Snow Canyon State Park Things to Do

  • Jenny's Canyon - a wall at overlook
    Jenny's Canyon - a wall at overlook
    by WinInZion
  • Off 18 North, not in the Main Canyon
    Off 18 North, not in the Main Canyon
    by WinInZion
  • A wash just North of the N Entrance off 18.
    A wash just North of the N Entrance off...
    by WinInZion

Most Recent Things to Do in Snow Canyon State Park

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    Title Johnson Canyon Trail

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Mar 16, 2014

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    View Along the Johnson Canyon Trail
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    Johnson Canyon is one of the trails within the park that is only open seasonally. Usually this trail is closed annually from March 15 to September 14. An easy, two miles trail, with some rocky slopes and steps. This trail winds through ancient lava flows and red sandstone rocks to a sheltered canyon, and an arch spanning 200 feet, which can can be seen high up on one of the red rock walls.

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    Jenny's Canyon

    by Segolily Updated Dec 31, 2010

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    The one mile round trip hike into this small slot is closed at times due to its being prime desert tortoise habitat. It is dedicated to Jenny, a local woman who loved this little spot of heaven.

    It is a short hike, only about a mile long, but it can be very hot in the summer. Be sure to bring water.

    There is a small slot in between two fins of rock as well as an overlook up a little higher than the rest of the valley.

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    Scenic Drive

    by Segolily Updated Dec 31, 2010

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    There is one road that goes through the park. Even if you don't get out of the car (but you will) the short 3 mile drive is scenic and worth the detour.

    If you enter from the south you will pass into a valley rimmed by red sandstone cliffs. Climbing up the valley you pass flows of lava, small slot canyons, sand dunes, rock hills and habitat for the desert tortoise and eventually just outside the canyon and park the remains of the cinder cones that provided the lava flows.

    It is a beautiful place. Not big enough to compete with the nearby National Parks, but just as wonderful in its own smaller way.

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    Flowers and animals

    by Segolily Written Dec 31, 2010

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    Gambel quail
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    There is more than just geology here.

    There are plenty of desert plants. Adapted to the harsh conditions of hot summer days, cold winter nights and very little water the plants are typical of the Great Basin and Mohave desert ecosystems of which Snow Canyon is a part.

    There are the animals and birds. The Desert Tortoise is an endangered species. They are elusive, but can be glimpsed once in awhile. The road runner, desert hare, gambel quail, fox, numerous lizards and more leave their mark if you can't see them.

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  • Segolily's Profile Photo

    White Rocks trail and amphitheater

    by Segolily Updated Dec 31, 2010

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    You can get to this trail from hwy 18 outside the park. While most of the park is composed of the red Entrada sandstone, at the north end of the park the white Navajo sandstone crops up.

    Similar to what is found further east in Zions the white sandstone has crosshatches of petrified sand dunes. The trail leads to a small natural amphitheater. There was a small waterpocket, and old dam, and quiet.

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  • Segolily's Profile Photo

    Butterfly trail

    by Segolily Written Dec 31, 2010

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    sand sage
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    This is one of my favorite parts of the park. Nothing huge or incredible to see, it is a quiet little stroll through the desert. You are surrounded by huge sand sage, grasses and petrified dunes, the trail is easy to follow and mostly sandy except when it crosses the rock dunes.

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  • Segolily's Profile Photo

    Lava Overlook Trail

    by Segolily Written Dec 31, 2010

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    I like to start here and walk down canyon to the Butterfly trail making around a 2 mile hike. This works if you can do a shuttle.

    The Lava trail takes off across the top of the old lava flow. There are great views of the canyon and numerous lava features including an old collapsed lava tunnel.

    You can continue on to the West Canyon trail, hike up to the White Rocks trail or take a short detour to the top of a sandstone hill for even better views of the incredible scenery.

    If you continue to the Butterfly trail you are heading downhill.

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  • Segolily's Profile Photo

    West Canyon Road

    by Segolily Written Dec 31, 2010

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    From above
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    This is a fairly level dirt road (400 ft gain) off limits to motor vehicles. In the mornings you'll see runners and bikers taking this 4 mile scenic trail for fun and exercise. Hikers are not as common, but it is another great way to enjoy this canyon. It intersects with several of the other hikes and can be made into a longer hike and tour of the rest of the park.

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  • Segolily's Profile Photo

    Pioneer Registry

    by Segolily Updated Dec 31, 2010

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    This short trail takes you past a small arch along a sandstone cliff, past tangles of mesquite and creosote to a panel of names that some pioneers made.

