Before I arrived in St. George, friends raved to me about Snow Canyon, saying there was no way I could leave the area without seeing it for myself. And since I’d only ever really done Zion during my Southwest travels, I committed to visiting Snow Canyon State Park on this Utah trip.
This post was last updated in March 2023.
Where to Stay in St. George, Utah
If you’re going to St. George simply to visit Zion National Park and are on a tight timeline, you’ll want to stay in Springdale. It’s the town that abuts the park, just one mile from its entrance.
Hotels in Springdale
If you’re planning to visit Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Snow Canyon and Kanarra Falls, you’ll want to stay more central to the area in a town like St. George or Hurricane.
Hotels in St. George and Hurricane
Here’s a map of all the hotels in the St. George area
Check current prices below.
Exploring the state parks around St. George
On the first day, we stuck around Sand Hollow State Park for much of the afternoon, jumping off of rocks and taking in the sunset atop Dixie Rock in downtown St. George. The entire second day was spent around Springdale and inside Zion National Park.
But on the third morning, we made a game plan. First up: fuel (obviously).
You know we’re not the type of girls to forgo the possibility of a delicious breakfast—especially when that meal includes crepes, both sweet and savory.
Thanks to Yelp, we located a mid-week breakfast option, The Crêpery, that blew us away. Not only were the crepes on point, but the coffee itself was essentially an AP Science project. Have you ever seen anything like this before?
And did I mention there were swings inside? I was bummed we were on such a tight timeline to return to Vegas because this would have been the perfect way, and place, to spend a lazy summer afternoon.
After breakfast, it was time to continue on into Snow Canyon, which was no more than 15 minutes outside of St. George and breathtaking from the time we reached the entrance. I mean, can you even imagine having vistas like this visible from your own downtown?
About Snow Canyon State Park
While Snow Canyon State Park was technically named for Utah natives Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, I figured it borrowed its name from the parts that look a bit snowier in nature: the sandstone cliffs, if we’re being technical.
Zion is magnificent, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t believe more people don’t flock to Snow Canyon State Park as it boasts 16 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, but also very different terrain from the other rocky surrounds in Southern Utah. And park fees are reasonable: $10 a vehicle for Utah residents, $15 for non-residents.
Additionally, for campers, there are both tent and RV sites if you prefer to stay overnight in the barren wilderness.
For big kids like me, it was just one giant jungle gym with plenty of natural equipment to climb.
Not to mention, perfectly vacant roads just asking for handstands.
For big kids like Bob and me, there were sandy dunes to sprint up and test your endurance.
And for little kids, Snow Canyon is great, too, as there are plenty of wide open spaces in which to run—or toddle.
Visiting a slot canyon
The one thing I hadn’t done prior to this trip was hike into a slot canyon—so that was a top priority. A local blogger had told us there was a hidden one within Snow Canyon, but we couldn’t find hide nor hair of one, so I stopped a trio of sporty-looking gentlemen on bikes who looked like they might know.
“Oh yeah,” one of them told me, “it’s really cool—if you can find it!”
For reference if you’re attempting to get there yourself, it’s somewhere in this very vicinity near the text vaguely marking the petroglyphs. I can’t pinpoint where exactly, as truth be told: We never found it.
We parked in a cul-de-sac at the end of a residential area and set out by foot, then met a couple who told us we were walking the wrong way, so we turned back, followed their step-by-step directions and still didn’t find said slot canyon.
Correction, it may very well have been directly below us, but we couldn’t figure out the entry point. And call me crazy, but I hadn’t packed a carabiner, rope or any semblance of a belay system.
We followed the fence line to make sure we could find our way back out, as both of us were out of cell service range.
Still, whether you locate the slot or not, the whole of Snow Canyon is worth an afternoon of exploration. Because these views—dreamy, right?
And if you do find the petroglyphs in the slot canyon, come back right here and give me directions (preferably, pictorial) so I can follow your lead when next I find myself in St. George (which will be soon, hopefully).
Hiking the Narrows
If you want an easier-to-find slot canyon, then the Narrows is your place. The only problem is that the Narrows being open is entirely dependent on the weather. On several trips, I’d been unable to do the iconic Narrows hike due to it being closed for flooding. But if you hit Utah during a dry spell, this Zion hike is 100 percent worth the trek.
Looking for more St. George travel tips? Try these:
- Everything You Need to Know About Zion National Park
- Want the Best View in Zion National Park? Try Observation Point
- Beyond Zion: Visit These Awesome Parks in St. George
- 7 Tips for Photographing Utah’s Parks
- Sand Hollow: The Red-Tinged Wilderness of St. George
- Canyon Overlook: An Easy Hike for Views Over Zion