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Diverse landscape

Washington County

Home to a wide range of attractions and activities that draw visitors worldwide.

Washington County is located in the southwestern part of Utah and is home to one of Utah's most iconic landscapes, Zion National Park. It borders Nevada to the west, Arizona to the south, Washington City and Hurricane City to the east, and Kane County and Garfield County to the north. The county seat is St. George which is also its largest city.

The county was officially incorporated in 1852 and given its current name in honor of George Washington, the United States' first President. Since then it has become one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation with an estimated population of 160,000 people as of 2020. The diverse landscape is home to a wide range of attractions and activities that draw visitors worldwide.

Zion National Park is located in the southwestern corner of Washington County and provides breathtaking views of its red rock canyons, cliffs, mountains, rivers and streams. The park is a popular destination for hikers, climbers, campers, birdwatchers, photographers, and many more outdoor enthusiasts. It is known as one of the most beautiful parks in the entire United States, and its popularity has made it one of the most visited national parks in the nation.

History

Washington County, located in the state's southwest corner, encompasses a vast area surrounding St. George in the valley of the Virgin River and its adjoining rivers. Known for having the highest average temperatures in the state and mild winters, it offers a warm climate year-round.

The county's eastern portion, including the breathtaking Zion National Park, is part of the Colorado Plateau province. On the other hand, the western two-thirds of the county falls within the Basin and Range geographic province.

Noteworthy landmarks include the lowest point in the state, Beaver Dam Wash at 2,350 feet, near the county's southwest corner. Meanwhile, the Pine Valley Mountains reach impressive heights of 10,000 feet in the north.

Rich in history, traces of the prehistoric Archaic and Anasazi cultures can be discovered in this area. The Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers played a significant role in the development of Southern Paiute life. The 1776 Dominguez-Escalante expedition was the first to document the local Indigenous groups. In 1980, the federal government restored traditional tribal lands west of Santa Clara to the Shivwits branch of Southern Paiutes. It is worth noting that the Shivwits Reservation, established in 1903, had previously been terminated in 1954.

Geography

The county is home to some of the most iconic landscapes in Utah, including Zion National Park. With an area of 2,430 square miles, it is Utah's fifth-largest county by land area and also has one of the most diverse topographies in the state.

At its center lies St. George, a mid-sized city situated on the Virgin River and its tributaries. The city is surrounded by a beautiful landscape, which includes red cliffs, mountains, rivers, and canyons.

Places of Interest

Zion National Park

Zion National Park covers the southwest corner of Washington County and offers incredible views of its red rock canyons, cliffs, mountains, rivers and streams. Popular activities include hiking, camping, climbing, bird watching and photography. The Narrows is one of Zion's most iconic hikes through the Virgin River Gorge as it winds for 16 miles through a deep canyon with towering walls. The park is known for its incredible beauty, making it one of the most visited national parks in the nation.

St. George Utah Temple

The St. George Utah Temple is a beautiful temple located in St. George and is the oldest operating temple in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Built on a hill overlooking the city, this iconic temple draws visitors for its stunning architecture and peaceful gardens. It also serves as an important spiritual center for members of the LDS faith and is open for guided tours of its interior.

Sand Hollow State Park

Sand Hollow State Park is a popular outdoor destination located just south of St. George. The area offers 20,000 acres of canyons, sand dunes, and trails for visitors to enjoy. Activities include camping, horseback riding, swimming at Quail Creek Reservoir or Sand Hollow Reservoir, ATV riding on designated trails and more.

Planning a trip to Washington County

When it comes to planning a trip to Washington County, there are plenty of things to do and see. From the breathtaking views of Zion National Park to the peaceful gardens of St. George Utah Temple, visitors can be sure that they won't be disappointed with their visit. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure or some relaxation in nature, Washington County has something for everyone.
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lodging

Lodging in Washington County ranges from luxury resorts and hotels to budget-friendly motels, cabins, and RV parks. Hotels in St. George provide visitors with easy access to many attractions and activities, while those looking for a more remote or secluded stay can find options outside of the city limits.

dining

Washington County is home to a wide variety of restaurants, ranging from fine dining to casual eateries. The area offers something for all tastes and budgets, including unique local cuisine, Mexican food, barbeque, and more. Visitors can also find plenty of options for take-out or delivery.

Seasons

Washington County enjoys four distinct seasons, with hot summers and mild winters. Spring and fall offer the best outdoor weather for hiking, camping, and ATV riding. With Zion National Park close by, visitors can experience its beauty in all kinds of weather.
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