    It is a nice desert stroll. Look for animal trails, wildflowers and listen for bird calls.

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    Sand Dunes

    by Segolily Written Dec 31, 2010

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    There is plenty of sand in the canyon. A finely textured, soft coral colored sand. At one point it has gathered into dunes. It is a great place for the kids to play. Not in the hot summer time though then the sand is too hot to touch.
    There is a picnic area where we ate breakfast. This area is one reason why I love picnics. It allows you to stop and just enjoy for a short time.

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  • Segolily's Profile Photo

    Johnson's Canyon

    by Segolily Updated Dec 31, 2010

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    This is the only source of water in the canyon and is closed for part of the year to allow the desert animals a chance to get the water they need uninterrupted, since many of them are elusive and avoid human contact.

    Even during the time it is closed however you can take a ranger led hike (during the heat of the day) when the animals are less likely to be out. We were lucky enough to be able to go on the ranger hike. Only one other family was there so it was pretty easy to ask questions and get personalized info.

    It is a 2 mile level and easy hike. It leads first across the valley floor where you can see trails of animals, sand sage, and lava flows. Then you reach a small fin and head up the narrow canyon and it gets a little cooler under the shade of the cottonwood trees.

    High up on the right wall is Johnson's Arch. At 200 ft across this is no wimpy thing. But it is hard to see and difficult to grasp the full significance of its size.

    At the end of the box canyon are high red cliffs and a perennial spring. This would have been a favorite camping spot in years gone by, but now you can only spend a short time enjoying the quiet and peacefulness of the canyon.

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  • WinInZion's Profile Photo

    SW Utah's Best Kept Secret

    by WinInZion Updated Feb 27, 2008

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    Clouds over Snow Canyon
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    Not much to say about this awesome park. Spend a nite in St George and a day at Snow Canyon

    There are several easy hikes here. I've done Johnson Arch, Three Ponds and played on the petrified dunes and in the Lava beds

    Johnson Arch trail is outside the south entrance in the parking area. This is a must do and it's flat and easy. Ask the ranger on duty if you can't find it.

    A real nice walk is to park at Upper Galoot and just walk back into the hills. I've been in this area several times and I like the solitude and the rock formations. This is easy and has never been crowded when I've been there.

    Three Ponds is a little more difficult. You'll be walking in a stream bed and it's exposed and sandy. I like this when the weather is cool, I would not do it in the Summer.

    Just parking in any of the areas and walking around is a lot of fun. Spectacular scenery in any direction. Enjoy!

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  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Whiptail Trail

    by KimberlyAnn Written Apr 18, 2007

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    View From the Paved Whiptail Trail

    Whiptail Trail is wheel chair friendly, and a wonderful place to take a leisurely bicycle ride through Snow Canyon. This trail stretches three miles in one direction, so you can get a 6 mile ride if you ride the trail in both directions. This is also a nice easy walking or jogging path. Although there are some slopes, this paved trail is mostly level, following along the canyon bottom.

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    Hidden Pinyon Trail

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    Hiking the Pinyon Trail
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    Hidden Pinyon Trail is rated moderate, and is one and a half miles long. You walk over rocky slopes and natural rocks along a path that is sandy, sometimes to the point that it is almost similar to walking on a beach. The description of this trail stated that there were drop offs, but I thought the drop-offs were pretty mild. This is a self-guided nature trail and is a good introduction to the geological features of the park, as well as the native plants that live in the park’s desert environment. The trail is shaped something like a balloon, with the first part like the string, followed by a loop (the balloon part), leading back to the string like part of the trail, then back to the parking area. Hidden Pinyon may be our favorite hike in the park. The rock formations, mountains,and colors were beautiful. The trail is called Hidden Pinyon because near the end there is a sign that there is a hdden pinyon tree present, can you find it? My husband didn’t see it, but I spotted it. But the tree isn’t the reason to hike this trail, rather it’s the beauty of the area.

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  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Lava Flow Overlook Trail To West Canyon Overlook

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    Along the Lava Flow Overlook Trail

    The Lava Flow Overlook and Trail will lead you along some rocky slopes and uneven surfaces, giving the trail a rating of moderate. You will pass through ancient lava flows, and a few junipers. Take the short spur to West Canyon Overlook, where the trail leads to views looking down into the deep canyon. We turned around at this point, making our trip about three quarters of a mile, but you can follow the trail farther to the White Canyon Road, or make a loop of the trail by taking the Whiterocks Trail back to Hwy 18, then walking along the park road back to the parking area for the Lava Flow Overlook Trail.

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