St. George, Utah – Snow Canyon State Park


What? :

Snow Canyon State Park is a 7,400-acre scenic park featuring desert red-rock sandstone canyon and cliff walls, it was created in 1959 and opened to the public in 1962. Located in the red-rock valley just out of St. George, it offers some 16 miles of hiking trails, technical rock climbing, biking, and horseback riding.

The Navajo sandstone, red and white colors are the dominant rock in the park you can also find here lava flow basalt fields that are results of nearby cinder cones eruption.



Blogs on nearby locations:



Where? :

The park is located 14 minutes away from St. George Utah.

From St. George that is located on I-15 take Snow Canyon Parkway and proceed approximately 3.5 miles, turn right onto Snow Canyon Drive. Follow this road to the south entrance of the park.

If you are driving on highway 18 there is a north entrance, 11.3 miles north of St. George and I-15.


Google Map Link



When? :

The park is open year-round.

The desert climate with only 7.5 inches of rain per year. Winter temperatures average lows 30 °F and highs around 55 °F. You can experience very high summer temperatures of around 100 °F.

My recommendation is to visit here between October and April when it is not so hot. Winter month can be cold, but it is not seldom receiving snow, and it is open year round.



Due note 1: Open hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, Fee for Non-resident is $15 per vehicle. You will get a good trail map at the gate; cell service may be limited at the park.


Due note 2: Most of the trails are exposed to the sun and during late spring trough summer the temperatures here are high. Try to come early in the morning or late at the afternoon. Wear sunscreen and a hat.


Due note 3: Although trails are not long, when it is hot bring a lot of water with you.


Due note 4: There are several day-use picnic areas in the park.


Due note 5: Snow Canyon is a designated trail park. This means that off-trail hiking is not allowed.


Due note 6: All the trails in the park are dog friendly. Dogs are required to be always on a leash.


Due note 7: Cycling is one of the best ways to experience Snow Canyon State Park, there is a long trail crossing the park along the road so you can drive in, hike in the park, and then ride out using your bike.


Due note 8: The small campground is in the middle of the park just off the main road. It offers tent and RV sites (up to 40 feet), including some with electrical and water hookups. Reservations through ReserveAmerica online. There are restrooms and Showers.


Due note 9: The park boundaries extend northeastward across State Route 18 to encompass two cinder cones along the western edge of Diamond Valley. You can climb one of them, but we did not had the time to do this hike during our visit, probably next time.


Due note 10: This park and its hikes are “family friendly”, most hikes are easy, short, and can be done by kids, you can also enjoy playing at the sand dunes as well as several picnic locations for lunch. Hikes outside the bike/hike paved trail are not for stroller.


Due note 11: Although not overcrowded as the national parks this state park is popular by tourist and locals so do expect to see here many other visitors here. This is not so much the park for finding secluded atmosphere…


Due note 12: There is no food available or gas in or near the entrance of the park, you can find tap water in the main park facilities area.


Due note 13: There is a small visitor center near the campground, here you can learn more about the park and get advice / recommendation for preferred hike.



My thoughts:

I visit south Utah many times and this was the first time I went to Snow Canyon State Park. Utah is known for The Big Five National Parks (Zion, Bryce, Capitol Riff, Canyonlands, and Arches) and this is one of those parks that is overlooked by people traveling to Utah but if you have one day extra to spend, I guaranty you will not regret enjoin in St. George surrounding.

When we came here it was already after 10am and we enjoy it very much.



The Visit:

Located in the red-rock valley just out of St. George, it offers some 16 miles of hiking trails, technical rock climbing, biking, and horseback riding.

The Navajo sandstone, red and white colors are the dominant rock in the park you can also find here lava flow basalt fields that are results of nearby cinder cones eruption.


During our short 3 hours visit we did not manage to explore all what the park has to offer, next time we should plan for longer time and even overnight stay in the campground.



Hikes We did in the park:

Jenny's Canyon:

A very short hike leading from the road to the nearby red cliffs and hidden narrow short canyon.

From the roadside trailhead, head east and cross the sandy lower section, pass the dry wash, and follow the trail until you reach the canyon open on your left.

The canyon is narrow, and the wall are getting closed as you progress until you reach the end.

When you are going out on the canyon opening when the trail going back to your right on your left there is a short trail that climb up to a scenic overlook.



Hidden Pinyon

This trail will take you through small valleys between the red rocks and boulders, it is 1.5 miles moderate loop trail.

Overall, the hike is not long, and you do not have a lot of climbs, so it is not challenging hike.

The trail start at the parking lot just off the main road, south of the park campground. You can also start your hike from the campground.

From the parking lot cross the paved bike/hike trail and start to hike the sandy singletrack trail. The trail is following the sandy area between the to rocky boulders segments on both sides. You will continue on the trail and soon you will get to a trail junction.

Here I recommend turning left.

From here the trail heading west and crossing the small sand section.

At the rocks the trail find it way below the boulders to another “hidden” canyon. Here the trail will head north.

Keep hiking, following the clear trail and after a short walk you will reach a trail junction.

If you will walk right (south) you will go back to the trail starting point, but I do recommend turning left and visit the Hidden Pinyon Lookout that is on the hill to your left.

Turn left and at the next marked trail junction turn left and walk up to the viewing point that is located on the large black boulders.

From this 360-degree viewing point you can see the rocks below you, the Petrified Sand Dunes section of the park to the north, and the Tree Pound Trail leading to a side canyon.

After your rest at the overlook, you will walk back down and retrack your direction south in the general direction of the starting point. At some point you will see the bike/walk paved trail near you on your left, you can keep walking on the trail you hiked up or find the connecting trail and walk down on the paved trail.



Snow Canyon Scenic Overlook:

This is probably the most beautiful viewpoint overlooking the park from above.

To get to this viewpoint you need to exit the park from it north exit to highway 18. Turn right (south) in the direction of St. George.

Drive exactly 0.9 mile on the road south and you will see a clear exit on your right in the direction of the park.

If you are coming from St. George on highway 18 this sideroad is located 6.4 miles from the intersect with Snow Canyon Pkway.

Take this side trail, it can get a little rough, but it is short and passable to any type of vehicle.

Reach the overlook at the end of the trail.

From here you will get the best view of the park below you, the road crossing the park, and the canyons towers on the far side of Snow Canyon Park.



Link to the park trails guides:


Recommended additional hikes that we did not had time to do:

·         Johnson Canyon

·         Sand Dunes

·         Petrified Sand Dunes

·         Red Sands

·         Lava Flow

·         White Rocks

·         Diamond Valley Cinder Cone








Additional Pictures: