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At nearly two miles in elevation, Brian Head Town offers a delightful and unexpected treat for visitors: A cool, green, alpine respite from the summertime heat of southern Utah's world-famous red-rock country.

In other words, Brian head provides the perfect altitude adjustment.Hundreds of miles from the state's better-known northern mountains, Brian Head sits at a base elevation of 9,600 feet above sea level, making it Utah's loftiest municipality. At 11,307 feet, Brian Head Peak is the highest point for miles and provides a stunning vantage point, accessible by car, from which visitors can acquaint themselves to the terrain.

Long popular in winter as Utah's southern-most ski resort, Brian Head has in recent years become a summertime mecca for mountain biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding and solitude-seeking, as well as a convenient home base from which to explore nearby national parks and attractions such as Cedar City's renowned Shakespearean Festival and St. George's new Tuacahn Center for the Arts.

As many mountain bikers have found, the awesome scenery, diverse terrain and comfortable summer temperatures have quickly made Brian Head one of the West's premier mountain biking destinations. This same terrain makes for great horseback rides, hiking, fishing, bird watching, nature walks and simple relaxing.

Cedar Breaks National Monument is just five minutes from Brian Head and Utah's spectacular Bryce and Zion national parks are an hour-and-a-half to two hours' drive away.

An extensive and sophisticated network of single and double-track biking trails has begun to attract the attention of mountain bikers worldwide. The trails around Brian Head offer a wide variety of scenery and technical levels for bikers of all abilities.

A mile-long chair lift, world-class mountain bike park and convenient shuttle service enhance the mountain biking experience. Riders are transported from Brian Head Town to the top of Brian Head Peak, where they have their choice of several long and short rides of various difficulties. Vans retrieve weary bikers from several destinations for a comfortable ride back to Brian Head Town.

But bikes aren't the only way to take in the incredible views. Guided nature walks and hikes are offered every Saturday morning by a ranger from the Dixie National Forest. Participants can enjoy the local flora and fauna and are likely to learn a thing or two. Local tour operators also conduct llama treks, horseback rides, pack trips and fly fishing clinics and tours.