Hidden Gem Hikes Around St. George

Red Mountain Trail 

Just 12 miles north of Bluff Street on SR-18, Red Mountain Trailhead is a quiet but stunning trail that overlooks Snow Canyon. This overlook has a similar feel and grandeur overlook of Angel’s Landing, without the danger of the infamous last stretch of narrow rock and chains required to traverse the last portion of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park.

The trailhead starts just past Diamond Valley, with a grand view of the Pine Valley Mountains. A small marked sign points westward as you approach the turnoff, and the trailhead starts close to SR-18. Bathrooms and a parking lot are available at the turnoff. Once you start on the hike, a slight incline on a rocky trail continues as you travel in a southwestern direction. The further you go on the trail, the forest of juniper and pinion becomes denser. While the trail is easily distinguishable most of the time, if it’s difficult to tell what direction to go at any time, continue to take the wide, left-ward paths.

Occasional cairns (stacks of rocks, and in this case, red sandstone) will mark the direction of where to go in situations where it’s a little harder to discern. Overall, the trail is fairly even and steady, without any sections that are overly steep or require you to climb on your hands and knees. Towards the end of the trail, the trail becomes sandy, which can be difficult to walk through for the elderly, small children, or those who have a hard time walking. Once you have reached the end of the trail, you are greeted with a stunning view overlooking the dead center of Snow Canyon from the back (north) side of the state park. White and red sandstone cliffs tower over the gentle terrain at the bottom of the canyon, and in the distance, you can view parts of Ivins, Santa Clara, and St. George. To head back, take the same route back to the trailhead.

This trail is 4.8 miles roundtrip, and generally takes 1 hour and 15 minutes each way (2.5 hours round trip) at a steady pace. At a slower pace, this hike will take closer to 3 hours. Bring plenty of water, as there are no water sources along the trail. This is an easy to moderate trail that’s free, beautiful, and great for all hiking skill levels  

Red Mountain Trail, Overlooking Snow Canyon

Anasazi Trail in Ivins

Another beautiful trail with little traffic is the Anasazi Valley Trail, or Tempi’po’op trail. This hike is an easy trail as well, and 3.5 miles roundtrip. For those interested in Native American history, this trail showcases plenty of petroglyphs – right in the open. This can also be an educational hike for the kids.

To get there, head west on Sunset boulevard for 7 miles. On the left, a sign will say, “Santa Clara River Reserve – Anasazi Valley Trailhead”. After a short dirt road that is less than a few hundred feet long, the trailhead will be on your left. Again, bring plenty of water on this hike, especially if it’s during the hotter months of the year.

There are two trails available to get to the top. The trail to the right is the shorter, steeper trail, although it is encouraged to take the left trail, as this one is the official trail and is easier for kids and stroller access. At the top of the trail, not only are there a striking array of petroglyphs to view, but old Anasazi Farmstead ruins are at the top of the trail as well. Not only does this hike have historical and cultural value, but it’s a beautiful hike showcasing Southern Utah’s red rock as well.

St. George Marathon 2017

The 2017 St. George marathon is coming up on October 7th, and is one of the city’s busiest weekends of the year. Bringing in local and national runners alike, this marathon is the 13th largest marathon in the U.S. The St. George marathon is nationally-recognized and included in the Top 20 Marathons in the USA, […]

Utah’s Growing Economy

St. George Airport Looking to Expand to Los Angeles

With growth in St. George and surrounding areas comes a growth in its travel industry as well, specifically St. George’s regional airport. So far, flights to and from St. George can be made to Salt Lake City, Denver, and as of last year, Phoenix. The newest flight the city is pushing to make is a daily flight to Los Angeles – more specifically, a 50 passenger flight that would depart in the morning and return in the evening, so that passengers flying for business could return on the same business day.

A spokesperson from SkyWest, Marissa Snow, hasn’t confirmed a St. George to Los Angeles flight, but did state that the St. George airport was making good growth. Under this proposed agreement, however, flights would need to start before September 6, 2017. Local governments have been pushing for this flight to expand St. George travel horizons. This subsidy agreement would run until February of 2019, and officials have agreed to split the possible startup cost losses of $450,000.

