Play in a Giant Sandbox

Touring Zion will never be the same

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Just two hours from Las Vegas, you’ll find a mecca of off-road and ATV adventures at Zion National Park. Close to Hurricane, Utah, the Southern Utah Adventure Center offers the chance to explore breathtaking views, rock-filled sidewinding trails and remnants of dinosaur footprints. And sand—lots and lots of sand.

Visitors can take guided Jeep and ATV tours, or rent the vehicles themselves. I did both for my weekend adventure.

First, I drove my Jeep Wrangler through the nearby Warner Valley to get an idea of what was in store for us on the ATVs. While there was no shortage of fantastic trails and rock crawling, the off-road enthusiast in me wished my Jeep were equipped to take advantage of the more advanced trails that surround the valley.

Afterward, we moved right on to the hair-raising, three-hour guided ATV tour through Sand Mountain and Sand Hollow Reservoir. We launched into the seemingly mountain-tall sand dunes at speeds north of 40 mph (Safety tip: Always know what’s on the other side) and were able to stop and take pictures at the many scenic viewpoints.

It was one of those experiences where you set all embarrassment aside and scream with all your might as you barrel down the trails, try to breathe through clouds of sand and plow at alarming speeds over rocks that you’d normally steer clear of.

$139 per adult, $79 child passenger fee (depending on age), 138 W. State St., Hurricane, Utah. 888-635-0907. Visit for more information and pricing.

Get directions.

Return to summer adventures map.

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