The Dixie National Forest, with headquarters in Cedar City, Utah, occupies almost two million acres and stretches for about 170 miles across southern Utah. The largest National Forest in Utah, it straddles the divide between the Great Basin and the Colorado River.
Elevations vary from 2,800 feet near St. George, Utah to 11,322 feet at Blue Bell Knoll on Boulder Mountain. The southern rim of the Great Basin, near the Colorado River, provides spectacular scenery. Colorado River canyons are made up of many-colored cliffs and steep-walled gorges.
The Cedar City Ranger District is known for its high alpine mountain meadows bordered by large aspen stands and its abundant wildlife. The geology of the district is a unique blend of red rock cliffs, cinder cone, and large lava fields. The district's location just north of Zion National Park offers excellent views year round. For more information on the Cedar City Ranger District please contact the office at (435) 865-3200.
Dixie National Forest provides a wide range of hiking opportunities. Listed below are popular, short hikes within easy driving distance of Willow Glen. All are suitable for a morning or afternoon outing.
Cascade Falls Trail (#32055)
Named for the water fall that flows out of the side of the cliff, this trail is a local favorite. The trail provides spectacular views of Zion National Park and beyond. The water that flows over the falls is supplied by Navajo Lake through an underground lava tube or sink hole. The water flow a couple miles underground through the tube before exiting at the Virgin River Rim. (Please note, the lava tube is closed to travel due to the low levels of oxygen and high water flows.) Cameras are a must! Directions from Cedar City -Take Highway 14 East for 25.5 miles, turn right towards Navajo Lake on FS Road #30053, take your first left onto Forest Service road #30370. Follow this road until you reach the junction with FS road #30054. Follow the signs to Cascade Falls and turn right onto FS road #30054. This road will dead end at the Cascade Fall trailhead. This trail is 0.8 miles one way and is reasonably flat, but is moderately difficult. This trail is open only to foot travel.
Navajo Lake Trail (#33054)
The Navajo Lake Trail is a winding trail that follows along the side of the lake on the north side and provides views of the lake from above on the south side. Hike the Navajo Lake Trail as a long loop (11.5 miles) or in shorter sections. The north side of the lake provides great views of this naturally occurring lake while hiking through beautiful, open aspen stands. Directions from Cedar City -Take Highway 14 east, turn right 0.5 miles after mile marker 25 at the Navajo Lake junction (FS road #30053). Follow this road to the west end of the lake. The trailhead is located just east of the Te-Ah campground. This trail is an easy hike. The trail is open to bicycles and equestrians, so please use proper trail etiquette.
Bristlecone Pine Trail (#32048)
The Bristlecone Pine trail is an easy loop trial that provides great views of the Virgin River and Zion National Park while winding through ancient Bristlecone Pine trees. It is thought that the bristlecone pine trees are the oldest living organism on earth!
Directions: from Cedar City take Highway 14 east for 17 miles. The trailhead is located just east of the Zion Overlook at mile marker 17 where Highway 14 starts to flatten out. This is an easy loop hike that is 0.6 miles roundtrip.
Aspen Mirror Trail (#32029)
This short but scenic trail brings you to Aspen Mirror Lake , a small mountain lake. The lake is surrounded by Aspen trees, making this a spectacular destination in the fall. Cameras are a must! Though the lake is not very large it is stocked with rainbow trout providing some fishing opportunities. Directions from Cedar City -Take Highway 14 east for 29.5 miles. One-half mile after mile marker 29 turn left at the Aspen Mirror junction sign on FS Road # 30057. The trailhead is located at the end of the road. This is an easy trail and is 0.5 miles one way.
Visit the Dixe National Forest Hiking page for more details and an interactive map of trails in surrounding ranger districts. This link will take you to another web site and open in a new window. Simply close the window when finished to return to Willow Glen Inn.