Description - The Southwestern Travel Region of Utah lies in the southwestern corner of the state. It contains a plethora of public lands including, three National Monuments, three National Parks, a National Forest, a National Recreation Area, four Wilderness Areas and nine State Parks. The terrain consists of high plateaus many covered in various layers of sandstone. Canyons share the landscape with thick forests and towns originating from Mormon Missions.
- This region is filled with interesting cultural and geological attractions. Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks will fill a few years worth of vacation time in the area. In addition to these well-developed areas visitors will find facilities in the Dixie National Forest to be somewhat less developed and regulations more relaxed. For visitors interested in a wilderness experience the Pine Valley, Paria Canyon Vermillion Cliffs and Box-Death Hollow Wilderness Areas provide only primitive amenities. State Parks scattered through this region maintain the most modern facilities that usually include hot showers.
Recreation - Visitors to the Southwestern Travel Region of Utah will find enough recreational diversity to please the whole family. Year round hiking, biking, fishing and camping are available at many facilities. Winter recreation includes snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Summer can be very hot in this area so most officials advise against strenuous activities during the afternoon hours in July and August.
Climate - The elevation in the Southwestern Travel Region varies from plateau summit to canyon bottom, but this is not as significant a variance as the northern regions of Utah. High elevations reach nearly 11,000 feet in the Dixie National Forest and Bryce Canyon lies close to 8,500 feet in elevation. In these regions winter camping gear is necessary from November through April. Some snow accumulation does occur and snowshoes or cross-country skis may be necessary for backcountry travel. Lower elevations may get snow, but it doesn't stay and temperatures are cold for a shorter span of time.
Warmer temperatures begin in March and last through October. The low elevation and arid climate of the region create a desert environment that can be brutal during June, July, August and September. If exploring the canyon lands in the heat of summer it is best to curb rigorous activities in the afternoon. Water, sunscreen, a brimmed hat and sunglasses should be a part of every outdoor enthusiasts wardrobe.
The title of this travel region gives its location. It lies in the southwestern corner of Utah. The Colorado River, south of its confluence with the Green River, forms the eastern boundary for the Southwestern Travel Region. The area is easily accessed via Interstate 15, U.S. Route 89 and Utah Highway 12.