In 2015, as Utah’s third busiest airport (behind Salt Lake City and Provo), the airport was renamed from a “municipal” airport to a “regional” airport. After the airport was moved from atop the Black Hill (the mesa that sits in the center of St. George) to a more spacious location on the southeast edge of St. George for safety reasons and to funnel in more traffic. This new 1,204 acre airport was opened in 2011 and was a $160 million project, the largest in St. George to date. Currently, the only commercial airline that flies to and from St. George is SkyWest Airlines, on behalf of Delta Airlines and United Airlines.

The airport serves as a hub for travelers coming to national parks in the Southern Utah region like Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Zion alone in 2016 received over 4 million visitors, and that number continues to steadily rise by a few hundred thousand visitors every year, even passing Yellowstone National Park in the number of annual visitors in 2016. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the St. George Airport had about 59,000 fliers, which was an 8.7% increase from 2013, and growth has continued since then. A new flight to Los Angeles would mean even more fliers shuffling through the St. George Airport, leading to more growth and opportunities for the region.

An Enterprise car rental location is available at the airport. St. George also offers multiple shuttle services to and from Salt Lake City, Orem, Las Vegas, Cedar City, Mesquite, and Zion National Park, to name a few, making it easy to travel around the region from the airport. Both shuttle services (St. George Express and St. George Shuttle) offer free wifi, charging stations, and bottled water on their trips to make your trip as comfortable as possible.

Click here to visit the St. George Regional Airport (SGU) website.

St. George Golf Courses

St. George is one of Utah’s best cities to golf due to its stunning views, warm weather, and nearly a dozen golf courses to choose from. It’s common for retirees from all over Utah, Nevada, and Arizona to choose St. George because of it’s clean air, family-friendly community, and great places to golf and spend time outdoors. Not planning on retiring? St. George is a great place for a short weekend golfing trip or making weekly trips to the golf course. Below, we’ll list out the golf courses we have in the area and what makes each of them unique, and which one might be the best fit for you.

Sand Hollow Golf Club

The crown jewel among golfing in St. George, the Sand Hollow Golf Club was named the #1 public golf course in Utah by GolfWeek. Surrounded by vibrant pink sand dunes, this perfectly manicured oasis looks as if it were placed in the middle of a painting. Framed by the majestic red rock cliffs of Sand Hollow Reservoir and a peek at Zion in the distance, this luxurious golf course offers a full bar and restaurant in the Clubhouse and offers rental clubs. This course offers Hickory Clubs for those who like wood-shaft golf clubs to play old school. Because it’s so close to the reservoir, you can rent ATVs, boats, as well as biking, hiking, and fishing gear. To get more info, visit their site here.

Entrada at Snow Canyon

For views of a diverse environment and a golf course that’s been thriving for over 20 years, Entrada has been carving its name in places to be in St. George since 1996. This serene golf course is 10 minutes outside of St. George, surrounded by ancient black lava flows that stand out drastically against the surrounding red hills and soft pink dunes. While Snow Canyon State Park brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, Entrada’s beautiful golf courses sit right outside this famous state park. This golf course flaunts top-notch playing conditions and offers a 4 star luxury hotel on the property, so you don’t have to travel far to the course if you’re coming from out of town. Entrada was rated #2 in public golf courses in Utah by GolfWeek. For more info, visit their site here.

The Ledges Golf Club

This secluded golf course was designed to be a part of the desert – to provide a luxurious golfing experience without drawing from the beauty of this famous desert landscape, planted right outside the north end of Snow Canyon State Park. It’s no surprise why this golf course hosts so many weddings throughout the year. Brides and wedding planners alike are drawn to its rugged beauty with white sandstone cliffs and fiery rock ridges that make this place as colorful as it is beautiful, while golfers are drawn to its challenging course and amenities. Private villas, a full service bar and restaurant, and vacation rentals make this a one-stop golf course, designed by Matt Dye, a member of the world famous Dye course designing family. For more info, visit their site here.

