Utah State Parks Blog

Kick off 2016 with one of these 5 must-do hikes


Looking for a beautiful and invigorating way to start the New Year? Kick off 2016 with a family-friendly hike in a Utah State Park near you!

Once again, Utah State Parks is joining the First Day Hikes initiative by hosting fiveextraordinary New Years Day adventures across the state.

Antelope Island 04

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park

Those choosing to journey to Antelope Island State Park for the Beacon Hill hike will venture out with a park ranger to learn about wildlife and the history of the island in the middle of a remnant of an ancient sea. The 5-mile moderate hike leads to a stunning overlook featuring the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Front.

The hike starts at 10 a.m. and hikers are to meet at the Gravel Pit Trailhead. Well-behaved dogs on a 6-foot leash are welcome, but must do well with large groups and other dogs. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather and close-toe shoes are a must. For more information and to check for last minute weather cancellation call 801-773-2941.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

With shifting dunes and adventure in the air, hikers spending their New Year at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park will follow GPS coordinates to ancient Ponderosa Pines growing out of the coral sand. Rangers will also explain the history surrounding the trees stretching back to when they were seedlings. The 2-mile hike is moderate and leashed dogs are welcome to join in on the fun.

Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point State Park

Meet-up with rangers and other hikers at 11 a.m. at the Park Visitor Center. Don’t forget to dress appropriately, bring a snack, and pack a camera for snapshots of family, friends and the stunning landscape. For more information and to check for weather cancellations call 435-648-2800.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Featuring red sandstone areas dotted with Swiss Cheese-like holes, the Big Horn Overlook hike leads to one of the most amazing views in Utah. While the trail is uneven and can have snowy and icy patches in winter, those who make the hike are rewarded with the breathtaking scenery.

The hike begins at 12:45 p.m. at the Park Visitor Center. It is a moderate 2.5-mile trail where leashed dogs are welcome. Bring plenty of water for yourself and your pet, a snack if needed, and start 2016 off right. To check for weather cancellations call 435-259-2614.

Snow Canyon State Park

Red, wind-swept sand dunes frozen in time are the main attraction on the Petrified Dunes Hike. Hike along and listen as an interpretive ranger explains the fascinating geology of the area while you gaze out at the stunning landscape.

Willard Bay State Park; photo by Steve Greenwood

Willard Bay State Park; photo by Steve Greenwood

Hikers meet at 9 a.m. in the Upper Galoot Picnic area for this moderate 2-mile hike. No pets are allowed at this event, but be sure to wear appropriate shoes and clothing. Don’t forget your water and camera, because it is gorgeous out there. For weather cancellations and more information call 435-628-2255.

Willard Bay State Park

If you’re headed here for your New Year, keep an eye out for Bald Eagles. Stop by the Eagle Beach Group Pavilion at noon for an easy 1-mile hike along the Linda C. Higley Nature Trail.

Walk along with an interpretive ranger and keep an eye out for Bald Eagles and other wildlife. Well-behaved dogs are allowed to trek along with you, as long as they are on a leash.

Don’t forget to bring snacks, binoculars and the camera for some wildlife snapshots. For weather cancellations or additional information call 435-734-9494 or check out the Willard Bay Facebook Page.

For more information on these and other Utah State Parks, visit stateparks.utah.gov.


Media Contact Information

Justina Parsons-Bernstein
Utah First Day Hike Coordinator
801-889-7209; jparsonsbernstein@utah.gov

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