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Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Get acquainted with the flora and fauna at Snow Canyon State Park by taking a walk along the Hidden Pinyon Trail. This short, interpretive trail is best explored with a trail guide in hand. At each of 19 numbered stops along the trail you'll learn about the adaptations that allow plants to grow in this harsh environment. The trail starts on a paved surface but quickly makes its way to the sand and rock as it loops across the dry canyon. In the spring you'll be treated to ephemeral blooms of purple torch cactus, cliffrose, scarlet gilia and three-leaf sumac. You may even catch the spectacular flowers of the banana yucca if you time your visit right.

From the trail you will also notice the colorful rocks in the distance. Chunky, black basalt rocks contrast with the smooth red and white sandstone hills throughout the park. Lichen, moss and desert varnish add more color, texture and depth to the rock. Lichen and moss are both living organisms that brighten up even the dullest rock. Lichen is a collaboration of sorts between algae and fungi, which work together to help each other exist. The algae create food for the fungi, which in turn provides structure and protection for the algae. Look for bright green and orange splotches on the rocks. Moss is a type of plant that typically thrives in moist environments. In Utah's arid desert, the moss lies dormant for most of the year. But when the spring rains arrive, the dried up, brown mosses come to life in thick, green mats. Desert varnish is neither fungus nor plant. It is a mineral deposit formed as mineral-rich water passes through the sandstone. It appears as linear smears of black or red on the rock.

Animals thrive here, too. Several species of lizards reside in the park. Look for them as they dart between bushes or search for sunny resting spots. If you're very lucky, you may come across a desert tortoise. These reptiles spend much of their time underground as they escape the scorching heat of the desert. Their populations have declined dramatically as a result of human activity, mostly by being run over by cars. If you happen to see one of these animals, please observe them from a distance and do not disturb them. Count yourself fortunate for finding one of these elusive creatures!

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Winter
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Pros

Family-friendly interpretive trail.

Cons

None.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Wildlife
Geologically significant
Wildflowers
Family friendly

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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