Close to Campus: Snow Canyon

After weeks of fickle weather conditions in Cedar City, it can be difficult to plan local outdoor excursions. Luckily, St. George offers a more temperate climate perfect for exploring beautiful red rocks like the ones found in Snow Canyon State Park.

Snow Canyon is a scenic wilderness of sandstone mountains and lava flow tunnels located a few miles off I-15. The 7,411 acres offer activities for all ages, including hiking, camping, equestrian riding and ranger programs.

With over 38 miles of trails, visitors have the option of 12 different marked paths to hike. Individuals can also opt for a stroll or bike ride down the three-mile paved road though the surrounding walls of red rock.

IMG_8554The Snow Canyon hiking trails range in difficulty and contain a variety of views. From petrified sand dunes to arches and caves, the park is a perfect place to explore the different terrains of southern Utah. All hiking trails can be found here.

One of the unique features on the park is the Pioneer Names Trail. The short crescent-shaped path takes hikers to a canyon wall covered in the names of St. George settlers and Pioneers dating back to 1881.

As a part of Red Cliffs Desert Reservation, Snow Canyon is surrounded by hundreds of different habitats and a wide range of wildlife. While exploring the scenery, it is likely to spot cottontail rabbits, gopher snakes, the endangered desert tortoise or over 100 other species.

The day-use fee for entering the park is $10 per vehicle or $5 per pedestrian/cyclists. Pets are allowed in the park but must be kept on a leash. Some trails do not allow animals and visitors are responsible for checking trailhead signs before beginning on the trail.  

There are several small campgrounds in Snow Canyon that are open year round. Non-hookup sites are $20 per night or $25 with a hookup trailer. Group overnight camping is permitted in marked locations only and vary in price depending on the campsite.

Snow Canyon State Park is located at 1002 N. Snow Canyon Road in Ivins. Driving directions can be found on the park’s website. For more information, call 435-628-2255.

Story By: Ansleigh Mikesell
Photos By: Christopher Dimond