Sky Mountain Golf Course

For a true taste of the beauty the American Southwest has to offer, Sky Mountain is an alluring golf course to anyone looking for attractive rates and beautiful views. Between Zion National Park and Red Cliffs State Park, this lush course has a mesmerizing view of the red, white, and pink cliffs that tower above the landscape. Play your final holes along a lava rock plateau or watch the sun set over the course from the Sky Mountain Grill. This course also offers a full service golf shop for repairs and other needs. There’s a reason why locals have been finding themselves at this course since 1994. For more info, visit their website here.

Red Hills Golf Course

Dixie Red Hills Golf Club, though only 9 holes, is one of St. George’s most lush and secluded courses. Tucked between the vibrant red rocks of Dixie, this golf course is a hidden oasis that is often viewed as a local gem to golfers. This friendly, relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a quick golfing trip for the day or for the weekend. As the first golf course developed in St. George in the 1960’s, one of its best features in comparison to other courses is the hundreds of old trees like cottonwoods and mesquite trees scattered throughout the course that provide shade during the hot summer months. For more info, visit their website here.

Coral Canyon Golf Club

Coral Canyon has been named the #4 golf course in Utah. Coral Canyon puts you in the heart of the desert, encompassing you in the rugged beauty of sagebrush, red rock, and memorable golf holes. This golf course has been nestled in at the base of Pine Valley Mountain since 2001, providing St. George with a high end, high quality golfing experience. GolfGetaways called it “a must play in St. George.” A 7,029-yard, par-72 layout surrounded by unique colors and rock formations right outside Zion’s door makes Coral Canyon a must-see for avid golfers anywhere. For more information, visit their website here.

Green Spring Golf Course

The mother golf course that gave St. George its reputation for high end golf, Green Spring opened in 1990, drawing people from all over the area to golf lush greens amidst red rocks and grand mountains. Nearly thirty years later, Green Spring is still a popular place to golf right in St. George, just a five minute drive from downtown. Despite its closeness, Green Spring still provides a peaceful, secluded golf scene with a desert landscape, including natural wetlands and old cottonwood trees that make it stand out from other golf courses in the area. For more info, visit their website here.

Southgate Golf Club

For inexpensive rates right off of I-15, Southgate is home to a sprawling golf course that artistically incorporates the Santa Clara River winding through its course. Southgate is on the back side of the Black Hill, a towering mesa settled into the heart of St. George. This location is not only convenient, but beautiful as well, with views of Snow Canyon and red mesas in the north. This course is a par-71 layout, making it enjoyable for all levels of ability. This playable course has a relaxed environment for anyone looking for an affordable golfing experience. For more info visit their website here.

Sun River Golf Club

Part of the Sun River retirement community, the Sun River Golf Club is a player-friendly design outside of St. George that offers a quiet, serene golfing experience unlike any other. This 6,700-yard layout has a mix of short and long holes that are good practice for any skill level. After a long day of golfing, visit Hank’s Riverwalk Grill, operated by the creator of the famous Oscar’s Cafe in Springdale. These smooth greens in the Virgin River Valley provide generous fairways and an atmosphere that will keep you coming back as a regular. For more info, click here.

St. George Golf Club

As a traditional-style golf course that’s been running for over 30 years, the St. George Golf Club has a sense of simplicity to its open course, populated by many lush trees and a lake in the center. Not only is this course one of St. George’s most affordable options, it’s in a convenient location so you don’t have to drive outside of St. George to get there. This terrain has gentle, sloping greens perfect for walking. For an inexpensive golfing experience that provides a good challenge for golfers without being too straining or demanding, St. George Golf Club is a good pick for you. For more info, visit their website here.

