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Snow Canyon State Park: All You Need to Know

Snow Canyon State Park in Utah is a beautiful park with mild weather and lots to explore, climb, and enjoy. The sandstone cliffs of Utah provide perfect natural scenery for the beauty of the Beehive State.

If you want to surprise your family with a trip that has the perfect mix of adventure and nature, this is the right place. Snow Canyon State Park is one of the most popular parks in Southern Utah. In this complete guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to make the most of your trip.

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Where is Snow Canyon State Park

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If you are wondering where is Snow Canyon State Park, you’ve found the right blog. This park is located in Utah, the exact address for the entrance is 1002 Snow Canyon Dr, Ivins, UT 84738, United States. The park is located in the southwestern part of Utah near the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. If you are planning to stay close to the park, the best city to stay in is St. George because it is just a 30-minute drive.

Snow Canyon State Park Weather & the Best Time To Visit

Checking any information for Snow Canyon State Park weather before your visit is very important and helpful, especially if you are traveling with kids or elders. The best time to visit is during the Spring and Fall because the temperatures are milder, between 80°- 60° and 75°- 50° respectively.

On the other hand, Summer and Winter can sometimes bring more extreme temperatures. Also, the park can become very crowded during summer. Normally during summer the temperature can rise up to 100° and in winter can be as low as 30°. If it’s your first time visiting any Utah Parks, we recommend visiting at the end of the summer, or spring and fall.

What To Do in Snow Canyon State Park

There are many beautiful things about Snow Canyon State Park. Here are some of our favorite activities:

Rock Climbing

Well-known for its incredible rock cliffs, you’ll find from short sports clip-ups to mixed multi-pitch routes in Snow Canyon. With more than 7,100 acres available, rock climbing is one of the top outdoor activities to do here, making the park one of the best areas in Southern Utah. Take a look at these areas and pick your next rock climbing route!

Well-known for its incredible rock cliffs, you’ll find from short sports clip-ups to mixed multi-pitch routes in Snow Canyon. With more than 7,100 acres available, rock climbing is one of the top outdoor activities to do here, making the park one of the best areas in Southern Utah. Take a look at these areas and pick your next rock climbing route!

  • Johnson Canyon : Ideal for trad climbing, this trailthat allows you to descend at the dead end of Johnson Canyon. If you go during the week, it is almost always emptydead so you will have the wall for yourself. These are the coordinations: 37.17970°N / 113.6347°W. You can climb all year long.
  • Hackberry Wash: At this trail, you can do trad and sport climbing. If, if you are coming from St George Utah this is going to be the first crag in the park. Is very close to Jenny Trail, one of the most popular hiking trails in the park. The best time to climb is spring, fall, and winter. 
  • Island of the Sky: This sandstone is located in the middle of Snow Canyon. To reach the top you have ledges, dihedrals, and ramps that will be a huge help. The level of difficulty is moderate and it has an elevation of 3780 ft. There is no easy pathway in this sandstone, be prepared. You can visit any time of the year. 
  • Balkan Dome: One of the shortest routes in Snow Canyon, but is very fun to try. You can reach this part via the Pioneer Names Trail. Everything is covered with sandstone that sometimes makes it harder to climb, so be patient. Is located across the Islands of the Sky, and is an ideal route for sport climbing. The best time to go is summer, fall, and spring. 
  • West Canyon: Probably the most complete trail, because you can not only do trad and sport climbing but also hike! This canyon features 5 routes that range from 5.8 to 5.11c. You can access it via the Three Ponds trail. The coordination is 37.19330°N / 113.6425°W.

View Spectacular Wildlife

Snow Canyon isn’t just famous for its hiking trails, rock climbing walls, and sandstone cliffs but also for its unique wildlife. You can find coyotes, kit foxes, quail and roadrunner, and sometimes tortoises and peregrine falcons in this State Park.

 Millions of people come from across the country to watch leopard lizards, gopher snakes, canyon tree frogs, and sometimes tortoises and peregrine falcons. 

There are thirteen sensitive species protected by law within the park like the Gila Lizard, which is the only venomous lizard in the United States, and it can only be found here. The best time to watch the wildlife is at dawn and dusk. You will have plenty of time to go hiking and observe the wildlife since the park opens at 6:00 am and closes at 10:00 pm. 

