Have an artful encounter in Kayenta, Utah

Galleries abound in this southern Utah desert oasis

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  • The community is within Ivins, Utah, near St. George and 125 miles northeast of Las Vegas. From St. George, take Old Hwy. 91 west through Santa Clara, then head north on Kayenta Pkwy

    Kayenta map

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1. Gallery hop around the art village: Start at Juniper Sky Fine Art Gallery (851 Coyote Gulch Ct.; 435/674-2306) to shop for paintings, glass, and sculpture by local artists. Other galleries are just steps away: Earth & Light Gallery (435/673-2805) for scenic photography, Datura Gallery (435/674-9595) for jewelry, and Gallery 873 (435/673-6628) for metal art.

2. Get your hands in the clay: At Zia Pottery Studio, take a 2-hour private lesson and learn how to throw a pot. Or shop for original ceramic pieces made by the 17 potters who create their work here. $75 for 2 hours; 833 Coyote Gulch Ct.; 435/688-8300.

3. Alfresco lunch with the locals: At Xetava Gardens Café, try the grilled asparagus with mushroom caviar or the brie-stuffed prawns. On Saturday nights, there’s music on the patio. $$; breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Thu–Sat; 815 Coyote Gulch Ct.

4. A meditative walk: A stroll through the Desert Rose Labyrinth, created by Kayenta locals, is a peaceful way to end the day and catch the sunset. Don’t miss the adjoining sculpture garden dotted with works by the area’s masters. Free; 875 Coyote Gulch Ct.

And while you’re in the area …

Go for a hike:  Snow Canyon State Park, between St. George and Kayenta, is a day-hiker’s paradise. Check out the steep but short Cinder Cone Trail (1.5 miles round-trip) or the moderate Whiterocks Trail (3.75 miles round-trip), with stunning views at the edge of the red rock can-yon. $5 per vehicle; 1002 Snow Canyon Dr., Ivins; 435/628-2255.

Hit a restaurant: For a quick lunch or afternoon pick-me-up, try Twentyfive Main Cafe and Cake Parlor for panini, pizza, pasta, salads, and irresistible cupcakes in flavors like chocolate espresso, peanut butter cup, and vanilla strawberry. $; closed Sun; 25 N. Main St., St. George; 435/628-7110.

Discover an urban oasis: The Santa Clara River ripples through Tonaquint Park, a desert garden in St. George. Learn how to attract wildlife to your yard in a workshop at the nature center (Mar 13; free; registration required; 435/673-3617), or just stroll through the park, keeping an eye out for red-tailed hawks, lizards, and beavers. 1851 S. Dixie Dr.

Where to stay:  Red Mountain Resort & Spa in Ivins has a packed schedule of fitness classes and guided hikes, plus indoor and outdoor pools and a full-service spa. From $199.

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