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Snow Canyon State Park

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Enclosure, The 
Hackberry Wash Wall 
Island In The Sky 
West Canyon 

Snow Canyon State Park 


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Location: 37.1796, -113.6448 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Tony B on Dec 2, 2003
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Rock in Snow Canyon

Description 

Snow Canyon State Park is in the area of the city of Saint George, perhaps an hour from the heart of Zion National Park.

This large state park boasts a little of everything, from short sport clip-ups to mixed multi-pitch routes or even long, infrequently traveled adventure climbs. I have only sampled the area, but am writing it up here to get the ball rolling. The crags are sandstone, some reminiscent of the good stuff at Red Rock, NV, some resembling the softer formations of Zion National Park, and some fit for climbing by only the truest of desert rats.

No matter if you are chasing sun or shade, or wanting crimpers, slopers, pockets, or an occasional crack there are climbs of various flavors facing in any given direction at any given time of day, depending on which crag you are at. The Island In The Sky area sports the Aftershock Wall, Circus Wall, The Doghouse, and other walls with good sport and mixed climbs. The West Canyon area has adventure routes and much adventure potential for those looking for touble and in possession of an emergency bolt kit. The nearby town of Saint George has plenty of services and hotels as well as nearby 'improved camping' at Snow Canyon State Park ($14 in addition to $5 daily entry fee) or free camping just outside town on BLM land.

The following guidebooks contain more details on the area and the park: Rock Climbs of Southwest Utah & The Arizona Strip, Second Edition; Rock Climbing Utah; and an article in Climbing magazine #225 (article by Tim Kemple).


Getting There 

The directions for each individal crag will be more telling, but to reach the state Park entrance, exit I-15 on the Bluff Street (I-15 Exit 6) in Saint George. Go north a few miles to the Snow Canyon Parkway, then left on that for 6 miles to Highway 8, then right (north) on that for ~3 miles into the park. Maps are available for the park at the entry kiosk where they will collect your $5 entry fee.

I kid you not, these directions are listed under the 'season' section of the Goss guidebook.


45 Total Routes


['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',5],['5.7',5],['5.8',2],['5.9',7],['5.10',13],['5.11',10],['5.12',3],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Snow Canyon State Park:
Under The Sleeping Giant   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   Island In The Sky : Dip Area
Leopard Skin   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 4 pitches, 260'   Island In The Sky : Sand Dunes
Twist and Shout   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Island In The Sky : Sand Dunes
Thousand Pints of Lite   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 3 pitches, 180'   Island In The Sky : Sand Dunes
Pygmy Alien   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 230'   Island In The Sky : Circus Wall
Uncle Reamus   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   The Enclosure
Handful of Crack, Fistful of Pockets   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 80'   Island In The Sky : Indian Wall
Stepping Out   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 160'   Island In The Sky : Sand Dunes
Raindance   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Island In The Sky : Indian Wall
Roar of the Greasepaint   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   Island In The Sky : Circus Wall
Cloudwalker   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   Island In The Sky : Circus Wall
Illegal Alien   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   Island In The Sky : Circus Wall
Gratitude   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 4 pitches, 350'   Island In The Sky : Sand Dunes
Pierced Ear   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 190'   Island In The Sky : Indian Wall
Living On The Edge   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 4 pitches, 450'   Island In The Sky : Aftershock Wall
Atomic Indian   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   The Enclosure
Aftershock   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13     Trad, Sport, 4 pitches, 450'   Island In The Sky : Aftershock Wall
The Doghouse Arete   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 55'   Island In The Sky : The Doghouse
The Richness of It All   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 4 pitches, 400'   Island In The Sky : War Zone
Meaty Bone   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Island In The Sky : The Doghouse
Browse More Classics in Snow Canyon State Park

Featured Route For Snow Canyon State Park
MeatyBone 12b

Meaty Bone 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  UT : Saint George : ... : The Doghouse
The face starts out steep with big pockets and edges, then gradually moves to vertical with ever shrinking holds. The final moves are the crux and like all the sandstone topouts in the area, the holds may have gotten smaller over the years. You wouldn't want to climb this one after it rains because those holds would be particularly vulnerable.This is a fun climb, definitely worth doing. Not as steep as Dogma, and requires the ability to stand up....[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Photos of Snow Canyon State Park Slideshow Add Photo
Looking West from the Enclosure
Looking West from the Enclosure
Joseffa Meir walks in to Snow Canyon for a cold morning of climbing. Photo by Tony Bubb, 11/03.
Joseffa Meir walks in to Snow Canyon for a cold mo...
Rock in Snow Canyon
Rock in Snow Canyon
Blurry ( due to rain) look at the canyon coming down the Ironman course... I will return....
Blurry ( due to rain) look at the canyon coming do...
A map of the crags in Snow Canyon. Free at the visitor center
BETA PHOTO: A map of the crags in Snow Canyon. Free at the vis...
Comments on Snow Canyon State Park Add Comment
Show which comments
By Anonymous Coward
Mar 10, 2004

Two summers ago a couple friends and I grabbed our climbing gear and hiked into snow canyon. We found a sweet rock that had definitely not been climbed before. Climbing sandstone is a lot harder than climbing granite as we soon found out. We still had a great time and we plan on going back this spring (04). If you are only looking for climbing try nearby Zions park, but if you want unbelievable scenery topped with some great day-hikes snow canyon is your spot. The crappy thing is they wont let you backpack in and campout, they want you to stay in the "designated campground" with all the other shmucks. Plus they charge you five dollars admission plus $14 for a tent spot, per night. My advice is go to nearby gunlock reservoir and stay there for free. It isnt a very scenic place to camp, but it gets the job done. Good luck.

TD from Salt Lake City, Utah

By Anonymous Coward
Aug 24, 2004

By all means, let's get the ball rolling!

By Ben Folsom
Nov 29, 2009

Be sure not to bring dogs here expecting to climb, as all the climbing area trails are closed to dogs.

By tpatpat
Mar 9, 2012

Hey I am just wondering if theres anything to top rope?? Taking my family down there tomorrow thanks

By Meredith28
Mar 21, 2014

I'm getting ready to explore this area for the first time with a group of friends next weekend. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share some useful beta on camping options near Snow Canyon State Park? I just called the BLM office, and they were unhelpful to put it nicely. The MP post mentions dispersed camping on BLM sites - does anyone have any more info on this?
Thanks!

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Mar 21, 2014

There is nice camping in the park, or there was last I knew anyway. It has been a while, but $14/night wasn't bad for a picnic table, trash services, fire ring, and toilets... it might be more now - probably.

There is camping outside of town on public land. I took this photo (below) from a little road we camped off of the first time I was there climbing at Chuckawalla, on the way to Vegas.

I'd say call the climbing shop, or stop buy there to buy a few bars and ask.

The Town of Saint George & some of it's surrounding crags, as seen from a mesa above, where there was once free camping... Photo by Tony Bubb, 11/03.
The Town of Saint George & some of it's surrounding crags, as seen from a mesa above, where there was once free camping... Photo by Tony Bubb, 11/03.