Snow Canyon State Park
If it were anywhere else in the country, the spectacular geologic landscape of Snow Canyon State Park would probably be a national park. Snow Canyon is a "must do" when traveling the area. Bring your camera and take time for a walk along the paved trail or a hike into the back contry.
Snow Canyon State Park is a ruggedly beautiful 7,400 acres of black lava-capped cliffs, winding red canyons, soaring sandstone arches, ancient cinder cones, lava caves, sand dunes, and scenic overlooks. The park offers abundant opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, wildlife watching, camping, and photography. The spectacular vistas have beckoned everyone from Ancestral Puebloans and Paiute Indians to Mormon Pioneers and Hollywood execs. The park’s rugged splendor has even provided a backdrop for films such as The Electric Horseman and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The southern Utah climate allows the park to welcome visitors year-round, while fall, winter and spring offer lower temperatures. With just 7.5 inches of precipitation each year, summers are warm and rain-fall elusive.
The park was actually named for Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, who discovered the area during the LDS cotton mission in 1861. Snow Canyon was officially designated as a state park in 1959.
Sand Hollow State Park
Locally called "Little Lake Powell" with its warm, blue waters and red sandstone landscape and brilliant orange sand beaches, Sand Hollow is a recreational haven for boating, wake boarding, fishing, camping, four wheeling and swimming. Modern campgrounds and picnic areas have been developed adjacent to the beaches for RV or tent camping. The sand beaches are a part of the massive dunes of Sand Mountain - a huge off road recreation area open to ATVs, sand trails, motercycle and dune buggies.
OHV enthusiasts consider the 6,000 playable acres of red sand dunes some of the best off-road terrain around. The park also boasts biking, hiking and equestrian trails, and a modern RV and tent campground with electric, water, and sewage hookups. Overnight camping is available at the Westside Campground, including hook-ups, and at the Sand Pit Campground. Sand Hollow State Park’s gates are open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. The park is open year-round. There is a day-use entrance fee which includes the boat launch and OHV access. Annual state park passes can be used here.
Quail Lake State Park
Quail Creek State Park provides excellent year-round camping, picncking, boating, and fishing. The 40,000 acre reservoir sits in the red desert at the bottom of the 10,000 foot expanse of Pine Valley Mountain and with views toward Zion National Park. The park is easily accessible just 14 miles north of St. George near Interstate 15. Surrounded by red rock vistas, the park offers excellent camping, boating, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. The reservoir is fed by the Virgin River and is well-stocked with rainbow trout, bullhead catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, and bluegill. There is a fish-cleaning station on site.
Quail Creek enforces a 40-boat limit on the reservoir, with odd/even restrictions on weekends and holidays from May through September.
Set up camp at the 23-site campground that overlooks the reservoir. Each site can accommodate one large or two small tents, for $13 per night. Amenities include two covered group-use pavilions (first come, first served), drinking water, and modern restrooms. There are no showers. Quail Creek State Park is open year-round, with daily access from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in summer and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in winter. The $8 day-use fee includes use of the boat ramps. Annual State Park Passes ($75) are accepted and available at the park.
Gunlock State Park
Surrounded by rustic red rock and extinct black lava cinder cones lies the 240 acre Gunlock State Park & Reservoir. The park offers year-round boating, water sports and quality fishing for bass and catfish. Facilities include boat launching ramp and pit privies. The reservoir is two miles long, one-half mile wide, 115 feet deep and provides a pleasant setting for swimming, boating and fishing. Camping is allowed but there are few amenities. The park is just 15 miles northwest of St. George. The reservoir, built in 1970 and fed by the Santa Clara River, also provides excellent fishing for bass, crappie, and catfish. The banks of the reservoir are lined with pine and juniper trees, with a backdrop of red and pink Navajo sandstone cliffs to the west and ancient lava beds to the east. The park is named for “Gunlock Will” (William Haynes Hamblin), a Mormon pioneer and expert marksman who settled in the area in the mid-1800s. The road to the park was once known as the Old Spanish Trail and was traversed from New Mexico to California by adventurers in search of gold.
- Southern Utah’s sunny, dry climate allows the park to remain open year-round, although spring and fall entertain the most visitors.