Red Navajo sandstone, capped by an overlay of black lava rock, makes photography, hiking, biking and camping in Snow Canyon State Park a double treat. Early spring and fall use of the park is especially appealing due to southern Utah's moderate winter climate. Two recent volcanic cones are found near the head of the canyon.
This strikingly colorful canyon is 11 miles northwest of St. George. Facilities include a 35-unit campground, modern rest rooms, hot showers, electric hookups, sewage disposal station, a covered group-use pavilion and overflow camp ground.
Elev: 3200 ft.
Snow Canyon sits at the junction of the Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau. The climate is typical of that of a desert climate. In the higher elevations the climate tends to be both dry and cooler. In the lower elevations the climate is also dry, but the temperatures are much warmer.
According to the map from the Ranger station: Created in 1959, Snow Canyon has a long history of human use. Anasazi Indians inhabited the region from AD 200-1250, utilizing the canyon for hunting & gathering. Paiute Indians used the canyon from AD 1200 to the mid- 1800s. "Mormon Pioneers" discovered Snow Canyon in the 1850s while searching for lost cattle. The canyon has been the site of Hollywood films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Electric Horseman, and Jeremiah Johnson. Originally called Dixie State Park, it was later renamed for Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, "Prominent Pioneering Utah Leaders".
To the right is Willis Creek, a "family friendly" slot canyon in the Grand Staircase Escalante area.
Below is Lower Calf Creek Falls - 126 foot cascade, reached by a 2.75 mile trail - one way
Above is Anazazi State Park, in Boulder, Utah.
In the 1870s, geologist Clarence Dutton described the Grand Staircase as a "huge stairway ascending out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon northward with the cliff edge of each layer forming giant steps." The steps rise 5500' from the floor of the Grand Canyon to the edge of the jagged Paunsaugunt Plateau at Bryce Canyon. The distinct steps are the Vermilion Cliffs, the White Cliffs, the Gray Cliffs and the Pink Cliffs.
Above is Escalante State Park, where we camp. An amazing Petrified Forest hike borders the campsite. Before we visit our favorite slot canyons (Peek a Boo and Spooky) we stop at Devil's Garden down Hole In The Rock Road. Upper and lower Calf Creek Falls are also incredibly beautiful favorite hiking desinations. On our way to Southern Utah, we'll hike in Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Kodachrome Basin State Park. The Grand Staircase Escalante area is extremely unique and rare when it comes to outdoor adventure, unlike anything else you'll ever see in other parts of the world. My good friend in Escalante, who works for the BLM and knows this land well, is our guide and helps us explore this amazing, awesome, area in a safe way.
And yes, there is time to soak up the sun and just sleep!