At the time of this trip, we were (are) in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, there has not been much penetration of this virus in the southwestern Utah area. Although much of the city and surrounding states are on lockdown, the desert areas are still open for recreation. We again took advantage of having the family together to head out on another adventure. This time, we centered the trip around the Peak-A-Boo Canyon (Gulch), an elegant slot canyon similar to that of Antelope Canyon.
After pulling some highlights of this route from various sources around the Internet, we called up a couple of friends to join us on this trip. More Jeeps = More Fun!!!
The route starts out with a good bit of road driving as we traveled from St George all the way through Colorado City, AZ and snaked around the back side of the hills past the entrance to the Barracks Trail, past Coral Pink Sand Dunes, and all the way to the trailhead. There, we all aired down and hit the trail. The trail was an absolute blast. Starting out as mostly sand, you could carry good speed in the berms and push the Jeeps a little due to the forgiving nature of the terrain. The kids loved it in the back seat.
The first stop on the route is Peak-A-Boo Canyon. After spending some time in Antelope Canyon a couple of years ago, we had low expectations for this slot canyon, but it did not disappoint. Although not as breathtaking as Antelope Canyon, it comes very close in a few spots. We had a good hike to the end of the canyon and back.
After loading back up into the Jeeps we had several miles of varied terrain trail in front of us. We were able to really push the vehicles out in the open terrain and drove them more like UTV’s than full bodies Jeeps. It was a blast!
The next stops on the route were close together. The main attraction is called Hidden Lake Recreation Area. There, below the surface, rests a small “lake” that remains full of water all year. Although not a huge body of water, it was still a cool land feature that you don’t see every day.
Around the corner from the hidden lake, is an area of Native American ruins.
Best Friends Animal Society
Exiting the off road section of this trip took us through the Best Friends Animal Society. I have heard about this place for years from my wife, but I had no idea how large of an operation it actually is. The first thing we came across was the “Angels Rest” burial ground. Although pretty creepy, it still shows the volume of animals that come through this place. It brought back memories of the movie Pet Cemetery.
Zion National Park – Abandoned
We go to Zion National Park a couple of times a month. The park is currently closed to hikers and all other activities, but it is still open to cars as the road through the park is a public road. Never in the history of the park have there been so few people within its boundaries. As much as we enjoyed having the park almost entirely to ourselves, it was a grave reminder as to the magnitude of what is going on within our country right now. We were able to literally pull over on the side of the road and take photos that will have never been and probably never again will be possible due to the lack of traffic at the current time.
The trip concluded with dinner from one of our local favorites, River Rock Roasting Company. This whole “eat from your vehicle” gets taken to the next level when you have views over the canyon like this.
This trip included something for every member of the family. From ancient geological land features, high speed sand trails, tight twisty trails, and great food, the entire family stayed entertained. It was a good day to be outdoors!