Kayaks in the desert?
'Kayak' isn't usually the first word that springs to mind when people think of southern Utah. And sure, if you're visiting St. George for the first time, you'll instantly be drawn to soaring red cliffs and dry, barren landscapes. Utah's deserts are undeniably glorious, but after a while, we start to feel mentally parched. As temperatures steadily climb in the 80s, it's only a matter of time before we feel the undeniable urge to rinse off the red sand with a quick kayak paddle around a desert reservoir.
Cue Quail Creek State Park! This little reservoir is just outside St. George, and it's the perfect watering hole for us land-locked desert rats. After work on Sunday, my buddy Diana and I loaded up the sea kayaks and drove out to Quail Creek. We spent the afternoon soaking up the sun and paddling around the turquoise water.
Quail Creek State Park is just outside the town of Hurricane, UT, within spitting distance of St. George. From I-15, take exit 16 onto SR-9. Drive 9 miles east until you hit 5300W -- you'll see a sign for Quail Creek State Park. Turn left (north) here. Drive along the lake's shore until you see the ranger station and boat ramp.
Kayaking around Quail Creek is a breeze. Pay the $7 park day use fee, unload the boats, and start paddling! You can also rent a kayak or SUP (stand up paddle board) at DIG Paddlesports, which is located right on the lakeshore. The lake is big enough that you'll have a blast exploring all the nooks and crannies, but small enough that most motorboats stay away. Great stuff.