Art Community near St George

Driftwood horse and chaulk artThe community of Kayenta is a community designed sensitively to blend in with the desert landscape. All of the homes are in adobe looking in hues from chocolate to sand. The development is low density with native plant landscaping. We approached from St George passing through Ivins. Almost as soon as we entered the community we felt a kind of peace and tranquillity.

Also curiosity: how much do you think these homes sell for? Can you rent one on luxury homes for the week? It is hard to turn off the real estate orientation when you travel. You imagine yourself living there and of course wonder how much money it would take.

The first visit we stopped at the art village and most of the shops were shut. The Xetava Garden Cafe was open and I bought a coffee. It was free-trade, organic and a couple of other wholesome modifiers, including delicious. We wandered around looking at the chalk art on the ground from the competition from earlier in the week. I admired the driftwood horse and Carole admired the interesting garden benches.

The next visit we did some serious jewelry shopping. We browsed in several art galleries. And we ate lunch at the Xetava Garden Cafe. Carole enjoyed the waffles on the brunch menu and I had the tacos made with filet mignon. We both gave thumbs up to our choices. The service was excellent.Xetava Garden Cafe

We also sympathized with this bubble of liberalism. We saw a poster for a marriage equality fundraiser and felt like cheering. St George is a lovely community with loads of friendly people. Seventy-five percent of them are Mormon and probably conservative. A friend shared how we could spot polygamist families and we saw at least one group watching the Triathalon. So we threw up a small cheer for the organizers of an event hoping for a long shot–or a Supreme Court decision.

Gem of a Park: Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park is just the right size!
Snow Canyon State Park is just the right size!

St George is centrally located making it possible to do day trips to Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. An Ironman Triathlon made driving to Bryce Canyon complicated and we could not shift our spa appointments. Locals raved about Snow Canyon State Park, so we decided to give it a go.

Jake the Snake at the Ranger station at the campground.
Jake the Snake at the Ranger station at the campground.

From the Inn at Entrada on the Northwest side of St George it is just a few minutes drive. You drive past the Ivins roundabout with the beautiful sculptures of mustangs and Paiute Indians. The entrance fee is a modest $8 per car and it allows access all day, so you could plan an early morning hike and then return after dinner for some stargazing from the rocks at Upper Galoot picnic area.

The ranger at the gate gave us lots of good information about the hikes in the park. She also mentioned that if we came across a tortoise, and if it pees out of fear, then we need to bring him to her or the ranger station so they can rehydrate the tortoise. Turns out the only wildlife we saw in the park was Jake the Snake in the ranger station.

The ranger station at the campground is also a gem. It has high quality exhibits and gift shop. Volunteers man the desk and offer good information about the park.

A group hiking on the Petrified Dunes.
A group hiking on the Petrified Dunes.

We went back the next day to hike a little. A group was setting up for a wedding, people were enjoying the campground, and groups of hikers and cyclists were enjoying the trails.

You can easily combine a half day at Snow Canyon State Park and a visit to Kayenta art village and the Xetava Gardens Cafe.

If you think Snow Canyon State Park looks familiar it is probably because it has been used as the setting for many popular films.
If you think Snow Canyon State Park looks familiar it is probably because it has been used as the setting for many popular films.