Take a picnic and grab a few friends for an afternoon hiking adventure at the La Verkin Overlook Trail.
Being from southern Utah, I have gone on several hikes around the area. One that I had not experienced yet was the La Verkin Overlook. This route can be hiked in about an hour, which makes it perfect for an escape into nature when class is finished.
The trailhead is easily accessibility and offers stunning views from the Hurricane Cliffs. The Utah Guide by Allan Kent Powell states the trail is 4 miles round trip. I took a little more than an hour to finish.
The overlook is found on Route 9, which goes through the town of Hurricane and then into La Verkin. Take the turn to the right at the stop light that intersects at Route 9 and 500 N. Continue up the mountain for about 1.5 miles until the road levels off; the turn is marked by a sign on the right that reads “La Verkin Overlook.”
The trail, which starts on the left if you face the town of La Verkin, is a little difficult to spot at first. To find the trail, I had to wander a few feet down the side of the hill. Once I found the path, I saw the rest of trail was marked with signs.
The trail was deceptively tiring, but it was leisurely enough to bring my two small dogs along for the journey. It was easy to hike the downhill trail to the overlook, but the way back was all uphill, which is where I found it challenging.
Although rocky in some places, the trail is easy to navigate. It is all downhill and it runs parallel to stunning cliffs, on the left side, that have a majestic drop off. I could hear the rush of the wind in the canyon.
When the hike begins, the scenery features sparse desert vegetation, but more green plants appear toward the end. To the right, the richly colored mountains hug the town of La Verkin. On this side, the hill gently slopes into a neighborhood.
With the juxtaposition of the jagged cliffs and the rolling hills, I would go back and forth between each side, mesmerized by the sights ahead of me. Being terrified of heights, though, I didn’t get too close to the edge.
During the hike, I stopped to take photographs. My dogs curiously sniffed the plants. We even found a tiny snake along the path.
As I was finished the hike, it started to drizzle. The water in the air brought out the sharp green contrast with the black lava rock formations. I was grateful for the rain to cool me off, because I knew the hike back would be hard.
On the way back, my leg muscles burned, and I was out of breath when I reached my car. The dogs were panting. We were excited to drink water at the end of our uphill battle.
I would make an effort to hike this trail again, because it is convenient to fit in on an afternoon when class is over and I have a few extra hours to play. The site is easy to locate if one is new to southern Utah. Hiking this trail is also a great way to get a workout in while enjoying time with friends or family.