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Overview

Snow Canyon State Park is a great place to explore the desert scenery. Red-rock canyons, sand dunes, volcanoes, and lava flows have formed an incredible landscape. Walls of Navajo sandstone 50-750 feet high enclose the five-mile-long canyon. Hiking trails lead into the backcountry for a closer look at the geology, flora, and fauna. The easy 1.5-mile Hidden Pinyon Trail begins across the road from the campground entrance, then weaves among sandstone hills and lava flows to the Varnish Mountain Overlook above Snow Canyon. At the overlook, desert varnish on sandstone has turned the rock jet black. Although many of the campground's RV sites are ...

Snow Canyon State Park is a great place to explore the desert scenery. Red-rock canyons, sand dunes, volcanoes, and lava flows have formed an incredible landscape. Walls of Navajo sandstone 50-750 feet high enclose the five-mile-long canyon. Hiking trails lead into the backcountry for a closer look at the geology, flora, and fauna. The easy 1.5-mile Hidden Pinyon Trail begins across the road from the campground entrance, then weaves among sandstone hills and lava flows to the Varnish Mountain Overlook above Snow Canyon. At the overlook, desert varnish on sandstone has turned the rock jet black. Although many of the campground's RV sites are packed close together, a few of the tent sites have spectacular views down the canyon. Snow Canyon was named for pioneers Lorenzo and Erastus Snow — not for the extremely rare snowfalls. Just down the road from the park entrance is one of Utah's top spas, the Red Mountain Spa Resort; many spa guests spend their mornings hiking in the state park.

Judy Jewell
About the Expert

Judy Jewell and W.C. McRae are frequent collaborators: together they have written Moon Handbooks to Montana, Utah, and Zion-Bryce and updated the Moon Handbooks to Oregon and Coastal Oregon. Judy wrote the Compass American Guide to Oregon.

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Judy Jewell for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Cooler months have the best weather; summers are too hot for comfortable hiking except in early morning.