Hikes Utah State Parks

Butterfly Trail | Snow Canyon State Park

(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

The Butterfly Trail in Snow Canyon State Park is a beautiful little trail that connects with other useful trails in the park. It has no specific destination of its own, and you are not guaranteed to see any butterflies! But the views of Snow Canyon and the different terrains on the trail make it a fun family-friendly hike.

The views along Butterfly Trail are beautiful.

Hike Info

  • Distance: 1.0 mile roundtrip (longer if connected to with other trails)
  • Rating: Easy
  • Elevation Gain: 120 feet
  • Fee: Snow Canyon State Park Fee
  • Dog-Friendly: No

This trail starts at a large parking area on the main road. The lot for the trail is often full because other popular trails are nearby. This is also the trailhead for Petrified Dunes and Hidden Canyon. In fact, we used the Butterfly Trail as a shuttle hike with the Lava Tube Trail. We hiked down Butterfly, turned right to see the Lava Tubes, and then walked the Lava Tubes Trail back to the main road. Then Dad walked the quarter mile or less back to the car at the Butterfly Trail parking area, and picked everyone up. You can also hike the Lave Tube Trail separately, or turn around from the lava tubes and head back to your car at Butterfly trail.

The trail begins here with a few other trails.
Luckily, there are signs to keep you headed the right way.

Butterfly Trail is worth the hike because it explores some of the layered slick rock that Snow Canyon is known for. As you hike, the trail crosses out on to these layers, which look like massive mounds of butterscotch pudding. It continues on through the sand, and eventually ends up walking through lava rock. There are so many different terrains in one trail. The trail descends a little, but not enough to make it difficult for families.

These are the petrified dunes. They are cool to see, and you can climb on them if you want to add distance to your hike.
Part of the Butterfly Trail walks along the petrified sand dunes.
There are some unique rock features in Snow Canyon.
The trail walks on the sandstone, through sand, through lava rocks, and dirt.
Once you see the lava rocks, you are nearing the end of Butterfly Trail.

We enjoyed the hike along Butterfly Trail, but there is no clear destination other than a fork in the road. The views of Snow Canyon are nice along the trail, though, and it makes a great addition to the Lava Tube trail. When you reach the fork, you can turn around and hike back to the parking area, or visit the Lava Tubes and then hike back. For more hikes in Snow Canyon, visit our post on this Utah State Park.

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