t Mesa Arch in the Island of the Sky district at sunrise, with a keyhole view of the landscape
Experience Southern Utah
The first people to live in this region were Paleo-Indians 12,000 years ago. Later, the Ancestral Puebloan people thrived in southeastern Utah, building cliff dwellings along the San Juan River. The Mormons arrived in 1847, successfully establishing settlements in this harsh land.
The five national parks in this region are favorite destinations, so much so that each is inundated with up to four million visitors a year. Today, most people come to the area to enjoy the outdoors. Hiking, mountain biking, and four-wheel driving are all popular activities, as well as riverfloat trips and whitewater adventures. St. George and Cedar City are the biggest towns in Southern Utah. A number of smaller communities, however, such as Springdale, Torrey, and Bluff, have good motels and restaurants. Moab meanwhile offers outdoor activities by day and entertainment by night.