For all you thrill seeking friends out there, do I have a place for you!
For all you thrill seeking friends out there, do I have a place for you! Let me introduce you to Toquerville Falls. Nestled deep in the hidden twists and turns of the Toquerville canyon. About 30 minutes away from St. George, Utah. A beautiful sight to behold, but the journey there is not for the faint of heart. The road there is a grueling 30-minute white knuckle driving experience. It is recommended that you examine your vehicle prior to your trip to make sure it has all the qualifications to make this journey. High clearance, full tank of gas, four-wheel drive (although we did see a Mazda 3 that made it halfway…not recommended). The drive there includes, but is not limited to: steep, rocky inclines, sharp corners, steep drop offs, narrow paths, overhanging branches, and unexpected turns. Prior to leaving, my family and I looked up the exact directions to the falls to ensure our safety and to take out any guess work when it came to which turn to take, I recommend you do the same. The exact specifications of the journey can be found here.
This place is a family friendly experience. There are waterfalls and small pools the kids can play and splash around in. The older kids can jump off an edge into a deeper pool and dogs can wade and swim; it is all inclusive. On a blazing hot summer day, this would be the place to go. The pools are surrounded by small desert trees and brush, which offer optimal shade for such a hot environment. You can even park under the trees. There isn’t much hiking around the area, but you can walk down the wash of the falls to view the river carved canyon. Upon arrival, we were greeted unpleasantly with an unreal number of bugs, so do not forget the bug spray.
Just to wrap up; a few last recommendations
- If you get car sick, be prepared
- Bring bug spray, the horseflies are gnarly
- Bring plenty of water
If the hardcore adventure life is not for you, there is a less treacherous journey you can take to Glitter Mountain in Arizona. This is also a short 30-minute drive from St. George and nowhere near as treacherous. This is a dirt road that leads to an old Gypsum mineral mine.If you get queasy over the idea of hanging around an abandoned mine, fear not. The term “mine” should be used lightly here, this “mine” is now just a wall of gypsum that you are free to dig at to your hearts content!
Gypsum is a sheet silicate salt precipitate mineral that is very soft, its cleavage plane causes it to break into thin sheets to expose beautiful clear edges. Gypsum is commonly found in evaporite beds associated with sedimentary rocks. This mineral came from deposits of lake and sea water, hot springs, and volcanic vapors. Due to its chemical make-up, it breaks easily, making it fun for children to mine.
I would highly recommend bringing a hammer, chisel, and a bucket. Wear safety glasses and sunscreen to prevent your eyes and skin from being damaged. This is another family friendly environment, but I would not recommend bringing animals here, the ground is fairly sharp due to all the broken gypsum shards.
These are just two of St. George’s less known fun adventures you and your family can make. The following links have directions to both locations as well as some other fun information.
Toquerville Falls: http://www.hikestgeorge.com/toquerville-falls-toquerville-utah/
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