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USA: Utah: Arches National Park, Brian Head, Bryce Canyon City, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Moab, Monument Valley, Park City, Salt Lake City, Snow Canyon, St. George, Sundance, Zion National Park
Snow Canyon, Utah, USA: Not white, but red
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Formerly known as Dixie State Park, it was later renamed to Snow Canyon State Park after early Utah leaders Lorenzo and Erastus Snow. The park has towering sandstone cliffs colored red and white. A jumble of black lava rock caps some ridges and tumbles down hillsides. Highlight is a sand dune inside the park that is simply awe-inspiring.
Created in 1958, Snow Canyon has a long history of human use. Ancestral Puebloans inhabited the region from AD 200-1250, utilizing the canyon for hunting and gathering. Paiute Indians used the canyon from AD 1200 to the mid-19th century. Mormon pioneers discovered Snow Canyon in the 1850s while searching for lost cattle. The canyon has been the site of many Hollywood films including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
We were on a tour post our trade conference in Henderson a suburb of Las Vegas. Our 3-day tour was essentially visiting National & State Parks in the State of Nevada and Utah. The night before, we were at Zion National Park. After breakfast we left Zion Lodge and commenced our journey to St. George, Utah.
After a whirlwind tour of St. George and its downtown, we moved towards Tuacahn Amphitheatre on the outskirts of St. George.
"Tuacahn" comes from a Mayan word meaning "Canyon of the Gods." Built in the shadow of 1500-foot spectacular red rock cliffs, the Tuacahn Amphitheatre and Center for the Arts was created to awaken the nobility of the human soul and transmit light and hope to people everywhere through the arts and education.
The Tuacahn Theatre brings "Broadway in the Desert" to southern Utah! Throughout the warm months, this theatre company features Utah's finest actors (new and seasoned), in some of Broadway's greatest productions! The intimate, outdoor theatre is always enhanced by the brilliant, natural red rock backdrop.
Orval Hafen was awestruck upon first seeing the area that is now home to the Tuacahn Center for the Arts. He and his wife, Ruth, bought an eighty-acre parcel in the box canyon and built a cabin, the remnants of which can still be seen behind the Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts. He desired that others might one day share this beauty.
After touring the Tuacahn Theatre, we drove towards Snow Canyon which is almost next door. We drove past majestic cliffs to reach the park’s highlight – the sand dunes. A very comfortable trek took us atop these sand dunes. One can easily spend a few hours just exploring the phenomenal formations.
Snow Canyon sits at the junction of the Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau. The climate is typical of that of a desert climate. The park offers many hiking and biking trails, technical climbing and horseback riding. Snow Canyon is also a home to a diversity of plant and wildlife species not found elsewhere in the State.
Since time was short, we had to move on. We left Snow Canyon State Park to make our way to Mesquite, Nevada. While doing so, we had to cross a small portion of the State of Arizona.
Snow Canyon Image Gallery Photo viewer
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