by Lani Penney, Cedar City • Brian Head Tourism Bureau
Did you know physical activity is just as beneficial to the brain and psychological well-being as it is to the actual physical body, heart, and overall health? Recent studies have shown that engaging in physical activity has a direct impact on the functioning of the brain, and increase stamina in overall cognitive performance.
Not only does Cedar City itself have a number of different activities to feed that physical fitness side, but the places and opportunities, all within 100 miles of Cedar City, are unreal. Making sure to get the necessary amount of physical fitness doesn’t have to involve a gym membership, weight-lifting, long distance running, or aerobics. A day spent skiing or snowboarding on the mountain or a hike in Zion National Park both involve a high amount of physical activity, and include an immense amount of fun at the same time. For the ambitious travelers staying in Cedar City, you could quite easily ski at Brian Head Resort one day, and hike Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park the very next day!
Cedar City is located right in the heart of some of the most popular attractions in Utah that appeals to millions of visitors each year. It’s the center of so many sought after destinations, including Zion National Park (58 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (78 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (34.5 miles), Brian Head Ski Resort & Town (32 miles), Kolob Canyons – Zion National Park (22 miles), and the list goes on and on. Staying in Cedar City makes for a very well-rounded vacation, The views as you travel the short distances on the scenic byways to these places won’t seem like travel at all, as they are breathtaking all along the way.
Of course hiking in the national parks, or a day spent shredding at Brian Head Resort will leave you feeling a sense of accomplishment, both physically and mentally. However, Cedar City has much more to offer when it comes to feeding the outdoor enthusiast’s soul, exercising your body, and your mind – and of course, all with a view. Below we have compiled a list of unique activities in and around Cedar City for those who want to get outside and be creatively active.
Cedar City Walking/Mountain Biking Trails
Cedar City has five different walking trails, all accessible directly from town, all very well maintained, and all with incredible views of the southern Utah red rocks and more.
- Coal Creek Trail (3.4 miles): This trail runs from Bicentennial Park, right through the heart of Cedar City, parallel to Coal Creek, and into the mouth of Cedar Canyon.
- Cross Hollow Trail (1 mile): This trail begins near the I-15 south Cedar City exit, running alongside Cross Hollow Road to the north.
- East Bench Trail (2.65 miles): This trail connects with Coal Creek Trail, forking off at East Canyon Park to the south, following a southbound trail just east of Cedar City.
- Fiddlers Canyon Trail (.77 miles): Located just north of Fiddlers Canyon Subdivision, accessible from Cottontail Road.
- Park Discovery Trail (.5 miles): This trail is great for families with small children, as it is quite short in distance. The trail wraps around the fields next to Park Discovery.
Disc Golf Courses
You read right, disc golf. Disc Golf courses do exist. Iron County has multiple courses to choose from, and boy is it fun and very family friendly.
- Enoch City Disc Golf Course: Located in Enoch, just north of Cedar City. The course begins in Old Enoch Park, running through Liberty Park, and ends at Spanish Trail Park.
- Ironside Disc Golf Course: This course is located in the Three Peaks Recreation Area, west of Cedar City. This is a moderate course including a decent amount of hiking, and of course, phenomenal views.
- Three Peaks Disc Golf Course: This course is for those seeking more of a challenge, as it is located in the high desert of three peaks, including large rocks, trees, sagebrush, and much longer holes. The unique rock formation and juniper trees create some beautiful views.
Winter Activities in Cedar Breaks
Cedar Breaks is highly populated through the summer months, however, it is just as equally beautiful and worth seeing in the winter. Beat the crowds by taking a winter adventure to the monument. Be sure to keep in mind the remote area you will be traveling in, and prepare accordingly to assure your safety. Please visit www.nps.gov/cebr for more information.
- Snowshoeing: Venture through the trees with your final destination being Cedar Breaks National Monument. Guided snowshoe hikes for the public are offered by Cedar Breaks’ interpreters through the months of January through March.
- Nordic Skiing: For the adventure-seeking, cross country skier, there are miles of groomed trails that make Cedar Breaks National Monument accessible in the winter months.
Mountain Biking at Brian Head Resort
Brian Head Resort provides outdoor adventure all year long. Summer and fall, Brian Head Resort has over ten different mountain biking trails providing access to southern Utah’s most scenic backcountry. The trails cover over a 100-mile radius, with new additions coming this year. The trails range from easiest to expert only, which allows something for all levels of mountain bikers.
Both Navajo and Giant Steps are accessible for riders. Brian Head Resort also offers chairlift and shuttle service at each mountain. Please visit brianhead.com for biking, ticket pricing and additional information.
For more information on all the activities above, log onto visitcedarcity.com or call (435) 586-5124.