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Hidden Gem: Turtle Wall

An Incredible Hike Right Outside of St. George

Many times, the build up to an adventure is half the fun. But not always. Sometimes I just want to walk out my front door and have the adventure waiting for me, like a loyal dog. Not a lot of fuss, planning or travel time. Just a simple, straight-forward chance to explore and meditate on your day. For those reasons, Turtle Wall is a gem of a hike.

Turtle Wall is more than just convenient though. It’s convenience coupled with quality. Just as you feel like you’re leaving St. George on Bluff Street, you see the trail head in a pull-off to the left. It’s so fast and easy to access that you have no excuses to not get out and stretch your legs.

Scenic desert vista
Red rock arch with blue sky

As soon as I hit the trail, I realized this was a melting pot of outdoor adventure. To my right was a group of rock climbers enjoying some sport climbing. Just 25 yards later, I crossed paths with a girl on a mountain bike making her way back to the trailhead. I often repeat this saying: “Variety is the spice of life—and this is one spicy trail.”

The trail is easy to follow, and within a mile, I reached the impressively large sandstone formation resembling a turtle. The trail takes you up on its back like some massive, super slow steed. From there to the midpoint of the hike is mostly slick rock, which revealed why I saw some enthusiastic mountain bikers.

Turtle-shaped rock
Desert trail with red rocks in distance

The only point of interest to top my turtle monument was the view from the top of the mesa. Right before the trail loops back towards your starting point is an amazing view of the entrance to Snow Canyon and nearly a bird’s eye view of Ivins. There is actually a trail that keeps going from here to Snow Canyon, including the Scout Caves, but that wasn’t on my itinerary for this trip.

My hike back was a fantastic mixture of falling shadows and amber light from the setting sun. Wild rabbits and wild flowers were scattered throughout the empty space. It was a tranquil hike that offered beauty and wonder, and it was right in my backyard.

On your next trip to Zion country, you may want a more convenient hike right in St. George. This is that hike. Make sure to add it to your list.

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