Snow Canyon State Park

Written by on July 6, 2012 in UT Outdoor Adventures - Comments Off on Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon was named after Erastus and Lorenzo Snow, but you won’t find snow in this canyon. In fact, Snow Canyon State Park is a desert wonderland of towering sandstone cliffs, peaks and valleys of jumbled black lava rock, all interspersed with winding sandy washes.

Over 180 million years ago, sand covered much of what is now Utah. The dunes were as high as 2,500 feet. As time passed, more material was deposited on top, crushing the dunes and turning all of it into lovely burnt orange and creamy colored Navajo sandstone. Over time, water, wind and weather shaped the gorgeous canyons the form the park. Then, nearby cinder cones erupted causing lava to flow over and into the canyons. Then new rivers formed carving more canyons through the black lava crust. The contrast between the orange sandstone and black lava is unique.

The Anasazi inhabited the region from 200 A.D to 1250 A.D. and used the canyon for hunting and gathering. Then it became a refuge for the Paiute Indians from 1300 to the mid-1800s. Today, Snow Canyon State Park is a lovely getaway spot for modern-day visitors. It offers 18 miles of hiking trails, a 3-mile paved walking/biking trail, five miles of equestrian trials, technical rock climbing, year-round camping, nature studies, wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities galore. The hiking is particularly spectacular in the park with fascinating trails like Cinder Cone Trail, Petrified Dunes Trail and Three Ponds. Hiking varies from easy to difficult.

Located at the intersection of the Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert and the Colorado Plateau, the park has species unique to this corner of the state. In fact, there are 22 protected species found in the park including peregrine falcons, desert tortoises and gila monsters.

The park offers several picnic areas, modern restrooms, a 33-site campground with showers, drinking water and sewage disposal. The nearby resort town of St. George offers fantastic lodging, hotels and motels as well as first class resorts, plus great dining and shopping.

Other attractions in the area include:
Zion National Park
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim

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