Check Out the Petrified Sand Dunes

Enjoy 13.5 acres of beautiful golden sand and beautiful sceneries, have a picnic after exploring the petrified sand dunes at Snow Canyon State Park. Your kids will love it!

Although many people call this place “the Petrified Sand Dunes” trail, and it connected to other hiking trails in the area, this trail by itself is a great place to walk and admire the beautiful scenery it offers. It’s not the easiest to walk along, but it’s considered easy enough to be a kid-friendly place.

The dunes rise nearly 300 feet above the canyon, it probably will take you an hour to reach the top. This whole place extends for  13.5 acres of beautiful golden sand and beautiful sceneries, where you can have a picnic after exploring the petrified sand dunes at Snow Canyon State Park. Your kids will love it!


Snow Canyon is a very popular destination for cyclists due to its cliffs and dunes. It’s considered to be an easy place for biking. Over the years, people have made a list of the best biking trails in Snow Canyon State Park, so here it is:

  • Turtle Wall Trail:  This is a fun trail of 3.8 miles that has an elevation of 465 ft. Better known for how it is often looped with Paradise Rim trail. It’s a singletrack type of trail that will take you approximately 13 minutes to complete.
  • Chuckwalla Trail: Another singletrack trail which can be used in both directions, is not an ideal trail for beginners since it has a moderate level of difficulty. It will take you approximately 5 minutes to complete. 
  • Paradise Rim Trail: A rocky trail that’s more fun when complemented with the Turtle Wall trail. It has several drops downhill and will take you approximately 14 minutes to complete. It has a length of 1.6 miles. 
  • West Canyon Trail: A short tail that can take you less than 3 minutes. It starts with a decent drop if you ride it from North to South so be ready. Recommended for professional or experienced bikers because it’s considered difficult. Be careful, since it’s also a very popular trail for hiking so there may be some foot traffic on the way.
  • Toe Trail: Best mountain biking family trail in the park! It is perfect given its width and flat. Don’t worry that there is just a little elevation, if you and your family are starting in the biking world this is the right one to start. This 1.7 mile singletrack trail is open all year long. 

Admire the Petroglyphs

Can you believe that within Snow Canyon there is an area filled with ancient petroglyphs made by Native Americans millions of years ago? 

Well, you’ll find 4 types of petroglyphs on this site. It’ll be a great opportunity to show your kids something interesting and unique. 

Explore the Lava Tubes

The Snow Canyon State Park Lava Tubes are definitely one of the main attractions in the park, especially if you have kids. This trail is also known as the Lava Flow Trail, pick one of the four lava entrances to start your adventure. While exploring this trail you will be able to admire some of the wildlife of the park like smart birds and desert flowers.

It’s an ideal path for the whole family since it’s easy to traverse. The biggest and more fun tube is located almost at the end of the trail. You can try this 1.7 mile-round hike any time of the year, it is open all year round. 

ATV Rentals

Image from Pixabay

Exploring the park on ATV’s is a must. Many local companies offer ATV rental services with good offers for the whole family. This is a good way to cover a lot of ground and see some of the sights in a fun and exciting way. Just be sure to do it safely and the whole family will enjoy it.


There are a lot of fantastic hikes in Snow Canyon State Park. Check out our full list of the best hikes below.

