FEATURE — In this episode of “Nielson RV’s Great Adventure Road Tour,” Scott Nielson and St. George News reporter Hollie Reina adventure to Snow Canyon State Park. Though the park is just minutes away from St. George, its towering red cliffs, ancient lava flows and silky soft sand dunes make this destination truly out of this world.
Originally called Dixie State Park, the park was created in 1959 and opened to the public as a state park in 1962. It was later renamed Snow Canyon State Park in honor of Lorenzo and Erastus Snow – two of the areas most prominent early pioneers.
According to information from the park website, Snow Canyon has a long history of human use dating back to A.D. 200 when the Anasazi first used the area for hunting and gathering. Paiute Native Americans used the canyon from A.D. 1200 until the mid-1800s, and in the 1850s, it was discovered by Mormon pioneer settlers while they were looking for lost cattle.
The area has a unique geology of Navajo sandstone, sand dunes and lava flows. The lava flows date back as far as 1.4 million years and as recent as 27,000 years and were formed when cinder cones in the area erupted.
Snow Canyon State Park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, cycling, climbing, camping and more. There are more than 38 miles of hiking trails, a 3-mile paved walking/biking trail and over 15 miles of equestrian trails.
The park offers guided ranger hikes and talks. To learn more about park events and activities visit its website.
Driving directions to Snow Canyon State Park from Bluff Street in St. George
- Follow Bluff Street north to the intersection with Snow Canyon Parkway.
- Turn left on Snow Canyon Parkway and proceed approximately 3.5 miles.
- Enter the roundabout and take the first exit heading north on Snow Canyon Drive.
- Proceed on this road to the south entrance station of the park.
Know before you go
Snow Canyon State Park is a fee area. Entrance for one vehicle with up to eight people is $6 per day. Entrance for seniors, 62 and older, with up to eight people in their vehicle is $3. Entrance for cyclists and pedestrians in groups of up to eight people is $4. Entrance for commercial vehicles or vehicles with nine or more people is $2 per person.
Annual day-use passes for the Utah state parks can be purchased for $75 or $35 for seniors.
Camping fees for nonhookup sites are $20 per night with a $10 per night extra vehicle fee (up to one extra vehicle per site). Fees for hookup sites are $25 per night with a $13 per night extra vehicle fee (up to one extra vehicle per site).
Fees for the Cottontail Group Site: 25 person minimum, 35 person maximum, up to 10 vehicles | $3 per person.
Fees for the Quail Group Site: 25 person minimum, 55 person maximum, up to 20 vehicles | $4 per person.
Day-use fees for the Lower Galoot Day Use area are $60. Reservations and a permit are required.
Dogs on leashes are allowed in the park in select areas, including the campground, on the paved Whiptail Trail and in West Canyon.
Written by HOLLIE REINA, St. George News.
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