Pine-covered mountains and valleys

Dixie National Forest

Home to a wide variety of species including eagles, hawks, owls and hummingbirds.

2,800 to 11,322 Feet

Dixie National Forest is a United States National Forest located in southern Utah, covering nearly 2 million acres of land. It is the largest national forest in Utah and one of the most beautiful. This gorgeous landscape offers visitors a variety of activities including camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, snowmobiling, backpacking and more.

Dixie National Forest is divided into three distinct areas: the High Plateaus in the north, the Markagunt Plateau in the center and the Escalante Canyons in the south. Within these three regions are five designated Wilderness Areas and four national roadless areas. There are also numerous scenic drives throughout Dixie National Forest, allowing visitors to experience the stunning beauty of this area.

The High Plateaus region features pine-covered mountains and valleys that are home to a variety of wildlife including elk, deer, antelope, bighorn sheep and black bear. This region also offers opportunities for visitors to explore its rugged canyons, see ancient petroglyphs, and take in amazing vistas. The Markagunt Plateau is characterized by its ponderosa pine forests and offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities from camping and fishing to hiking, biking and more. The Escalante Canyons are known for their red-rock canyons and offer exciting river trips through the area.

Dixie National Forest in Cedar City, Utah also provides a variety of other recreational activities, including skiing, snowmobiling and bird watching. The forest has several ski resorts, including Brian Head Ski Resort, which boasts over 60 miles of groomed trails as well as backcountry terrain for the more adventurous skier or rider. Snowmobilers can explore the area on over 100 miles of trails and can also take advantage of the many snowparks. As for bird watching, Dixie National Forest is home to a wide variety of species including eagles, hawks, owls and hummingbirds.


The High Plateaus region is composed of limestone, shale and sandstone. The Markagunt Plateau has a mix of volcanic rocks, such as basalt, rhyolite and obsidian. The Escalante Canyons are carved from Navajo Sandstone. The landscape of Dixie National Forest is constantly changing due to tectonic activity, weathering, erosion and deposition. There are many unique geological features throughout the area, such as hoodoos, arches and slot canyons.


Dixie National Forest in Cedar City, Utah was established in 1905 and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the National Forest System. The area has long been used for recreation and subsistence by Native American peoples, including the Paiutes and Navajo, who have inhabited this area for centuries.


Dixie National Forest’s vast terrain provides refuge for a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, bears, elk, deer, antelope and cougars. Other animals include coyotes, foxes and bobcats. Birds such as eagles and hawks also call this area home.

Planning a trip to Dixie National Forest

When planning a visit to Dixie National Forest, consider the season and weather. Summertime is the most popular time of year to visit due to mild temperatures. Spring and fall can also be great times for hiking, camping, fishing and other activities. During winter months, skiing and snowmobiling are popular activities. Visitors should also check with the local ranger station for information on current conditions, regulations and permits before heading out.

No matter the season, a trip to Dixie National Forest is sure to be memorable. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife and abundance of recreational activities, this is one of America’s most beautiful natural areas!


Dixie National Forest in Cedar City, Utah offers a variety of lodging and camping options for visitors. There are several developed campgrounds located throughout the forest, as well as backcountry sites for those who want to get away from it all. The majority of the campgrounds offer drinking water, vault toilets, trash pickup and fire rings/grills.

For more luxurious accommodations, the nearest city, Cedar City, Utah, has plenty of hotels and motels for you to choose from.


The nearest city, Cedar City, Utah, offers a variety of dining options. There are several restaurants in town that serve a variety of cuisines from Mexican to American and everything in between. You can also find convenience stores and fast-food restaurants throughout the city.


A good majority of Dixie National Forest is free to enter. For more information about fees and permits, visit the forest service website for all amounts for Dixie National Forest.


Pets are welcome in Dixie National Forest, however, there are certain rules that need to be followed. Pets must always be kept on a leash and should not be left unattended. All pet waste should also be disposed of properly.

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