Top 10 Best Hikes in Snow Canyon State Park

  1. Jenny’s Canyon Trail: One of the favorite trails for kids in the canyon. It’s a very short trail with easy access from the road. It will take you half an hour to complete the hike, but it might take more time if you decide to take time to admire the Snow Canyon Sand Dunes on your way. It’s important that you know that this trail is closed between March 15 and June 1 for habitat protection so check with the local rangers before your trip to check the availability of the trail.
  1. Johnson Canyon Trail: Passing through stream beds, lava flows, and a beautiful canyon this 1.8-mile trail is a grand experience. The canyon is more shaded than many of the other hikes, making it one of the best hikes around St. George for the summer and fall months. It’s a great place to take a rest and enjoy quality time with your family and friends, and it will only take 1 hour to hike it. This trail also has seasonal closures, so check the availability before you plan your trip.
  1. Whiterocks Amphitheater Trail: This trail is under a mile long and provides an excellent view of the red and white sand hills that line the canyon. This is a perfect hike for families with small children because it is short enough to carry them, and still provides spectacular views. It will take you between 45 minutes to an hour to complete it. Also, if you are looking to add a bit more excitement to the hike, many of the ridges are accessible and can be hiked to get a better view of the area. 
  1. Pioneer Names Trail: This trail is accessible from two different parking lots. From the North lot, it is less than a quarter-mile to the end, and the southern lot is a little more than a mile long. The hike takes you to a canyon wall that was written on by early pioneers in approximately 1881. The axle grease writing has been preserved by an arch that hangs over it and provides a reminder of the early settlers in the area. It’s a sandy trail, so make sure to bring a good pair of shoes.
  1. Petrified Dunes Trail: Another one of our favorite kid-friendly hikes in Snow Canyon, this trail offers some of the best views in the park. The hiking trail is relatively well marked, but you’ll definitely want to wander around and explore the unique formations in the area. It’s located in the heart of Snow Canyon State Park. Is one of the most photographed hikes in the canyon because of its unique beauty. We recommend this trail to kids older than 5 because of its moderate difficulty.
  1. Scout Cave Trail: This is one of the longest trails on our list so make sure your kids can comfortably hike for a couple of hours before planning this trip, since it can take you between 1 and 2 hours from start to finish. Depending on the temperature, it can be a little challenging for the younger ones. It’s 4.4 miles long with a little bit of elevation change, so be ready for a challenging hike and bring a lot of water! When you arrive at the cave you will have to scramble up a few rocks where you can then enter and find a little shade and amazing views of the canyon.
  1. Red Sands Trail: A short but fun trail that serves as a connection between other trails like Hidden Pinyon and Petrified Dunes. The rocky and sandy path might be a little challenging but nothing to worry about if you have some hiking experience, plus the unbelievable views are worth it. Don’t forget to bring a big bottle or a few bottles of water because there is almost no shade and can be very hot. There is a sign marking the end of the trail. We don’t recommend this 3.2 miles hike for beginners or kids. 
  1. Cinder Cone Trail: While doing the Cinder Cone Trail you’ll be visiting one of the most ancient and highest volcanoes that exist in the US. Because of the level of elevation, you’ll find a great mix of flora and fauna. It’s of moderate difficulty and it is 1.7 miles in length. The time required to finish this hike will be approximately 2 hours. The level of elevation is up to 500 feet, but once you reach the top you’ll be able to admire the beautiful Snow Canyon and Dammeron Valley. The best time for this trail is from May to October, but it’s accessible year-round.
  1. Butterfly Trail: Probably not as famous as other hiking trails because it’s used more as a connector trail but it features a huge petrified dune and incredible rocks.The level of difficulty is moderate so if you want to try it you must have a little hiking experience. This trail has a length of almost 1.2 miles and it should take between 60-90 minutes to finish.The best time to do it is in spring and fall. We recommend starting in the morning to better appreciate the great views. It’s not a family hike, since it has plenty of uneven surfaces.
  1. Kestrel Trail: One of the differences between this trail is that apart from hiking, you can also traverse it on horseback. It’s considered to be an easy hike. If you’re planning a family vacation hike, the Kestrel Trail becomes a quite convenient and fun alternative. The distance from St. George to this trail is just a 12-minute drive. It’s a trip of 1.2 miles, and the whole family will love it. Start it in the morning so you have some time for more activities like biking or horse riding.

Horseback Riding

Snow Canyon State Park might not be the biggest park in St George, but it has many incredible spots you must see. 

Maybe you want to visit every spot, but it’s a long walk, so having some horseback riding will be the perfect idea for you and your family to enjoy the beautiful views this place can offer. You can find a lot of horseback trails all over the park and companies that offer this service.

Snow Canyon FAQ

Is Snow Canyon State Park worth visiting?

Absolutely! It’s one of the most popular parks in Southern Utah and has so many hidden gems like the Petrified Dunes or Lava Tubes that will blow your mind. It’s a great place to try new outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, horse riding, and camping. Also, it’s normally less crowded than Zion National Park or any other National Park located in Utah.

Are dogs and other pets allowed in the park?

If you’re planning a trip with your furry friend, this is going to make you really happy because you’re allowed to bring them with you! However, they must be on a leash around the campground and they can only accompany you to the Whiptail Trail and the West Canyon Rim Trail. Take into consideration that the leash must be a maximum of six-feet long.

