Kim and I decided to take a break from the extremely mild Salt Lake City winter and spend a weekend in balmy St. George. Our primary objective was to explore Snow Canyon and enjoy some bike riding and easy hikes.
We entered the park from the south, paid our $6 entry fee, and parked at the Sand Dune trail-head and picnic area.
We unloaded our bikes and started riding up the Whiptail paved bike path. It was pretty chilly when we started, but we warmed up quickly since the trail was a lot steeper than I expected. I thought it would be similar to the Provo River Parkway trail in Provo Canyon, but this trail has more ups and downs and a few of the climbs were pretty intense for us.
We rode to the end of the bike path at the Upper Galoot picnic area. After a short rest, we zoomed back down the trail and continued about 1/5 mile beyond our car to the crest overlooking the sand dunes. There was a family with young children enjoying the soft sand in the dunes.
We then returned to the car, for a total ride of just over 4 miles.
We changed into our hiking clothes and drove over to the Pioneer Names trail-head. The trail was not well marked, so it took us a little while to find the panel where the pioneers wrote their names with axle grease.
That was a short and easy hike, although you are walking in soft sand most of the time.
We then drove up the road and took a look at the lava fields, but decided not to do that hike. We then headed back down the canyon and hiked out to the Petrified Sand Dune. This would be a fun place for young children to play, but you would need to keep an eye on them.
We ate lunch at the Upper Galoot picnic area, and then explored the short hike into Jenny’s Canyon. This was our favorite hike of the area. Jenny’s Canyon is a short, but narrow slot canyon with some interesting rock formations on the walls.
Our final hike was up Johnson’s Canyon. Johnson’s Canyon is the only canyon within the park that usually has running water, so there is more vegetation and trees than other areas within the park.
Johnson’s Arch has a span of 200’. We thought it was at the end of the trail, but when we got there we looked all over and couldn’t find it. To my surprise, I had cell and data service so I googled the arch and found some pictures of it. It was obvious that the arch was not at the end of the trail, so we kept a look out for it on our way back down the canyon.
Well, there is was – in plain sight. I couldn’t believe we walked right past it without noticing it. When I got home I found that I even took a picture of it without realizing it (not this particular photo).
When we finished the hike my car thermometer said it was 77º. It really felt warm.
We still had plenty of daylight left, so we took a drive up to Gunlock Reservoir, and then stopped to take the tour of Jacob Hamblin’s home in Santa Clara.
The missionaries told several interesting stories about Jacob and his family. They also explained the old saying; “sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite”. “Sleep tight” refers to tightening the ropes that supported the mattress, and of course the bedbugs lived in the hay stuffed into the mattress.