We have been planning a trip to Snow Canyon State Park for a long time, and we finally made it! Snow Canyon is one of the most popular hiking state parks in Utah, and it deserves to be placed alongside other amazing hiking parks such as Goblin Valley, Antelope Island, and Wasatch Mountain.
Why You Should Visit Snow Canyon State Park
Family Friendly Trails
One reason we love Snow Canyon State Park is that it is so family friendly. The hikes are very short, and kids can do almost anything in the park. Of the half dozen hikes that we did with our kids, none reached a total length of two miles. Though the area tends to be hot, since the hikes are so short, you can do them even during the summer if you take along water, hats, and sunscreen.
Huge Variety of Terrain
Another reason Snow Canyon is great is the variety of things that you can do in a small space. There are lovely lava tubes to explore, a singular slot canyon that’s just right for kids, silky sand dunes to play in, and ancient artifacts to learn about. There is also camping, a small Visitor Center, and one of our big incentives, a Junior Ranger Program.
Be Prepared for Crowds
The one drawback to Snow Canyon State Park is its popularity. Thousands of visitors can be found in this small park on a busy day. It seems everyone loves Snow Canyon. Narrow roads, limited parking, and a fairly small overall area contribute to the crowded conditions. Though there are plenty of wonderful things to expect at Snow Canyon, don’t expect much solitude!
What to See in Snow Canyon State Park
Here’s a list of some of the can’t miss things to do in Snow Canyon State Park. Each link takes you to our full post of that hike or area! We did this entire park in one day, but there are a few spots we want to head back and check out. This park can be a one or two day trip.
We started at the north end and worked our way down, but we recommend going south to north. The southern part of the park tends to be more crowded, so we think it would be better to start at Johnson Canyon and work up to the White Rocks amphitheater. However, Snow Canyon isn’t that large, so either order would work well.
- Johnson Canyon Arch: This arch is a simple hike to a great arch. This trail is closed from March 15-October because of nesting falcons and desert tortoise conservation, so you might have to skip this one depending on when you visit.
- Jenny’s Canyon: This was the busiest spot in the park, so do this trail early, or possible later when everyone is heading out for dinner. There is a small parking area, but you can also park at the Sand Dunes and walk back. This trail is an easy hike to a small box canyon.
- Sand Dunes: Spend an hour or so playing in the sand. Many people bring lunch and eat while they play.
- Pioneer Names: Short trail to see some old pioneer names carved into the mountain.
- Visitor Center: This bookstore is small, but you will want to pick up your Junior Ranger booklets for the kids. Make sure to check the hours so you can return them before closing.
- Butterfly Trail: This trail walks over many different terrains and connects with the Lava Tube trail.
- Lava Tubes: You can either visit them by hiking the butterfly trail, or park at the Lava Tubes parking lot and walk to the tubes. Bring a headlamp or flashlight for exploring.
- White Rocks Amphitheater: The white rocks form a large bowl just like an amphitheater. This trail is simple and interesting.