SnowCanyon – Feb 2015

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.

Snow Canyon trail map

We entered the park from the south, paid our $6 entry fee, and parked at the Sand Dune trail-head and picnic area.

Sand Dune 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.

Close up of the Whiptail bike path

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.

Kim on the Whiptail bike path

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.

Along the Pioneer Names trail

There are a lot of interesting rock formations

Pioneer Names written in 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.

Kim on the Petrified Sand Dune

View from the petrified dune

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.

Jenny’s Canyon trail-head

Kim in Jenny’s Canyon

Dee in Jenny’s Canyon

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.

“Smile Face Falls” along the Johnson Canyon trail

Kim in Johnson’s Canyon

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).

Johnson Arch

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.

Jacob Hamblin’s home

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.

A very small bed with a rope support system

The Great Room on the second level

Advertisements

About gardinerfamilyadventures

A really great family!
This entry was posted in Hiking, History, Mountain biking, Utah - Southern and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s