Snow Canyon State Park Travel Guide

  • Snow Canyon State Park
    by WinInZion
  • View From Hidden Pinyon Trail
    View From Hidden Pinyon Trail
    by KimberlyAnn
  • Jenny's Canyon - a wall at overlook
    Jenny's Canyon - a wall at overlook
    by WinInZion

Snow Canyon State Park Things to Do

  • Title Johnson Canyon Trail

    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...

  • Jenny's Canyon

    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...

  • Scenic Drive

    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...

  • Flowers and animals

    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....

  • White Rocks trail and amphitheater

    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...

  • Butterfly trail

    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.

  • Lava Overlook Trail

    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...

  • West Canyon Road

    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...

  • Pioneer Registry

    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.

  • Sand Dunes

    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...

  • Johnson's Canyon

    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...

  • SW Utah's Best Kept Secret

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

  • 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...

  • Hidden Pinyon Trail

    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...

  • Lava Flow Overlook Trail To West Canyon...

    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...


Snow Canyon State Park Restaurants

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo
    Dinner at Red Mountain

    by goingsolo Written Jun 12, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Red Mountain Spa serves 3 meals a day, included in the price. Breakfast and lunch are buffets but dinner is a sit down meal.

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Snow Canyon State Park Transportation

  • aussie79's Profile Photo

    by aussie79 Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Salt Lake International Airport is 29 miles from Snowbird Ski Resort. It takes approximately 40 minutes to get to the resort.
    You will need some form of 4-wheel drive transportation. The last time I was there, we encountered avalanches on the road and had to take the long way! There are days chains are required to go up the mountain. Once you are up there, the best way up the mountain is on a chair lift or the tram.

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Snow Canyon State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Know These Rules Before You Hike

    1. Trail heads have designated parking areas, park only in these areas.2. Hike on designated trails only, do not bushwhack across the park or take short cuts cross country. 3. Dogs must be on a leash at all times, and are only permitted in the campground, on the West Canyon road, and the Whiptail trail. 4. Some park trails, such as Jenny’s Canyon...

  • Prevent forest fires or wildfires !!!

    Hope, the officials don’t mind that I place Smokey Bear here to warn of forest fires. But, during all my travels in US I was fascinated of the successful campaign of creating the bear as a “living figure” to give the message to prevent forest fires.So: wherever you are in and around Snow Canyon – be careful when lighting a fire. Don’t throw away...

  • Snow Canyon State Park Hotels

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Snow Canyon State Park What to Pack

  • aussie79's Profile Photo

    by aussie79 Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Your ski gear weighs so much, pack your personal stuff LIGHT!

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: hile skiing only wear one pair of socks. It seems odd to suggest this,
    but actually I have found when I wear more than 1 pair, my feet will
    get too hot, sweat, and then I'll be really cold. That is the worst.
    Make sure to wear lots of layers if the temperature outside is less
    than 25F. Anything warmer than 25F you can get away with only your
    long underwear under your ski pants. A turtleneck is ideal while
    skiing, it helps to avoid snow down your shirt if you fall.
    Make sure your ski jacket has multiple zippers that open up (under the arms, chest, etc) Venthilation is very important while skiing. If you get too hot, again you will sweat. Sweating is bad because it freezes and then you are miserable.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Chapstick, sunblock, lotion. These 3 items are essential. You can actually get a sunburn while skiing so watch out. Windburn is also bad, so keep your moisturizer handy. If you have asthma, do not forget your inhaler. I usually forget mine in the car and then I have to hike back out for it and waste way too much precious skiing time.

    Photo Equipment: If you are a good skiier, you can bring your good camera.....If not, bring a cheap disposable one that you will not cry over if you break it while falling. My uncle has perfected the art of skiing backwards while taking pictures of his kids. It's hard, but can be done.

    Miscellaneous: Some other essentials: warm gloves, warm hat which covers your ears, and neck wrap or scarf, goggles (especially when it is snowing)or sunglasses (make sure you have a strap on your sunglasses or they will get lost when you fall). A waist pack (as dumb as they look, I know) is very helpful while skiing.

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Snow Canyon State Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Zion National Park

    Of course, if you are in Snow Canyon, it is really you who are out of the way, and chances are you have been to Zion National Park already. If not, this popular National Park is about 53 miles northeast of Snow Canyon. Zion has spectacular sandstone cliffs and canyon landscapes that you can explore. The steep, colorful cliffs will tower above you,...

  • Cinder Cone - Outside Snow Canyon

    There is a hike that is part of Snow Canyon yet located outside the main park. We found this in late April 2006 and did it on a fairly warm day. The trailhead is located on RT18, just before the turnoff for Diamond Valley. You park right on the hiway and look for a path of use. This is on the right side of the hiway, heading North. The hike winds...

  • watch the colorful lichens on the rocks

    In Snow Canyon you can watch a lot of colorful lichens everywhere on the rocks.Here, it should be the orange flame lichen (caloplaca ignea) and the yellow gold cobblestone lichen (acarospora / pleopsidium).Take care, don't destroy them, don't step on them, as they grow very slow !!


Snow Canyon State Park Sports & Outdoors

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Snow Canyon State Park, Utah, in January

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Technical climbing of over 170 designated routes is available in the park. See a ranger for a map of climbing areas and route information, as well as a list of seasonal closures. You may also email the park at for information on climbing in the park. If you are interested in taking climbing classes, or doing a climb with a guide, investigate Paragon Climbing. You may visit their web page listed below.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing

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Snow Canyon State Park Favorites

  • When to Visit the Park

    Hiking along the trails within the park may be enjoyed year round; however early spring and fall are particularly popular, as the weather is usually best then, allowing you avoid the hot summers. In the summer daytime temperatures can be too hot to enjoy the park fully, sometimes reaching into the 100s, often leaving early morning as the only...

  • Location of Snow Canyon

    It's said that Snow Canyon is not easy to find - however, it shouln't be that difficult.On the mapquest-made map you can clearly see how to get to there from Saint George:take the 18 (main road in western SGU) north, and simply wait to turn left at the sign.

  • Ivins - the town to get supplies

    If you had missed to get supplies - in Ivins, just south of the park, you will get everything from water, gas, food and even lodging.Plus - it's nicely set against the red navajo sandstone mountain in the background.


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