Hiking | Lifestyle | Travel

Snow Canyon State Park

snow canyon state park

Snow Canyon State Park is a 7,400-acre scenic park quietly tucked amid lava flows and soaring sandstone cliffs in a strikingly colorful and fragile desert environment.

This park is definitely one of the most under-rated places in Southern Utah.

In fact, I personally love it even more than Zion National Park. I know, those are fighting words.

Fees (day-use) Please note: if you try to walk into the park on foot, they will stop you to pay the fee.

Know before you go

Day-use Fees

$10 per vehicle (up to eight people); $5 per vehicle (up to eight people) Seniors 62 and older (Utah residents with UT driver’s license); $5 pedestrian/cyclists (up to eight people); $3 per person commercial use or vehicles with nine or more people

Camping Fees:

Non-hookup sites:  $20 per night;  Hookup Sites (W&E):  $25 per night
Extra vehicle fees (one extra vehicle per site permitted):  $15 per night

You will receive a pamphlet when you enter the park. This includes trails and a detailed map.

The only areas in the park that allow dogs (must be leashed at all times) are West Canyon Road, Whiptail Trail, and Paradise Canyon.

You will find the following trails at Snow Canyon:

Butterfly Trail

1.2 miles – Difficulty level: moderate. The shortest route to West Canyon Overlook.

Cinder Cone Trail

1 mile each way – Reach the top after 0.8 miles, there is a 0.3-mile loop path that circles all of the crater’s rim.Note: this trail overlooks Snow Canyon State Park, and is not considered in the park itself.

To see all the amazing hike details (and a killer drone video) click HERE!

cinder cone trail

Gila Trail

7.5 miles one way – This is the longest path in the park. Linking the Paradise Canyon area in the south with the White Rocks Trail in the north, running close to Highway 18. Apart from the northmost stretch, this hike falls outside of the park fee area.

I’ve found it’s the best and most acceptable way to take your dogs on a hike near the park without disrupting anyone or violating the rules of the park.

map of gila trail

Hidden Pinyon Trail

0.6 miles each way – This is a nature path. There are signs posted about local plant life and geology.

hidden pinyon trail snow canyon
hidden pinyon trail snow canyon state park

Jenny’s Canyon Trail

0.2 miles each way – This is a popular hike with children. It is short! The trail is closed each year around March 15th and June 1st, to protect nesting falcons.

Jenny's canyon trail snow canyon

Johnson Canyon Trail

0.9 miles each way – There is a sandstone arch (great photo op!) and if you catch this hike the right time of the year, there’s a spring! You’ll also pass a lava field. This trail is closed the same dates as Jenny’s Canyon Trail.

Johnson Canyon Trail Snow Canyon State Park

Lava Flow Trail

1.1 miles each way – This links a paved trail into an unpaved trail. You’ll pass at least 2 lava caves, and hit a junction to Butterfly Trail and West Canyon Overlook.

Lava Flow Trail Snow Canyon

Pioneer Names Trail

0.25 miles each way – This is a short, easy trail. You’ll see signatures from the 19th century.

Pioneer names trail snow canyon

Sand Dunes Trail

0.7 miles each way) – I Highly recommend this for families with kids of all ages. It’s a quarter-mile long sand dune adventure! With our Southern Utah unique bright orange sand! Bring the same things you would bring if you were going to the beach or lake (without water, obviously) Towels, sandcastle making equipment, sunscreen!

Scout Cave Trail

2.2 miles each way – This trail begins prior to Snow Canyon State Park entrance. There are great views overlooking Ivins and lands to the west. 

To see all the details and amazing photos from this hike, click here!

Three Ponds Trail

1.8 miles each way –  Also known as the Red Sands Trail. Winds through and descends to the floor of Snow Canyon. There is a very small slot canyon with potholes that hold water from rain.

three ponds trail snow canyon

Whiptail Trail

3 miles each way – This is a paved trail. This is the only trail in the park that is fully accessible for people with disabilities.

There’s a little Instagram vs. reality for you. Taking pictures with a dog is a struggle sometimes.

White Rocks Trail

1.6 miles each way – This is towards the end of Snow Canyon where the red rocks fade into white. It’s absolutely beautiful. AND keep in mind that you do not have to hike the entire trail. It’s a short walk to start climbing the white rocks! When I was married previously, we did our family photos here! Great spot for portraits.

family photos at white rocks trail

Petrified Dunes Trail

0.7 miles each way – By FAR my favorite hike in Snow Canyon. It’s not a long hike at all, but the VIEWS. I can’t even describe it.

Best photo opportunities in the entire park, in my opinion. Great for professional photos as well! 360 views of the breathtaking red mountains.

Slot Canyons & Petroglyphs

This is a short hike, roughly 2 hours long, with no fee at the trailhead. Another great hike with views, petroglyphs, slot canyons, and a tree growing in between them!


Additional Links and Maps:





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16 Responses

  1. I absolutely love your posts! They are informative, accompanied with awesome pics, and helpful detail! I’m sharing this one! Thanks for sharing your lively adventures – living vicariously!

  2. Those pics are stunning! I really enjoyed reading your posts and I learned a lot as well. P.D. loved those tennis shoes!

  3. So informative! Hi Jessi! We are staying at La Verkin and have rather full itinerary…Sand Hollow Beach, and parts of Zion.
    Would you recommend this as a full day hike? This will be in June.

    1. Snow canyon can easily be done in a few hours or a full day depending on what you want to see! It’s definitely worth going, even if you only drive through!

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