St George trails

The National Parks in southern Utah are spectacular: Arches, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands. If you haven’t been, that would be my recommended route, a day or days in each. In past years, my son and I hiked every trail in Arches, and I’ve waded through the river in the narrow canyon in Zion more than once. However, after spending time through there on many occasions, I was looking for a more direct route on this road trip, that passed through country I hadn’t seen before.

I was just beginning to think that the road through central Utah was boring, when I came upon a stretch of dramatic red rock shapes, Black Dragon Canyon. And there would be more as I drove on to my stay for the night.

Black Dragon Canyon

St. George sits in the southwest corner of Utah, just before the desert lands of Nevada and California. A wall of red rock rises along its northern edge. I had a couple of days to explore hidden treasures in that red rock landscape.

St George, Utah

Snow Canyon State Park seemed to be a misleading name. Although some of the signage claims that there’s snow in winter, on this mid-February day it was warm enough by mid-day to just wear a t-shirt. I chose a few short hikes: Jenny’s Canyon, Pioneer Names, Petrified Dunes, and Johnson Canyon trails. Each had some interesting features that beckoned to me. I was disappointed to learn that the Red Cliffs trail known for petroglyphs had been closed.

Snow Canyon State Park
Jenny’s Canyon Trail

Settlers from as early as 1881 wrote their names in wagon axle grease on the canyon wall along what is now Pioneer Names Trail. Protected by an arch above, you can still read them today.

Look for the climbers
Petrified Dunes Trail
Johnson Canyon Trail

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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

37 thoughts on “St George trails

  1. I passed through St. George from Zion to Las Vegas last October, but I didn’t stop to check it out. I’ve heard good things about it, though, and your post confirms its surrounding beauty. Plenty of red rocks to chance upon, and the hikes sound great: I can imagine every twist and turn offers those stunning views!

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  2. I love all these rock formations, they take me back to our long-ago road trip in Utah and Arizona! In fact I think we spent our first night in St George but it was only a place to sleep en route between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. It seems we missed lot by hurrying through!

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  3. I have to agree with you – the National Parks in southern Utah are truly spectacular! Having lived in an evergreen, rain-drenched country for almost two decades, seeing endless red rock vistas make me gasp in awe! Utah’s vast, breathtaking landscapes will certainly blow away any visitor with their beauty. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. I’m so glad you were able to visit the red rock country of southern Utah. This area, near St George, is less traveled but echoes those sculptural rock formations in the national parks. Thanks for your comment, Aiwa!

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    1. If you haven’t been through the national parks, there is lots to do in southern Utah! I just spent a couple of days in the St George area, and it was worth a stop. Looking forward to seeing your own choices.

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      1. I’ve been to southern Utah several times. After Colorado, it’s my favorite place in the US. Haven’t spent much time in the St. George area, though. We’ll have to see if it’s a spring break contender.

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  4. What incredible landscapes. Your pictures bring out the beautiful colours if the rock. I love the pioneers’ names in wheel grease on the walls. Amazing that they are still there. The walls look very slick to climb but I’d like to see them up close and give it a try. Maggie

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  5. St. George has always been nothing more than a final gas stop heading west, on I-70 before descending through the Arizona canyon into the deserts of Nevada and California. It doesn’t catch my attention from the highway. Your photos give the town so much more life and make me want to explore some of those hiking trails. I will never look at St. George the same way again!

    Liked by 1 person

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