SunBrook Golf Club

Earning itself a spot in GolfDigest’s Top 50 Municipal Courses, SunBrook offers 27 unique holes with a good view of Snow Canyon State Park and red sandstone cliffs in the distance. This widespread golf course has been running since 1990, bringing in visitors and locals alike. Comprised of The Point Nine, a short run with a desert landscape; The Woodbridge Nine, named after its fifth hole and has a beautiful view of a lake and bridge; and The Black Nine, with greens tucked between black lava rock, each of these runs are both memorable and playable. For more info, visit their website here.


Storage Wars, Making Everything Fit

At Ence, we are well known as being one of the foremost luxury home builders in Utah. But while that dream home may seem spacious and expansive at first, as humans, we have a tendency to fill that space with furniture, clothes, ornaments, etc. Eventually, you may find that your home looks like an episode of hoarders. There is nothing wrong with owning a large amount of personal items, if you know how to store them. Having a spacious, open home allows us to breathe and relax. Here are some tips to help your home remain a place of relaxation and comfort, while still keeping all the things that you just “can’t throw away.”

An Example of Hoarding

  1. Hoarding_living_roomChoose the right sized home for your needs. Sometimes this can be difficult, especially depending on what is needed. It isn’t an uncommon experience to move from a larger home to a smaller one. If you ever feel you absolutely can’t part with anything, consider taking advantage of not only indoor space, but outdoor space as well. Utilize a patio overhang and walls to create an outdoor room in your house.
  2. Plastic bins, plastic bins, plastic bins. They are cheap, affordable, and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Plastic bins can make a world of difference when you are trying to become organized. Additionally, you can buy plastic storage furniture (pick plastic or a synthetic for it’s lighter properties as wooden furniture can often be heavy and hard to move).
  3. A bit of elbow grease and/or home design can ensure that your home has all the necessary qualities to be able to store the large quantities of items that you have collected over the years, but just can’t get rid of. Consider making a storage space under the stairs, for an improvised closet, or use that space in the attic, that otherwise would go unused. Protip: stack heavier boxes/tubs along support beams to ensure that they are well supported, it never hurts to be safe. Also, try and go up into the attic every so often to spray for spiders that may take up residence!
  4. Cabinets with glass windows and shelves, placed strategically throughout the house, allow for an easy display approach. There are many places where these items can be found pre-built and ready to install. Although, if you aren’t handy yourself with tools, you can always hire an expert or friend to install them for you. Having the extra space on a blank wall, for instance, goes a long way toward showing off your collection.

Finally, if you absolutely don’t have space in your home for all of your gear, collected over the years, get a storage unit. One of the easiest ways to avoid having a cluttered house is to spend a bit of money on a storage unit; they vary in size so you can store practically anything. The idea is that you will have it when you need it. Try to pick a unit that is close to where you live, as you may find that you may need quick access to what you’ve stored. Consider storing things which are seasonal: clothes, decorations, and collectibles. Store items that you rarely use, but don’t want to throw away. For more tips and reasons to get a storage unit, visit this website.

How to Childproof your New Home

At Ence, we realize that buying and owning a new home can feel like you’re walking on clouds. That is, until you look down at your 22 month old child, realizing that sometime in the not-too distant future, they will be getting into absolutely everything and anything that they can and possibly hurting themselves in the process. Whether you are new parents or grandparents, here are 5 tips to help ensure that your child won’t be the victim of circumstance. While this list is not all-inclusive, it does contain some great tips for getting started on child-proofing your new luxury home.

Dresser falling on a child

1. babyIs it big and heavy? Anchor it to the wall! Many parents likely feel that their two or four year old toddler couldn’t possibly tip over the heavy television stand, or the book case filled with books. That’s definitely not the case.http://abc7.com/news/anchoring-tv-and-furniture-prevents-tip-over-injury-to-kids/800282/
Every year, over 200 children die because of heavy furniture falling on top of them.
It can happen at any moment. Don’t let your child become a statistic. If you think that the piece of furniture is potentially heavy enough to crush your child, secure it to the wall with an anchor, and secure all televisions to the furniture pieces themselves. For more information on what kinds of furniture should be secured, check out this site here: http://childproofingexperts.com/5-myths-about-furniture-tip-over-injuries

