Gem of a Park: Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park is just the right size!
Snow Canyon State Park is just the right size!

St George is centrally located making it possible to do day trips to Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. An Ironman Triathlon made driving to Bryce Canyon complicated and we could not shift our spa appointments. Locals raved about Snow Canyon State Park, so we decided to give it a go.

Jake the Snake at the Ranger station at the campground.
Jake the Snake at the Ranger station at the campground.

From the Inn at Entrada on the Northwest side of St George it is just a few minutes drive. You drive past the Ivins roundabout with the beautiful sculptures of mustangs and Paiute Indians. The entrance fee is a modest $8 per car and it allows access all day, so you could plan an early morning hike and then return after dinner for some stargazing from the rocks atĀ Upper Galoot picnic area.

The ranger at the gate gave us lots of good information about the hikes in the park. She also mentioned that if we came across a tortoise, and if it pees out of fear, then we need to bring him to her or the ranger station so they can rehydrate the tortoise. Turns out the only wildlife we saw in the park was Jake the Snake in the ranger station.

The ranger station at the campground is also a gem. It has high quality exhibits and gift shop. Volunteers man the desk and offer good information about the park.

A group hiking on the Petrified Dunes.
A group hiking on the Petrified Dunes.

We went back the next day to hike a little. A group was setting up for a wedding, people were enjoying the campground, and groups of hikers and cyclists were enjoying the trails.

You can easily combine a half day at Snow Canyon State Park and a visit to Kayenta art village and the Xetava Gardens Cafe.

If you think Snow Canyon State Park looks familiar it is probably because it has been used as the setting for many popular films.
If you think Snow Canyon State Park looks familiar it is probably because it has been used as the setting for many popular films.