  • Scout Cave Trail : Is a 4.4 mile out and back trail with moderate elevation gain. This trail is a dog friendly hike that includes an eponymous cave. The trail ends at a small cave that hikers can climb up to explore and make some memories with their best friend!
  • Whiptail Trail: This 6 miles trail that has a paved road so your pup can walk comfortably although you must watch out for the bikers and joggers, it’s a mixed trail. The scenery during the trail is very nice.

Are There Any Facilities?

Yes, there are facilities in the area to help you have the full snow canyon experience. There’s a group camping area, a developed campground, restrooms all over the park, showers, and an RV dump station.

Is there a Snow Canyon Entrance Fee

You’ll find different price options for everyone. Check the prices and start planning your next visit:

  • Day-use per vehicle: $10
  • Senior per vehicle: $5
  • Pedestrians or Cyclist for a group of eight: $5

But if you want an annual plan, these are the prices:

  • Annual Snow Canyon Desert Discover Pass(Locals Pass): $30
  • Utah Annual State park*:$75
  • Senior Annual State park*: $35

*This pass allows you year-round access to any Utah state park

Is Snow Canyon in Zion?

No, they are different parks although they are both located in Southern Utah; Snow Canyon is located in Washington Country and Zion National Park is in Springdale. Snow Canyon State Park is not part of Zion, never has been. They are separated by 53 miles approximately. 

Where Can I Watch the Sunrise and Sunset in the Park?

If you want to watch the sunrise or sunset the best way is to do the Snow Canyon Overlook Trail. Is an easy hike that allows you to have one of the best views, ideal to try it with kids because it only has 5 miles and is not a rocky path. Once you reach the overlook, there are several places to enjoy the view. If you are planning to watch the sunset, be careful on your back because it can be very dark in the winter season.

Where To Stay in Snow Canyon State Park


Snow Canyon State Park is known worldwide for its camping!  Have one of the best camping systems of State Parks. With 29 spaces(14 with water & electricity) to park a tent or RV, each space can fit up to 35 guests. The amenities include potable water, hot showers, an RV dump station, BBQ grills, picnic tables, and a visitor center. 

At night if you want to make a bonfire you can! (it’s always recommended to check the regulation, to avoid violating any rules) Also, if you don’t want to leave your furry friend back home you can bring him, they are allowed.

Nearby Hotels

There are a variety of hotels near Snow Canyon State Park. After a day, take a splash in their pools or have a BBQ party, each option will be ideal for any type of group. A few of our favorites are these:

  1. Coral Canyon Resort

If you’re looking for some luxurious private vacation rentals, you should definitely consider the Coral Canyon Resort as an option.

This resort is divided into 2 types of rentals:

  • The Eighth is a collection of luxury private homes with an incredible view of the 8th hole of the Coral Canyon Golf Course. We always recommended it for family reunions or company retreats. All of the homes have gourmet kitchens, BBQ grills, hot tubs, and private pools.
  • Town Center Resort has the best luxury rental homes with up to 6 bedrooms. Most of the homes have private hot tubs, garage parking, private balconies, and custom fire pits.

2. Coral Springs Resort

Another resort located in Southern Utah is Coral Springs Resort, which has suites that are ideal for small or big families. All of the rentals have a unique old-world charm that makes you feel at home.

They have everything from a modern fitness center to an indoor and outdoor pool where everyone can go for a splash. You can also book out one of the tennis courts to enjoy a friendly match at the resort.

3. Estancia Resort

One of the most modern vacation rentals in St George Utah is Estancia Resort. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re planning to visit downtown St George or even the Snow Canyon area.

You’ll find suites with the capacity to fit up to 20 people and all of them have private balconies with BBQ grills. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway in St. George or organizing a family reunion this is the right place for you! With a children’s playground, a big pool, and pickleball courts, there is always something to do.

4. Coral Ridge Resort

Is a group of luxury vacation rentals located in the north end of St George. All their guests enjoy access to the clubhouse and a shared pool, where you can spend your days relaxing during the summer.

Each property has a unique style and design. That’s why we love to show off the features of each property. Take a look to see what fits you best! Learn more here.

Final Thoughts

Snow Canyon State Park is truly one of the most beautiful places in all of Utah, and perhaps even the world! Southern Utah is a well-known location for outdoor activities and Snow Canyon should be on any outdoor lover’s list, whether you visit with friends or family. Let us know which is your favorite activity to do in the park!

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