There are several lesser known scenic areas near St George, Utah that are overshadowed by the number one destination in this region. Zion National Park is so captivating, that it is easy to overlook the other local options when making travel plans. The picturesque Zion landscape does not end at the park borders and this amazing red rock panorama continues for hundreds of miles around. Snow Canyon State Park is one such local attraction in this red rock region that the majority of Zion tourists overlook. For this reason, overcrowding is usually not a problem at Snow Canyon on any given day, which is like a dream come true for those who seek more breathing room.
Snow Canyon certainly is colorful, so be prepared for a visual experience like no other! Just like with the neighboring Zion National Park, this red rock landscape is a great place to test the dynamic range of a digital camera. The difference between these two parks will become evident shortly after arrival. The Snow Canyon high desert environment is a little bit harsher and plenty of ancient volcanic activity can be seen in this area. The lava flows occurred fairly recently on a geologic time scale and they add a jet black contrast to the red sandstone color. There are white volcanic tuff mountains, thick bands of pale yellow Navajo Sandstone and sparse green vegetation in the mix too. When combined with the cobalt blue skies that Utah is famous for, this colorful landscape will completely captivate the senses, so be prepared to spend some extra time in this majestic place!
There is a paved road that runs through the length of Snow Canyon State Park which is a nice choice for a day trip venture. There are several hiking trails to historic pioneer sites, scenic areas and one even goes to a large natural arch. There is an orange color sand dune trail too, which appeals to to those who wish for the classic desert experience. The panoramic views keep getting better as the road goes uphill into the State Park fee area, where a campground and more hiking trails can be found. The volcanic landscape becomes more dominant further uphill too and the elevation is high enough to touch the clouds.
Snow Canyon State Park simply must be experienced to be believed, so be sure to make note of this lesser known scenic area when planning a once in a lifetime Zion tour. Snow Canyon is just one part of the Red Cliffs Conservation Area next to St George and there is plenty more to explore. Best of all, overcrowding is not a problem in this State Park and parking spots are easy to find. Snow Canyon certainly is a world of adventure, so be sure pack plenty of water because it is very easy to lose track of time in this colorful place!
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