St. George Basecamp: 3 Parks in 3 Days
May 11, 2018
By: Chad Taylor
St. George is named for the patron saint of national and state parks. Just kidding, it was named for a Mormon leader from the 1800s who was nicknamed the “potato saint” because he urged people to eat raw potatoes to cure scurvy. Our version is better.
Inn at Entrada in St. George has established itself as the luxurious headquarters for three nearby must see/hike parks: Snow Canyon State Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park. The thing is you might never want to leave your room –– think full kitchen, private patio and comfy beds. It’s St. George’s only AAA Four-Diamond property and is ranked #1 on TripAdvisor. So yeah, it’s legit.
If you want to plan a trip to see these natural wonders, book a room at Inn at Entrada, then follow this sample itinerary:
Day One: Snow Canyon State Park
This’ll be your first morning waking up at the Inn at Entrada. Go ahead, sleep in, enjoy some coffee on the patio, and try not to do, well, anything. Grab some lunch at the onsite Kokopelli Restaurant (we recommend the Southwest Shrimp Tacos) then head out to Snow Canyon State Park. It’s only 3 miles away. Three short, but amazing hikes make for a pretty spectacular afternoon:
Jenny’s Canyon: a mini slot canyon a half-mile from where you park. Easy, cool, and not so narrow that the aforementioned shrimp tacos will contribute to you getting stuck.
Petrified Dunes: super funky landscape that’s fun to climb. Trail is 1.2 miles but you can spend your time messing around on the dunes.
Johnson Canyon: 2-mile trail that’s pretty along the way and has a sweet payoff at the end: Johnson Arch. Watch out for rapellers.
Head back to the Inn at Entrada for a spa treatment, some delicious food, and some relaxation in your room.
Day Two: Zion National Park
Sleep in about half as long as you did on day one, and head over to Zion National Park –– 35 miles away. Zion is Utah’s most visited park, so the earlier you get there, the better. If you want to catch the highlights, here’s what we recommend:
Canyon Overlook: just a mile round trip, a bit steep, but oh what a view. Great for that signature Zion photo op.
Emerald Pools: you can choose to visit the lower, lower and middle, or lower and middle and upper pools, depending on how much time you have.
Angels Landing: the most famous trail in Zion. Not for the faint of heart or the lacking of balance. Make sure to read up on this one before attempting.
If you do all three, it’ll be a pretty epic day. Followed by an equally epic night’s sleep back in your room at Inn at Entrada.
Day Three: Grand Canyon National Park
You’re going to have to get up early for this one since the Grand Canyon’s north rim is 111 miles away. Stop in Jacob Lake on the way there and the way back for a world-famous cookie. Spend some time in the visitor center at Grand Canyon Village and take in the sights people come from all over the world to see at Yavapai Point and Mather Point.
If you stay another day or two, there’s plenty else to do in Snow Canyon Snow Park if you want to circle back to that little gem.