As far as I’m concerned, Snow Canyon State Park is the little brother to Zion National Park. It’s an amazing place that is widely overlooked thanks to its impressive sibling. This secret of Snow Canyon will balance the scales a little between there sibling rivalry.
Previously I’ve written about some of the secrets of Snow Canyon, but this secret is my favorite. Once you see it, you’ll understand why—and hopefully even agree.
Hidden far from the main canyon of Snow Canyon is a small slot canyon filled with petroglyphs! What’s a petroglyph? Well, a couple years ago (hundreds, sometimes thousands), natives of the this area scratched out drawings documenting their lives.
I’m providing these directions for the location, but with a disclaimer: the trailhead mentioned here is not the official trailhead and its use is discouraged by Snow Canyon State Park. The more appropriate way to access these petroglyphs is to take Gila Trail. Why give you the directions that don’t follow that path? The directions that Hike St. George provide give the exact locations of the petroglyphs, which will come in handy when trying to find them once you make it that far up the Gila Trail—trust me.
There are actually four different petroglyph spots on this loop, and they are all impressive in their own right. However, the slot canyon listed last in the above provided resource is the one that stole my heart. Everything about it screams childhood fantasy. For a few brief minutes, I felt like Indiana Jones! The entrance is well shrouded by shrubbery, but once you find it, you’re quickly enclosed in tall rock walls.
One of my favorite parts about this spot is the tree that refused to be dismissed and denied growth. In adversity, it grew strong and tall and makes for an amazing photograph. Instead of gold or an artifact to steal away like Indy, you get beautiful shots of ancient drawings and cool, tightly-cut slot canyon walls. You probably won’t get chased out by a giant rolling boulder ,but if you’re anything like me, you’ll have had more than enough adventure.
Each time I share a new location to explore, a little bit of me is apprehensive about it. I love sharing beauty and wonder, and I don’t think any one person has a claim to natural features like these petroglyphs. They are there to be enjoyed by everyone. This spot more than any other, though, requires the highest level of respect. Please keep this spot special and treat it with love and care. Follow Leave No Trace rules, and don’t damage the area or add your own version of drawings or markings. It’s meant to be enjoyed, so make sure it’s around to be enjoyed by future generations, too.
Written by: Mike Carr – Online Marketing Mike is all things digital for the Tourism Office’s marketing. So if you have a question about the website look to him. When you don’t find him at his computer you’ll most likely find him on his bike or hiking up a trail in Zion.our own text