Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Like Zion National Park? You’ll LOVE Snow Canyon in Utah

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Before I arrived in St. George, Jade, Bob and Augustine had done a morning hike in Snow Canyon. They raved about the scenery—Augustine, in particular—and said there was no way I could leave the area without seeing it for myself.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret
Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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, just before Jade and I left town to catch our flight to Panama City Beach, we made a game plan. First up: fuel (obviously).

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret
Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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?

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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.

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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?

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

While the 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.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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 it’s just $6 a car for day use, too.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Additionally, for campers, there are both tent and RV sites if you prefer to stay overnight in the barren wilderness.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

For big kids like me, it was just one giant jungle gym with plenty of natural equipment to climb.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Not to mention, perfectly vacant roads just asking for handstands.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

For big kids like Bob, there were sandy dunes to sprint up and test your endurance.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret
Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

And the littlest of kids like Augustine will be pretty happy doing anything. (It’s nice when your travel companions are so agreeable, plus cute to boot.)

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

The one thing I did not get to do in Zion due to an unexpected rain storm was go into a slot canyon (even if I’d been able to, the famed Narrows were still closed). How have I been to all 50 states, 100+ countries and never been in a slot canyon? Your guess is as good as mine. 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.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

“Oh yeah,” one of them told me, “it’s really cool—if you can find it!”

A series of directions from the cyclists and some Google Mapping later, and we were near where we heard this slot canyon was located—just west of Highway 18, south of Snow Canyon en route back to St. George.
Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret
Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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.

Everywhere we looked, the terrain looked the same. You can see how one might get easily lost.
Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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.

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

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).

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret
Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Snow Canyon State Park: St. George, Utah's Best-Kept Secret

Looking for more St. George travel tips? Try these:

Looking for more St. George travel tips? Try these:

 

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Zion Day Trips: Snow Canyon in Utah

COMMENTS
  • June 23, 2016

    These pictures are to die for! Just gorgeous! I have travelled all along the USA’s east coast, but I am itching to explore the western side of things 🙂

  • June 23, 2016

    Prettiness! You made the Dutchie google slot canyon though haha I had no clue what that is! The Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, right? I learned something today 🙂

    • November 3, 2016

      It is! And I don’t know why I’m just seeing this (sorry!). Have you been to Antelope?

  • June 23, 2016
    Briel K.

    Wow, it is so pretty there! I want to go to Bryce Canyon and Zion so badly!! I need to find more friends who are into adventuring!

  • June 24, 2016

    Aw, man, now I miss hiking even more.

    I adore the texture of the rocks, the way they look like they might have bubbled up from the ground!

  • June 26, 2016

    We spent a month in Utah our second longish trip in the last five years and there is STILL so much to see in this one state! I’ve never heard of Snow Canyon State Park, will have to save that for the next Utah trip – it looks perfect for the hubby. We’ve been in and around St. George, it has one of the only Starbucks for miles and miles, and damn it I’d have totally gone to the Crepery instead, will not that for next time! Thanks for giving me two great spots to check out.

  • June 27, 2016

    My husband and I met our oldest and his girlfriend last May in St. George and we did Zion, including Kolub Canyon, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon and Bryce. After my son had traveled back to Denver, we had an entire day to fill so we headed out to Snow Canyon for a morning. What a find! We hiked to the lava tubes, picnicked at the sand dunes and walked the Pioneer Names trailhead. But we never found a slot canyon either! Good luck next time you visit – hope you find it. If not, I highly recommend Antelope Canyon. Not easy to get to, but well worth it.

  • June 28, 2016

    Wow, it is so pretty there! I want to go to Bryce Canyon and Zion so badly!! I need to find more friends who are into adventuring

  • June 28, 2016

    For slots, drive 45 minutes north on I-15 to Kanarraville, and hike Kanarraville Falls, there are slots galore and a series of waterfalls you have to climb up. I’m emailing you my directions + some pics.

    xox

  • June 29, 2016

    It definitely looks incredible (and LOVE that handstand shot!). Utah is one of my very favorite U.S. states – it’s just so gorgeous! I haven’t made it to this part yet, though, but it looks like I need to!

  • July 10, 2016

    I drove through there on my way to the airport from Zion – it was too hot to do any hiking though. Red Mountain Resort has long been on my bucket list – they are right outside Snow Canyon and do a lot of activities in the park.

  • November 2, 2016
    Fie

    Snow Canyon seems like a good combination of exercise and experiencing new places at the same time! Also that you can do it with your family makes it even better. We have been trying to find the perfect family trip in a long time now! Working in an events promotion company in London I am constantly exposed to numerous of travel events but it can be hard to choose the next destination. You definitely gave us a new way of thinking and I think we should try hiking on our next vacation.

    • November 3, 2016

      I think Utah would be an awesome family vacation: You could do St. George/Zion/Snow Canyon (all within an hour of each other) for a few days, then a few days in Arches and end in Canyonlands. The scenery is spectacular and so unlike anything in Europe!

  • November 5, 2017
    Doug

    There is a great slot canyon in Vegas a few miles north of Cauville Bay on the dirt road that goes to anniversary mine

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