2. Purchase furniture with rounded edges and a sturdy build. Kids are full of energy and it only takes a second of running around a corner, or taking a wrong turn without looking, for the event to turn into a trip to the hospital. If you have furniture with sharp edges, whether it be counter tops or a table, consider either attaching plastic guards over the top, or possibly manually rounding the edges. Your child may still run into the corners, but it is more likely to be a bump that can be healed with a kiss than a cut which requires stitches. Buying furniture that is heavy duty will also reduce the risk of injury as your child gleefully jumps, runs, and otherwise uses the living room furniture as a jungle-gym, while you aren’t looking.

3. If you have small children, cordon off stairwells leading to the second floor or basement. While it is likely every boy’s and girl’s dream to fly, their first experience shouldn’t be down the stairwell. Keep in mind that baby-gates will only work for so long. You may need to upgrade them as your child figures out how to climb or otherwise disable the safety mechanisms that are supposed to keep them at bay.

4. On the subject of safety devices, plug guards, cabinet hooks, door safety handles, and other similar devices can keep a child in the room they are supposed to be in. However, a young child should be supervised at all times. These preventative measures will likely ensure that you won’t have to worry about a child ending up in a room they weren’t supposed to be in.

5. Finally, there is no substitute for education. Educate your children at every opportunity about the various dangers that can be found around the home. While they will assuredly discover many of these dangers on their own, vigilance and education should keep them from trying to inadvertently hurt themselves.

By following these helpful tips, you can avoid many of the stresses that come with being a parent. It is our hope that you and your children safely and happily enjoy living in your Utah luxury home.

6 Interior Design Ideas for Your Dream Home.

Who hasn’t ever dreamed of their “perfect” home and the things that they would love to see inside? At Ence, we don’t just build luxury homes, we build dreams. But a dream can feel pretty empty without filling it with content.
Here are 6 of the coolest design ideas that we could find on the internet, which could transform your custom St. George home (or wherever you may happen to be) into a dream home fit for an emperor.

1. Aquarium Bedsky
Ever dream of falling asleep in an undersea paradise? Well, this gets you just about as close as you might want to be without having to live close to the ocean. For St. George Homes, this is a boon. If you have a bit of money, you could have a custom fish tank made to overhang off your bed. Then you could fill it with a variety of tropical fish (make sure they are compatible!), and drift off to summer in style as you watch the fish lazily swim through the tank.

2. Bookcase stairwell
Bookcases are awesome, but sometimes they can take up much needed space. Solution? Turn your stairwell into a book case. The only problem you may run into on this one is the fact that the stairwell may become one of the most popular spots in the house to hang out!

3. Secret Rooms
Believe it or not, there is a company out there that will install secret rooms into your Utah Luxury Home, if you have a bit of cash. It could be the ultimate getaway or a safe-room in times of trouble. Not a bad investment for a dream home.

4. Under-the-stairs storage.
Ever wonder what to do with all that useless space under the stairs? Why not turn it into extra storage. Install drawers, cabinets, and cupboards to get the most out of the otherwise unused space.

5. Outdoor Cinemas.
A projector, a few pieces of drywall, and a frame on wheels (surrounded by white canvas), can make an excellent, and potentially mobile outdoor cinema. With this, you can break out when the weather gets warmer. Enjoy classics at full blast to attract the neighbors to your door. You are certain to be the talk of the town! Or, at least the neighborhood. This is a great way to get the family together for the evening.

6.Fish-tank pool
Pool installations are a must but if this is going to be a dream home, it needs to be even classier. Install fish tanks around the edges of the pool so that you can literally “swim with the fish.” Alternatively, a small pond just beyond the edge of the pool would work as well, just make sure they have their own separate filters!

We hope you enjoyed some of these ideas presented here. Any one of these ideas can be fulfilling but the important thing to remember is that this is YOUR dream. Figure out something that you would like to see happen, and go for it.

For further information, don’t hesitate to contact us here for more information.