Last week, state officials lowered Utahâ€™s coronavirus risk from red (high) to orange (moderate). This move, paired with rising temperatures in Southwest Utah, has caused an influx in visitors to local state parks. Last weekend, officials at Sand Hollow, Quail Creek, and Gunlock state parks closed early Sunday due to overcrowding. While local state parks might be closed, Dixieâ€™s secret gems provide visitors the opportunity to enjoy nature while still following CDC guidelines and social distancing.Â
What Does the CDC Recommend?
Even though Utahâ€™s risk level has been downgraded, CDC and health officials are reminding the public that now is not the time to lax our mitigation efforts. The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is continuing to spread in communities all across the world. The CDC, working with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has issued simple guidelines to help slow the spread.
These guidelines, which can easily be followed out in nature, include:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Wear a mask or cloth face covering when out in public
- Avoid touching your mouth, face, and nose
- Maintain a distance of 6 feet between others
Enjoying What Utahâ€™s Dixie Has to Offer While Staying Safe
If cabin fever has got you down, or you just need a safe day activity to do with the kids while school is dismissed, look no further than St. George to fix those quarantine blues. The surrounding areas of St. George is filled with countless hiking trails that are accessible to people of all ages and abilities.Â
Temple Quarry Trail
An accessible family-friendly trail is the Temple Quarry trail which provides a scenic view of the St. George valley. The hike follows the trail that Utah pioneers used to gather lava rocks for the foundation of the historic St. George city Latter-Day Saint Temple. Located 2 miles away from downtown St. George, the trail is a 2-mile round trip hike. The trail is fairly level, with just a few loose pieces of lava rock, making a hike that the whole family can enjoy while practicing social distancing!Â
Another family-friendly hike can be found within St. Georgeâ€™s city limits. Pioneer Park, found on the Red Hill, also known as the famous Sugarloaf, or Dixie rock, is filled with hidden, lesser-known sites that are fun for the whole family. With caves scattered all around, Pioneer Park offers a safe area for hikers of all abilities to wander and get lost in the beauty of Dixie. After hiking around Pioneer Park, make sure to visit the Red Hills Deseret Garden. The garden showcases the local flora and fauna of the area, teaching visitors of all ages about our local ecosystem in a fun and interactive way.Â
While participating in these hikes, and in other activities, remember to be mindful of the current guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19. Even with these uncertain circumstances, we can still find time to enjoy the local beauty that surrounds St. George but enjoy it safely and responsibly.