A few weeks ago we travelled to St. George, Utah for a Spring Break trip. It was so nice to get out of the house for a bit and warm up! The weather was a gorgeous 60-70 degrees most days and the red rocks are always stunningly beautiful. Like many of our trips, we spent part of our time hiking and biking in the local state park. Snow Canyon State Park is just a few miles north of St. George and is sure to provide at least a few hours of fun for you and your family.
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Snow Canyon State Park
Named for early Mormon pioneers, Snow Canyon became a Utah State Park in 1958. The road through the park is a mere 4 miles long. Despite its small size, the park contains a variety of geological features such as red and white sandstone, sand dunes, lava tubes, and lava rock. The park is 11 miles north of St. George, Utah making it very accessible.
My family loves camping and were a bit sad that we decided not to stay camp during our visit. Snow Canyon has some incredible amenities for campers. There are 14 RV sites which include water and electrical hook-ups, 10 standard campsites, and 2 group campsites. The campground offers drinking water for all, hot showers, flush toilets, a sewage disposal station for RVs. Fires are not permitted June 1 – September 15 due to the fire danger of the area, so plan accordingly.
All camping reservations can be made online through ReserveAmerica. I highly recommend reserving a spot if you plan to camp. We had considered camping here for our Spring Break in March however we were unable to reserve a spot. Three weeks before our trip, all the spots were full.
Despite the small size of this state park, there are quite a few hiking trails. Most of the trails are 2 miles or less which is perfect for little kids, families, or those just getting into hiking. Even more spectacular is the variety of terrain offered. Red rock cliffs, sand dunes, petrified sand dunes, the white sandstone, and lava fields can be seen in Snow Canyon.
No matter which trails you choose, make sure you have plenty of water (it is a desert after all), stay on the trails, and wear proper clothing. Also, make sure the trail you are hiking is open. Some of the trails are closed throughout the year. Know before you go!
3. Horseback Riding
While at the park, try horseback riding. If you have never been on horseback, this is a great opportunity! The guide will point out desert plants, wildlife, and the backdrops of several western movies. Reservations are required if you plan on riding.
This park is a great place to bring your family for biking. Trails of all abilities can be found in Snow Canyon. The Whiptail Trail is a 6 mile paved trail that winds through the park. We chose to bike on the West Canyon Road, a 7-mile gravel maintenance road that leads to the mouth of the White Amphitheater.
Several of the other trails can also be biked. Consider combining several trails to make the most of your biking adventure.
5. Play in the Sand Dunes
The sand dunes were a favorite in our family. The kids could have spent hours rolling down the sand and making sand pyramids. Who knew! The red color was striking and simply walking across the sand was pretty incredible. If you have several younger children, bring sand toys!
When we visit state or national parks, we generally choose to have a lunch picnic. For us, it doesn’t make sense to go back to the nearest town for lunch (sometimes it’s hours away) and I love taking some time to really look around. There are three places throughout Snow Canyon that have picnic tables.
7. Group Hikes
Throughout the year, rangers lead a variety of group hikes. Group hike opportunities include moonlit hikes, star walks, nature sketch hikes, and sunset hikes. Space is limited for all of these events and reservations are required. To see the upcoming events, click here.
If any of these activities are for you, click on one of the links below for more information. For fee based activities such as horseback riding or camping, prices are subject to change without notice.
The absolute best resource for any park is their website. Utah does an amazing job of keeping their state park websites up to date with lots of helpful information. To learn more about Snow Canyon State Park, visit www.stateparks.utah.gov/parks/snow-canyon.
Camping reservations can be made in advance for all sites. If you are hoping to reserve a spot, you can book online through Reverse America.
Have you been to Snow Canyon? I love that this park is so close to St. George. It allowed us to stay in a hotel, but still explore the outdoor wonders.