The Snow Canyon Loop Trail is a paved double-track bike, hiking, and
rollerblading trail that loops through Snow Canyon from the outskirts of St.
George. Although the trail is smooth and paved, there are some steep spots that
will spook (or injure) youngsters who are just learning to ride.
View down the trail, showing the beautiful formations of Navajo
sandstone. July 9, 2001. Photos by Bruce
If you ride the entire loop, including the section of highway at the top of
Snow Canyon, you'll travel 18 miles and climb 1050 vertical feet. Peak altitude
is 3960 feet. The section along the Veyo highway (the continuation of Bluff
Street) has rollers with some very steep pitches if you're riding
counter-clockwise northbound. With a stand-and-grunt, it's possible to
ride these on a double-ring road bike, but beginners will need to walk
Mike saddles up with Kelsey and
Alexandra in the trailer, while Samantha is ready to hit the trail. July
Between the top of Snow Canyon and the picnic area trailhead, there's a mile
of missing trail (we presume this will be added soon). This is the only spot in
the 18 miles where you'll be competing with cars. This section is also a stiffer
climb if you're riding clockwise.
Moonflower (southwestern thornapple)
blossoms after a rainstorm.
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The loop is really a triangle: one side is the path
from St. George up to the top of the Canyon. This route is fairly
straight, but rolls up and down, with some steeper spots that might be
hard for little tykes and skaters on rollerblades. (Rollerblading the
entire loop should be considered "extreme sport" -- tough and
Looking up the mesa, we're about a
mile from where the trail turns to go down Snow Canyon.
The sandstone of Snow Canyon is famous. Red and white Navajo sandstone
creates formations that rival anything you'll see in Utah's national parks. While in the canyon, you can also take your bike up the gravel West
View up the canyon, near the West
For a shorter and very easy ride, we recommend you ride up Snow Canyon from
the bottom, have lunch at the picnic area where the trail ends at Galoot Hill,
then cruise back down. The scenery in Snow Canyon is awesome, whatever way you
All of the route is attractive. For
example, this is the route alongside Snow Canyon Drive near Ivins. You
wouldn't know it from this photo, but you're only a few hundred feet from
ballparks and homes.
Here's a panoramic view of the canyon,
from the Snow Canyon Overlook, just off the paved trail on the St. George
to canyon-top leg.
In Snow Canyon, there are a lot of short trails with plenty of southern
Utah's unique Navajo sandstone. Kids LOVE Snow Canyon.
"Big kids" can try the established rock-climbing routes near
the bottom of the canyon.
The canyon is a few degrees cooler than St. George, so you can have fun
there even when the city is hot. On the bike trails, there's often a
breeze to keep you cooler.
Kristen investigates the red rock of
Heading south, take the Bluff Street exit in St. George. Turn right
onto Bluff Street. Keep going straight until Bluff Street starts to leave
the city (although the city is rapidly growing out in this direction). You
can park here (see the trail the right side of the road?) and ride
to the loop, or drive on to another parking area on the loop.
Top of Snow Canyon: Keep driving straight out of town on Highway 18.
When the road turns left into snow canyon, park at the small lot on the
south side of the road. Take the road down 1.5 mile to mile marker 11 -- the paved trail
begins on your right, across the street from a parking/picnic area on your
left. This trailhead GPS is N 37° 12.794' W 113° 38.896', altitude 3500
Snow Canyon Drive: When Bluff Street becomes Highway 18 towards Snow Canyon and
watch for the intersection with Snow Canyon Parkway about
a mile later. Turn left onto Snow Canyon Drive. You'll see the trail on
the right. Continue until you reach a parking area 2 miles later at GPS N
37° 08.968' W 113° 37.634', altitude 2900 ft.