You can still drive through Zion on Highway 9.
And the government shutdown won’t keep us from enjoying the fall weather in some amazing places. Luckily, the ENTIRE state of Utah is scenic. The geological marvels don’t stop at national park borders.
For our guests, here’s an update on the status of Southern Utah’s National parks and monuments — and, more importantly — a list of open Southern Utah attractions, state parks, and guided tours that rival the big name national parks for visit-worthiness:(Please visit http://www.visitutah.com/national-park-travel-advisory/ for more information)
Attractions Near the Arrowhead Inn
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary….15 minutes… www.bestfriends.org
Maynard Dixon Property and Bingham Art Gallery…across the street www.thunderbirdfoundation.com
Horseshoe Bend….1 ½ hours
Red Canyon State Park….45 minutes
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park….15 minutes
Moqui Cave…..15 minutes
Grafton Ghost Town / Smithsonian Butte drive…. 1 hour ½ Day Colorado River Trip….Page, AZ … email@example.com
Parowan Gap Petroglyphs….1 ½ hours
Calf Creek Recreation Area State Park ….2 hours
Angel Canyon Petroglyphs….15 minutes
Spring Hollow Slot Canyon ….15 minutes (with permission, ask Jane)
Antelope Canyon Slot Canyon….1 ½ hours
Frontier Movie Town….20 minutes
Red Hollow Slot Canyon….3-4 hour hike from Arrowhead
Peekaboo Trailhead….15 minutes
Hwy 12 Scenic Byway…..2 ½ hours each way
Paria Canyon Trailhead….1 hour
Cedar Breaks National Monument ….can be seen from Hwy 143 without going into the park (45 minutes)
Cascade Falls Trailhead ….1 hour
Navajo Lake Trailhead….45 minutes
Duck Creek….45 minutes
Mammoth Cave (lava tube) 35 minutes
Panquitch Lake…..1 ½ hours
Kodachrome State Park/ Grovsner Arch….1 ½ hours
Grand Staircase drive thru Johnson Canyon (old Gunsmoke set) …1 ½ hrs round trip and much, much more.
Arrowhead farm animals: on the property!
And don’t forget the slot canyons behind the Inn…1 to 1 ½ hour hike.
These are just time-estimates, so don’t hold us to them exactly, but they should be close to accurate.
There are also ATV Tours, horseback riding, guided tours (ask Jane for more information) locally: www.dreamlandtours.com , www.utahoffroadoutfitters.com
For anyone wanting special pampering during these trying times, there are several day-spas and even a few local 9-hole golfcourses nearby. Restaurants in Mt. Carmel Junction and Kanab remain open.
And here’s a gratuitous picture of our famous Peach Dutch Babies, mostly because I’m hungry:
Status of National Parks and Monuments
Bryce Canyon National Park Alternatives
Calf Creek Recreation Area: A premier stop along Scenic Byway 12 in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Calf Creek Recreation Area is a desert oasis including a 13-site campground, a day-use picnic area, and trailhead. The campground provides small sites nestled along Calf Creek on a first-come, first-served basis. Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail is an almost 6-mile moderately strenuous round-trip hike to a stunning 126-foot waterfall.www.scenicbyway12.com/the-byway/byway-waysides/calf-creek-recreation-area/
Cottonwood Canyon Road Scenic Backway: This route features strangley eroded rock formations in Cottowood Canyon and Kodachrome Basin State Park. A popular feature is Grosvenor Arch, a soaring pastel buttress located about ten miles east of the Kodachrome Basin turn-off. In Cottowood Canyon, the sandstone colors are particularly stiking. The Paria River and the rugged upthrust of the Cockscomb formation are also prominient features of this journey.http://www.brycecanyoncountry.com/scenicdrives.html
East Fork, Sevier Scenic Backway: This backway is located in a broad valley scattered with Ponderosa pine. Panoramic views open in all directions. Red rock formations and other geologic features are visible along the road. Mid-route is Tropic Reservoir providing fishing, boathing and camping. This route follows the east fork of the Sevier River which meanders near the road. At the backway’s end is the Podunk Guard Station, built in 1928.http://www.brycecanyoncountry.com/scenicdrives.html
Escalante Petrified Forest State Park:Escalante State Park has nature trails through the remnants of a petrified forest, where hikers can view fossils, petrified wood, fossilized dinosaur bones, and artifacts left by ancient Fremont Indians who inhabited this area nearly 1,000 years ago. Nearby Wide Hollow Reservior provides boating, canoeing, fishing and bird watching opportunities.www.stateparks.utah.gov
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: A vast and rugged, yet easily accessible national monument. Divided into three regions: Canyons of the Escalante, Grand Staircase, and the Kaiparowits Plateau, scenic and recreational opportunities abound within the monument. Scenic Byway 12, a federally designated, All-American Road, between Boulder and Bryce, and US 89 between Kanab and Big Water provide easy access to the graded dirt roads that crisscross the monument. Enjoy an easy hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls, or a more intense exploration of the slot canyons off the Hole in the Rock Road (dirt road, check for current conditions). Visitor centers are located in Kanab, Escalante, Cannonville, and Big Water.www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/grand_staircase-escalante.html
Kodachrome Basin State Park:Kodachrome Basin is a spectacle of massive sandstone chimneys and pillars, ranging in height of six – 170 feet, which change from gray and white to shades of red depending on the light and shadows of the day. The park offers camping in solitude and desert beauty immediately adjacent to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with several hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.www.stateparks.utah.gov
Red Canyon: Twelve miles outside of Bryce Canyon National Park on Scenic Byway 12, Red Canyon beckons with a similar red rock landscape. Like Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon’s hoodoos were sculpted from Claron limestone over eons from wind and water erosion. Red Canyon is part of the Dixie National Forest, and follows Scenic Byway 12 for about four miles. The hoodoos can be explored with short hikes along many of the trails that run throughout the canyon, or along the paved, five-mile Red Canyon Bike Path.www.brycecanyoncountry.com/red-canyon.html
Scenic Byway 12 – Utah’s All-American Road: Passing through some of the most spectacular scenery and natural wonders seen along any rural route in the nation, this exceptional 124 mile route negotiates an isolated landscape of canyons, plateaus, and valleys ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level. You’ll encounter archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities while driving this exhilarating byway. http://www.scenicbyway12.com/
Scenic Byway 143 – America’s Patchwork Parkway: This national scenic byway climbs past the colorful Vermillion Cliffs through Parowan Canyon, rises to forested heights of 10,000 feet, then drops down to Panguitch. Scenic Byway 143 is fondly referred to as the Patchwork Parkway because of a significant historic event, where early pioneers saved themselves from starvation by using quilts to cross the deep winter snows of the plateau. Places of interest include Brian Head Peak, Panguitch Lake, Markagunt Plateau forests, and the town of Panguitch-listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The colorful aspens and maples in mid-September make this a perfect autumn drive.http://utahspatchworkparkway.com/
Please visit http://www.visitutah.com/national-park-travel-advisory/ or call or visit the Kane County Visitors Center in Kanab for more information.