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 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.
The warm-up of choice for the visiting sport climber, The Doghouse Arete will get the flash pump out of the way-and quick! Steep and tricky, this rounded arete offers the most room for error. Dynamic climbing leads to some tricky and powerful moves. A handful of jugs, a huge flat edge, and some killer crimps keep this steep route fun and exciting. Figure out the difficult sequences and stay out of the doghouse! ...[more]Browse More Classics in UT
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.
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!
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.