern Utah and I would tell him over and over again there was no way I was ever going to move back home........but I slowly started to crack. I started seeing Southern Utah with new eyes. I remember taking a little day trip to Zion one Easter when we were home visiting my parents. The entire drive I looked out the window in wonder and awe at all the beauty. How did I not appreciate this place when I lived here!?!
It took me getting pregnant with my third baby to seal the deal. Three kids is no joke and I wanted to live close to family so we packed up and moved back to Hurricane. The one place I swore I would never live. And guess what!!! I couldn't be more happy about it. With my love for the outdoors in full swing, I have discovered that Hurricane UT is a red desert paradise.
*For all intents and purposes when I say Hurricane I am including La Verkin, Virgin & Toquerville into the mix.
WHERE IS HURRICANE LOCATED
Hurricane is tucked in the south/west corner of Utah. 20 minutes east of Saint George and 30 minutes west of Zion National Park. Click here to view full custom map.
Hurricane is within easy driving distance to so much and is a great option as your home base when exploring all that Southern Utah has to offer.
Lake Powell - 2 hours
Grand Canyon - 2 hours
Snow Canyon State Park - 35 minutes
Valley Of Fire State Park - 1 hour 45 minutes
Zion National Park - 30 minutes
Bryce Canyon National Park - 2 hours
Las Vegas - 2 hours
Cedar City - 45 minutes
Saint George - 20 minutes
WHERE TO EAT
Hurricane is not known for its culinary delights, this is true, but it does boast one of the best views ever while drinking a fabulous cup of coffee, so there's that. Below are some of my favorite local spots to eat.
Costa Vida is a fresh and fast Mexican food. The prices are very reasonable for the quality of food. We eat here at least once a week. Get the pork anything.....it's the best!
Fort Zion in Virgin has the best burgers in Southern Utah and bonus there is a petting zoo for the kiddos.
River Rock Roasting Co has great salads, sandwiches, pizza, and coffee and the views can't be beat. Also the best cinnamon roll you will ever eat!
Stage Coach Grill is a really great spot for a good steak dinner.
Muddy Bees Bakery is your place if you are looking for some good bread and pastries. They also sell local honey.
Dixie Pizza Wagon has the best pizza in the Hurricane Valley! Flavorful hand crafted gourmet pizza, fired to perfection in their custom wood burning brick oven. Arguably the very best pizza for the price on the planet for sure. This is another spot that we hit up about once a week.
WHERE TO ADVENTURE
I had a hard time narrowing down this list.....so I didn't haha! There is just so much great hiking, outdoor activities and adventures to be had in and around Hurricane. Not a bad problem to have.
A waterfall oasis in the middle of nowhere with a swimming hole and lots of exploring, Toquerville Falls is a destination that the whole family is sure to love. If you plan to visit Toquerville Falls you need to be aware that there is a 5.8 mile stretch of road that is not accessible with most cars. You will need a high clearance vehicle with 4 wheel drive. A 1-hour drive (bumpy adventure!) from Hurricane.
Read More | A Family Camping Adventure at Toquerville Falls
Zion National Park
One of the most popular national parks in the US and it is located just 30 minutes from Hurricane. Zion National Park is filled with tons of great family-friendly hikes, the Virgin River to swim and play in, and plenty of opportunity for wildlife spotting. My favorite kid-friendly hikes include Riverside Walk Trail, Canyon Overlook, Emerald Pools, and Sand Bench Loop.
Sheeps Bridge Park (Also known as Falls Park)
One of our favorite ways to beat the heat in Southern Utah. This park, located in Virgin UT is just 15 minutes from Hurricane and is the ideal spot to catch frogs, play in the sand, and tube.
READ MORE : Sheeps Bridge Park - Virgin UT
Sand Hollow state park
With its tepid blue waters and stunning red rock backdrop, Sand Hollow State Park in the summer is the perfect place to spend a day playing in the sand, swimming, enjoying water sports, and cliff jumping and it is located in Hurricane. We even love Sand Hollow in the winter for hiking and climbing the red rocks.
