Hiking | Lifestyle | Travel

Snow Canyon State Park

snow canyon state park

Snow Canyon State Park is one of my top favorite places in Southern Utah.

While Snow Canyon is a relatively small state park, less than 2 miles across, within those miles lies some of the most beautiful red rocks and views you’ll ever see.

Even if you choose not to hike within the park, I strongly suggest just simply doing a slow drive through it. The max speed limit within the park is 35 MPH and there are tons of photo opportunities everywhere. You won’t regret it.



FEES: At the park entrance, if you do not have a state park pass, the following fees apply: day use per vehicle – $10, Senior per vehicle – $5, and pedestrian/cyclists – $5 for a group up to 8 people. Please note: if you park prior to the entrance and walk in on the paved trails, they will stop you and you will be asked to pay to enter. Annual Utah State Park passes are $75, and $35 for seniors. This allows entrance into all Utah state parks. (Highly worth it and recommended it if you live in the state or visit often)

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. 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.

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

• 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 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 dog rules of the park.

• Hidden Pinyon Trail (0.6 miles each way) – This is a nature path. There are signs posted about local plant life and geology.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• Pioneer Names Trail (0.25 miles each way) – This is a short, easy trail. You’ll see signatures from the 19th century.

• 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, sand castle making equipment, sunscreen!

Scout Cave Trail (2.8 miles each way) – This trail ends at the intersection of Gila Trail. There are great views overlooking Ivins and lands to the west. 

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

girl and dog in cave

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.

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.

Girl with dog in mountains

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! We did our family photos here recently, and I wore flip flops then no shoes at all!

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: Another great hike with views, petroglyphs, slot canyons, and a tree growing in between them!


Additional Links and Maps:

State Park Website

Get married at Snow Canyon

Camping at Snow Canyon

Canyoneering Permits






17 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. I’ve not heard of this park. I will check it out when we travel that way! It looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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

  4. 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!