As we head into summer in St. George, we all know those hot, triple-digit days are on their way. So we thought for this week’s Sunday Drive we’d suggest driving up to Pine Valley to enjoy one of the best hikes for escaping the heat in southern Utah - Forsyth Canyon.
The higher elevation up in Pine Valley means cooler temperature and the hike winds its way along the creek at the bottom of Forsyth Canyon. You’ll find yourself surrounded by the shade of aspens and pine trees. And for those with enough stamina to make it all the way to the top of the mountain, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views.
You can hike all the way out to Signal Peak from the Forsyth Trail, it’s the highest spot in the Pine Valley Mountains and the highest spot in Washington County. But Signal Peak but the views from there are obstructed but the pine forest that covers the peak.
Fortunately, Burger Peak is the first peak you’ll reach on the trail and while it’s about 40 feet lower than Signal Peak, the views from atop this rocky peak are far more spectacular.
It’s well worth the effort it takes to reach either Signal or Burger Peaks, just to be able to say you’ve been to the top of the mountain we all see to our north every day, is an achievement. But the views and the cooler temperatures make for a wonderful summer escape for the heat of St. George.
The drive up to Pine Valley to get there and back is always a beautiful trip. Stop for some of the best pie in southern Utah as you pass through Veyo, and marvel at the fortitude of those who run the St. George Marathon down to St. George from Central each October. Enjoy a drive through Pine Valley, and stop to take in the quaint Pine Valley Chapel.
The turn off to reach the trailhead for Forsyth Canyon is located a few hundred yards before the guard station at the entrance to the Pine Valley Campground. You’ll turn right, just before the fire station. There’s usually plenty of parking and most days, you won’t have to share the trail with too many other people.
And even if you don’t want to take the strenuous hike all the way to the top, you can hike out for maybe a mile or so and find yourself in a wooded meadow with the stream babbling beside you and enjoy a spectacular place for a cool summer picnic.
So take a Sunday Drive up to Pine Valley and escape the heat!
Google Maps Link to the Forsyth Canyon Trailhead https://goo.gl/maps/dfXgcZPBnfXWb23V8
Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness https://wilderness.net/visit-wilderness/?ID=459
Pine Valley Recreation Area https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dixie/recarea/?recid=71836
Forsyth Trail - AllTrails https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/forsyth-trail-to-burger-peak
Forsyth Trail - Forest Service Website https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dixie/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=71125&actid=50
Forsyth Trail - Blog Post https://ontheloose.live/2020/10/06/forsyth-trail-fine-trail-with-fantastic-views-pine-valley-ut/