Episode 8 Jessi Bang Banner Webpage Locals Know Best

LKB 008: Exploring Southern Utah’s Most Beautiful Hidden Gems

(Last Updated On: December 21, 2020)

Introduction to the Episode

Jennys Canyon

Welcome to the eighth episode of Locals Know Best! I’m your host, Cindy. I’m a full-time RVer and lover of all things travel-related. Years of adventuring on the road have taught me one fundamental lesson; locals ALWAYS know best! Every episode of this podcast will dive into one local’s perfect day of outdoor adventure in their town!

In this episode, I’ll be speaking with Jessi Bang, who will be introducing us to some of the lesser-known gems that exist beyond Zion National Park in Southern Utah.


Join Jessi and me on a tour of Southern Utah’s lesser-known hidden gems. We talk about everywhere you should go, after visiting Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Wave!

Listen to the Episode

Click here to listen to this episode of Locals Know Best!

About Jessi Bang

Jessi at Snow Canyon in Southern Utah

Visit Jessi’s Blog – The Rambling Raccoon

Jessi Bang is a blogger, adventure-lover, and dog mom, based in beautiful Southern Utah. She’s known for encouraging people to get outside and experience the beauty around us! She’s an avid hiker, outdoor lover, and traveler! If you’re looking for some fantastic places to hike in Southern Utah, be sure to check out her blog and social media channels at The Rambling Raccoon! She always outlines all the details you need to get the best experience possible.

What We Cover in This Episode

  • A mountain that draws people to the area.
  • The best time of year to visit southern Utah.
  • Hidden gems beyond Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • The best place to stay near Zion National Park.
  • A beautiful art garden in the area.
  • The most underrated State Park in Southern Utah, complete with slot canyons and petrified dunes!
  • The best southern Utah picture spots.
  • A beautiful photo spot perfect for toddlers.
  • A gas station where you can find the best healthy food in the area.
  • What you should know about droning etiquette.
  • How to go about hiking into a dormant volcano in southern Utah.
  • Where to find the best sushi in St. George.
  • How to find the one nightlife spot in St. George.
  • Everything you need to know about obtaining and drinking alcohol in Utah.
  • One VERY POPULAR southern Utah adventure that’s worth skipping, and where you could go instead, to get an even BETTER experience.
  • And what you should know about Leave No Trace etiquette and not being a “trash human.”


There’s a huge red mountain that’s literally called Red Mountain, that I live underneath, and I was just drawn to this mountain. I came to visit my parents, and I cried the whole way home to Vegas because I didn’t want to go back. I just felt like I was supposed to be here. And it’s kind of crazy because I’ve talked to quite a few people who’ve had the same experience. There’s just some type of energy I can’t explain in these red rocks, and I just, I love it.

Jessi Bang

I think most people that come visit the area go to Zion, maybe Bryce Canyon. There’s a few places that are very popular, and they’re popular for a reason because they’re beautiful. I just think it’s really important to showcase the other places most people don’t really know about because they’re hidden gems, and they’re amazing.

Jessi Bang

Just disclaimer: If you go to any place I tell you to go to, just don’t be a trash human because I just can’t handle it. Don’t ruin these spots for everyone.

Jessi Bang

…Don’t be a garbage human. Don’t carve on rocks. Don’t spray on rocks. Don’t leave trash. Just go, take pictures, leave footprints, and leave it for everybody else to enjoy.

Jessi Bang

Come visit. Come explore. It’s gorgeous. It’s breathtaking. And no matter how many times I even see the same place, I still am just in awe when I’m sitting there and looking at these views. And it’s just, it’s a magical place. It’s beautiful. And I truly do believe that being outside is the best therapy in the world, especially with what’s going on in the world right now. Just get outside. Get outside, get fresh air, hike, enjoy views. Just be. That’s the best part about Southern Utah.

Jessi Bang

Jessi’s Southern Utah Travel Itinerary Map

Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode

Where to Stay in Southern Utah:

Southern Utah Lesser-Known Outdoor Destinations, Beyond Zion, Mentioned in this Episode:

Southern Utah Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode:

Thanks for Listening!

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6 thoughts on “LKB 008: Exploring Southern Utah’s Most Beautiful Hidden Gems”

  1. Loved listening to this podcast! I live in that neck of the woods! Everything that was discussed…I say Amen. I totally agree with Jessie. Great podcast!

  2. Locals really do know best don’t they!? Well…they do if they are the locals who like to get outside and explore their backyards.

    I feel the same way Jessie does about some of the non famous places near where we live. I wish more people would look beyond the *most* famous spots…but at the same time, when they find the non-famous gems, I just don’t want them to get trashed!

    1. They do!! Thanks so much for listening! And yes, I hope everyone visits and respects every spot we ever talk about on the podcast!

  3. Pingback: One Day in Zion National Park: A Spectacular Park in Utah - Homeroom Travel

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