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Areas in Snow Canyon State Park

Breakfast Nook, The 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Enclosure, The 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Hackberry Wash Wall 2 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Island In The Sky 18 / 33 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 43
West Canyon 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4

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 individual 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.

56 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Snow Canyon State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Under The Sleeping Giant
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Pygmy Alien
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Leopard Skin
Trad, Sport 4 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Thousand Pints of Lite
Sport 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Uncle Reamus
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Handful of Crack, Fistful of Pockets
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Roar of the Greasepaint
Sport 2 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Gratitude
Sport 4 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Living On The Edge
Trad 4 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Atomic Indian
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Aftershock
Trad, Sport 4 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
The Doghouse Arete
Sport
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Legends Never Die
Sport 4 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
The Richness of It All
Sport 4 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Meaty Bone
Sport
Under The Sleeping Giant Island In The Sky > Dip Area 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Pygmy Alien Island In The Sky > Circus Wall 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Leopard Skin Island In The Sky > Sand Dunes 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport 4 pitches
Thousand Pints of Lite Island In The Sky > Sand Dunes 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport 3 pitches
Uncle Reamus Enclosure 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Handful of Crack, Fistful o… Island In The Sky > Indian Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Roar of the Greasepaint Island In The Sky > Circus Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 2 pitches
Gratitude Island In The Sky > Sand Dunes 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 4 pitches
Living On The Edge Island In The Sky > Aftershock Wall 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Atomic Indian Enclosure 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Aftershock Island In The Sky > Aftershock Wall 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13 Trad, Sport 4 pitches
The Doghouse Arete Island In The Sky > Doghouse 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Legends Never Die Island In The Sky > Aftershock Wall 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport 4 pitches
The Richness of It All Island In The Sky > War Zone 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport 4 pitches
Meaty Bone Island In The Sky > Doghouse 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Snow Canyon State Park »

Weather Averages

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Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
The directions were written in 2003.
It seems possible that some road was added and that you are not taking Hwy 8 anymore.
If anyone wants to re-write a precise set of directions, they can "suggest an improvement" (there is a button for that) and enter the text that they feel is correct. Feb 7, 2017
Not sure when these directions were written, but they are a bit off and misleading. After you turn onto Snow Canyon Parkway, it is only 4 miles until you turn right onto Snow Canyon Dr (this may also be 8, but we saw no signage that indicated that). This will take you into the park. Feb 6, 2017
Garrett C
SL,UT
Garrett C   SL,UT
Probably one of my favorite places to go when its snowing up north. St. George in winter always seems to be around mid 50s, so its perfect to climb some nice sandstone when you are getting bummed in the cold. Great camping and some fun multi pitch and slab routes. Never have had a bad time here. Nov 26, 2016
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
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.

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! Mar 21, 2014
tpatpat  
Hey I am just wondering if theres anything to top rope?? Taking my family down there tomorrow thanks Mar 9, 2012
Be sure not to bring dogs here expecting to climb, as all the climbing area trails are closed to dogs. Nov 29, 2009
By all means, let's get the ball rolling! Aug 24, 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 Mar 10, 2004

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