02 Mar 2021
5 Reasons to Plan a Visit to Cedar City This Spring
As the snow melts away we’re ready to get out and play in the wide-open spaces surrounding Cedar City! Whether you’re hoping to find a sense of wonder with a visit to nearby national parks, test your skills with a round of disc golf, or relax and enjoy art and dining; you’re sure to find it here.
Explore the list below then start planning your trip.
1. Gateway to the National Parks
With several of Utah’s most colorful national parks a short drive away, Cedar City is the ideal gateway to adventure for southern Utah. Tucked between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, visitors can experience the beauty of Dixie National Forest, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Kolob Canyons, and more on the scenic drive to either park.
Plan an early morning visit to experience the beauty of Zion as the park opens. With shuttle tickets in hand, visitors can hike between the towering sandstone cliffs, find hanging gardens and sweeping views along the trails. Traverse Angel’s Landing for rewarding views, or enjoy a leisurely hike to the mouth of The Narrows along the Riverside Walk trail.
Or plan a visit to the north side of Zion Nation Park, with an afternoon in Kolob Canyons. Find spectacular views of rugged red sandstone cast against forest and blue skies along the short scenic drive. Discover new views of the park as you wind along the Taylor Creek Trail past two old homestead cabins to the Double Arch Alcove.
Take the scenic route over Cedar Mountain on your way to Bryce Canyon to experience the beauty of Dixie National Forest, Navajo Lake, as well as a preview of the vibrant red rock formations of this national park at Cedar Breaks National Monument. The overlooks at Cedar Breaks offer a stunning view into the red rock natural amphitheater, similar to those that you can hike through at Bryce Canyon National Park on trails like the Fairyland Loop and the Navajo Loop.
Zion National Park is 1 ½ hour south of Cedar City.
Bryce Canyon National Park is 1 ½ hour north of Cedar City.
2. Disc Golf Course in Red Rock and Rolling Hills
Minutes from downtown Cedar City, it’s surprising to think that a place like Thunderbird Gardens remains hidden, just off the beaten path. This recreation area is full of stunning red rock formations, sweeping hills striated with shades of red and orange, and some great hidden gems throughout. A popular spot for mountain biking and hiking, the 2019 addition of an 18-hole disc golf course fits in perfectly.
Standing on the starting platform, the view is incredible and only gets better as you progress through the course. The course winds throughout the vibrant landscape with some climbs along the way. The course can be easily tailored to fit all abilities. A common adjustment to the course is to play holes 1-10 and finish on 18. The view from 18 is a must!
The front nine holes have substantially less hiking available while still offering some fun big elevation shots. The back nine require some climbing, but they’re worth it!
Find other nearby courses here.
3. Grab a Bike and Explore
Cedar City is enthusiastic about all things cycling. With large road cycling events like the Belgian Waffle Ride adding Cedar City to their radar, we’re home to more than just excellent mountain biking. These scenic cycling loops around Cedar City can’t be missed!
While many of these scenic routes are long (approximately 50 miles) they can be adjusted to best fit your abilities and timeframe the views along the way are more than worth it. Try out the Parowan Gap scenic cycling loop for a fairly easy out and back ride. This route leads cyclists to the mysterious Parowan Gap Petroglyphs, with over 1,500 petroglyphs on 90 panels.
On the Cedar City to New Harmony scenic loop cyclists are rewarded with spectacular views of the rising red rock beauty of Kolob Canyons and Shurtz Canyon. This route follows Old Highway 91 through the towns of New Harmony and Kanarraville along a 50-mile route that’s relatively flat.
4. Art, Shopping, and Dining in Historic Downtown
With all the available adventure at every turn in southern Utah, sometimes you need a break and an evening in. The list of things to do in Cedar City always seems to be expanding. Visitors can find dining, shopping, art, and entertainment in Historic Downtown, as well as a vibrant arts and culture scene.
Grab a coffee from a local spot to enjoy as you check out the boutiques and local shops, finding the various vibrant murals along the way, as you explore downtown Cedar City. Pause for lunch at any of the wonderful restaurants within a block of each other, or grab a drink on the patio at IG Winery or Policy Kings Brewery.
Spark creativity with a visit to the Southern Utah Museum of Art. Find a new favorite decor statement piece at Artisans or Kolob Gallery. And don’t forget to check out the beautiful sculpture gardens at the home of the Utah Shakespeare Festival!
With an International Dark Sky Park in our own backyard, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Cedar City is home to some unbelievable night sky views. Even without a drive to Cedar Breaks National Monument, portions of Iron County remain some of the darkest and best places in the world to view the night sky. Places like Three Peaks Recreation Area, Iron Springs Resort, and the Parowan Gap are far enough away from city lights to offer beautiful night sky views.
The rolling hills of Three Peaks make a great location for evening stargazing! Dress warm, download star charts, and don’t forget your telescope!
BONUS: Plan a Return Visit for the Utah Shakespeare Festival!
One of the oldest and largest Shakespeare festivals in North America, The Utah Shakespeare Festival is a must for any visit to Cedar City. Eight plays are presented in repertory each season in three theaters, including the outdoor Engelstad Theatre, which is a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The 2022 season will run from June 20 through October 8.