LocationMap of Snow Canyon State Park
Snow Canyon State Park is quite well hidden, which may be why visitation is relatively low. One road runs through the canyon, linking UT 18 with a lesser road (Center Street/Snow Canyon Parkway), from St George to the little towns of Ivins and Shivwits, location of a small Indian reservation. Extensive housing development is underway in this area, which has alternating patches of red earth and black lava - the buildings are part of the fast expanding suburbs of St George. There are few signposts to the park, but when found the entrance is reached just after the road passes a brand new luxurious estate, its houses extending right to the park boundary. One mile north of the far end of the scenic drive, along UT 18, are several extinct volcanoes - overlooking the east side of the highway on Lava Ridge, and it was eruptions from here, thousands of years ago, that sent molten rock through the valley leaving deposits hundreds of feet thick.
The best viewpoints are around the north end of Snow Canyon, near the junction of the park drive with UT 18, and the most popular trail begins near here. The 1.1 mile Lava Flow Trail
crosses the twisted lava field and passes at least four lava caves, which were formed when the outer edges of a lava stream cooled and solidified while the main flow continued beneath, and later drained away. Some of these caverns are large, but all seem to extend for only a few hundred feet before becoming blocked. The rocks are sharp and jagged, passages are often narrow and there are some quite deep openings in the lava surface, so some care is necessary when exploring. Other trails
lead to more lava outcrops, narrow canyons, sand dunes, pioneer signatures, arches and eroded rock formations.