READ MORE : Summer Fun at Sand Hollow in Hurricane UT
Hiking Trails in Hurricane
You don't have to head to Zion or Snow Canyon for great hiking. Hurricane has some great trails that you should check out! Listed below are my favorites.
Confluence Park Trail
Read More | 10 Epic Family Friendly Hikes In Southern Utah
ATV sand dune adventures at Sand Hollow
So much fun for the adventurous and thrill-seeking family. Riding the beautiful sand dunes, exploring the red rocks and taking in the views, it really doesn't get much better and afterward you can go jump in the lake!
Read More | Atv And Jeep Adventure Tours - Salt Project.co
Red Cliffs National Conservation Area
This stunning park is scattered with volcanic cones, sand dunes, lava flows, and soaring red sandstone cliffs and is packed with tons of family-friendly hiking. Snow Canyon is a park that should not be missed when visiting Southern Utah. It is amazing!
Yant Flat in Dixie National Forest
An easy 1.5-mile round trip hike through the woods will take you to open terrain of swirling smooth rock formations that spill out for miles. One hour west of Hurricane, the landscape of Yant Flat can be steep at times, and there are cliffs to be aware of, but the sticky rock will allow kids to adventure across much of the area.
Kanarra Falls Trail
Located 45 minutes from Hurricane Kanarra Falls is 4.4 miles round trip and about as photogenic as they come with vibrant green trees and stunning slot canyons that will leave you speechless. There is a decent amount of rock scrambling and the beginning of the trail is a bit boring but keep going, it's worth it! If you can make it to the first slot canyon (about 1.5 miles in) with the kiddos I call that a win! Click here for permit information.
Water Canyon Trail
This hidden gem of a hike located 45 minutes east of Hurricane, just outside of Hildale, UT has a shallow year-round creek and a stunning waterfall reward at the end. At 3.5-miles round trip the trail can be a little more advanced due to the moderate elevation gain and tricky rock scrambling.
Looking to push outside your comfort zone? For a spectacular adventure repelling one of the beautiful slot canyons in Southern Utah, book a canyoneering package with one of the local guide companies in Springdale. Red Desert Adventures is one that I highly recommend.
Quail Creek State Park
Located just 15 minutes from Hurricane this lake boasts some of the warmest temps in the state and is the ideal spot to rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak. Dig Paddle Sports is located at the waters edge making is super easy to rent and be paddling within minutes.
Kolob Canyon is a less busy section of Zion that is 30 minutes north of Hurricane. You get a different view of Zion, and there are also many great hikes to check out. My favorite is the Timber Creek Overlook Trail.
Kolob Terrace Road
Check out scenic Kolob Terrace Road that is along the west section of Zion. This is how you get to the popular The Subway hike that you need a permit for, but there are also many other great hikes in this area. We recently hiked The Grapevine Trail and it was amazing!
Where to Stay in the Hurricane Vally
Sometimes when traveling it is nice to have more space and the conveniences of home. The rates to rent a house in the Hurricane valley are unbelievable. These are two of the best. Click here & Click here
Located in La Verkin with super easy access to Zion the La Quinta is brand new!
BLM land located of Sheeps Bridge Road in Virgin
First come first serve this BLM camping area is free and surrounded by beautiful views.
Zion River RV Resort
Located in Virgin, just 15 minutes from Zion. Zion River RV Resort is a beautiful property with a playground for the kids and lots of areas for them to play and ride bikes. There is even a swimming pool. I love how they plan daily activities like campfire and smores, movie night, outdoor games, and candy bar bingo. You can also camp here.
Zion Under Canvas
Camping without the roughing it? Heck ya! Glamping is all the rage and Zion Under Canvas's mix of luxury hotel and rustic camping is sure to make your stay in the area a little more fun.
Read More | Glamping With Kids At Zion Under Canvas
My Favorite Campgrounds in the area
Red Cliffs (first come first serve), Quail Creek (book in advance), Sand Hollow (book in advance) Snow Canyon (book in advance), Oak Grove (first come first serve).
So what do you think? Did I sell you on my home town? Well if I did make sure to reach out to me when you are in town and I will send you directions to a secret locals-only trail in Hurricane. It's an unnamed trail that I take everyone on who comes to visit me. I think you'll love it.