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  • Writer's pictureElaine Sison

6 Reasons why Snow Canyon State Park is worth seeing

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Snow Canyon State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Southern Utah and highly recommended for families. The park is filled with hidden gems and lesser crowds compared to the neighboring popular national parks such as Zion and Bryce Canyon. It may not compare to Utah's national parks, but Snow Canyon has its own flair as a unique travel experience. My first thought when I arrived in the park was: I need to cycle here one day. The park offers a perfect biker's haven with a shared road for cyclists with a clear path (just watch out for tortoises. Yup, tortoises.) Visitors can also go hiking, camping, and canyoneering too. Here are six reasons to visit Snow Canyon State Park.

Note: I came in mid-October and it happened to be the windiest day, so I opt to do easy and family-friendly activities.

1) Petrified Dunes

You’ll find unique geology of sandstones and sand dunes that turned into stone over periods of environmental changes caused by rain and lava.

  • Difficult rating: easy-moderate

2) Jenny’s Canyon

A family-friendly trail with a mini slot canyon. I even saw a family do a whole professional photoshoot in the slot canyon.

  • Difficulty rating: Easy

  • Distance: 0.5 miles

3) Sand Dunes

As you drive further into the park, you'll find a giant sandbox with mini dunes. I imagine kids would love rolling and playing here. It’s a great place for epic photography and kids would love playing here! No hiking is necessary.

  • Difficulty rating: Easy

4) Lava Flow Trail

The Lava Flow Trail is remnants of a volcanic eruption that happened long ago with a trail allowing you to walk through a former lava field and lava tubes.

  • Difficulty rating: moderate

  • Distance: 1.4 miles

5) Enjoy the Scenic Drive

As soon as you drive into the park, tall mountains and terrains will surround you along the route.

Travel tip: Be sure to stick to the 25 mph speed limit to protect the desert tortoises crossing the road.

6) Spot desert tortoises

Desert tortoises can be spotted during your hikes or on the roads. There’s a reason why the park enforces a 25-mile speed limit because of these precious creatures. Hundreds of animals are killed on the roadway by speeding cars and the Mojave Desert tortoises are already threatened. If you do see a tortoise on the road, stop your car and slowly approach the tortoise to pick up with both hands. Safely carry it across the road in the direction it was heading no more than 100 feet from the roadway.*

*Snow Canyon State Park brochure instructions.

If you have extra time in St. George, UT, or a neighboring city, I recommend coming to Snow Canyon State Park. There is an entrance fee for residents and non-residents, but keep in mind that the annual national park pass is not accepted because Snow Canyon is a state park.

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Elaine is a California Bay Area native who now lives in San Diego, CA as a remote marketing project manager by day and a travel content creator.

Elaine created PureTrips for adventurers who are looking for travel guides and hiking tips to create memorable experiences.

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