Snow Canyon, Thou Restoreth My Soul…

We all have that “go to” place when our soul needs nourishing.  A place where we can seek solace.  Regain our center.   Connect to whatever form of source that makes our heart sing.  For some, it may be a favorite chair with a cup of tea.  For others, a building with a steeple on top.  And for yet others, the majestic mountains of Zion National Park.

Since I first visited Snow Canyon State Park outside of St George, UT back in 2006, it felt like nourishment for my soul.  I was just starting to get into hiking back in the Georgia Mountains, so this was the first “hiking destination” I had ever booked as a fly-in vacation.   The minute I set foot on those big stacks of slickrock, I felt as connected as a conduit between heaven and earth.  I can’t really explain it.  It just felt really good to be there!   A sense of oneness with all that I hold sacred in nature.

View from Hidden Pinyon Overlook

View from Hidden Pinyon Overlook



I was staying at the Red Mountain Spa, which sits just outside the gates of Snow Canyon State Park for the week of Thanksgiving.  My package included guided hikes in the early hours of the morning, when I could still see the vapor trails of my own breath as I attempted to acclimate to the unfamiliar slickrock hiking.  Our guide instructed, “One thing you need to all learn when hiking slickrock is not to let your ankle get parallel to the downhill slope.  It’s a good way to roll your ankle.  Instead, keep your feet perpendicular to the downhill slope.  The second thing you need to learn is to trust your shoes!  As long as you have good tread, you can point your feet downhill on slickrock, and it will hold the grip.  Like hiking on sand paper!”    I headed his advice, and thus learned the joys of climbing up and around and all over the petrified dunes of Snow Canyon.
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I returned again two years ago over Thanksgiving, and felt the same rejuvenation.   Often times when I return to a place, I’ve “lost that lovin’ feeling”   But not the intimate little Snow Canyon.  It still felt like my happy place.IMG_2016 IMG_2013 IMG_2035

So recently when I was feeling a bit off center, it seemed only natural to return to my “Mecca.”  Only this was my first trip there as an RVer!  So what fun it was to have my rolling home and my “happy place” all in the same spot!IMG_2043 IMG_2015 IMG_2034

I love the variety of colors within the canyon.  The red sandstone is so vibrant it looks as if it just had a fresh coat of redwood stain.   It is made even more vivid by the contrast of the white sandstone cliffs as a back drop.  There is a field of green/gray sage blanketing the bottom of the canyon, accented by deep verdant piñyon pines and cedars.   The landscape is punctuated by lava black boulders strewn across the lawn.  It is a feast that I savor while trying hard to commit to memory, so I can make the “eye candy” last as long as possible.IMG_2011

Petrified Dunes

Petrified Dunes

One of two lava caves in the park.

One of two lava caves in the park.

The other thing I love about hiking in Snow Canyon is that it is next to impossible to get lost.  There are two tall canyon walls on either side, with a road running right down the middle.  So it is a pretty sure bet that you can head toward the opposite canyon wall and eventually come to the road leading you back to where you started.IMG_2032 IMG_2029 I hiked from one end of the canyon to the other, each step feeling better than the last.  But alas, I must confess.  The restorative red rocks of Snow Canyon do not deserve all the credit.  Not only does the soul need nourishing, but sometimes the body does as well. Otherwise, a solo RVer can start to suffer from touch deprivation. So a little pampering from the Red Mountain Spa at the end of the road sure didn’t hurt.  😉

Red Mountain Spa

Red Mountain Spa


A comfortable chair, a cup of tea, glorious red rocks, and heavy dose of pampering all in one.

A comfortable chair, a cup of tea, glorious red rocks, and a heavy dose of pampering all in one.

8 thoughts on “Snow Canyon, Thou Restoreth My Soul…

  1. I visited Snow Canyon in May 2009 for a Native American Flute festival. Beautiful place and great campground. Didn’t get to explore as much as you have, I need to go back!

  2. Snow Canyon is a nice area because, as you said, you can’t get lost. It is, also, neat because you can just hike where ever and the hiking is very tame. Of course, the rocks are gorgeous. Spa ending…a little bit of heaven:)

  3. Susan — Yes, I can’t believe we have been hiking in shorts and tee shirts in November!

    BC Mark — Why do you think I have reservations to go back at the end of the month? 😉

    Lisa — Yes, it was a little slice of heaven, indeed! Plus after all the hiking, my feet were feeling a bit abused!

    Bonnie — Thanks for the comment! I love the idea of the Native American Flute Festival. When I visited Antelope Canyon a couple of years ago, my Native American guide would walk ahead in front of us, perch on an alcove, and play the flute as we walked through the canyon. It was an experience I will never forget!

    Pam — Yes, very “tame” compared to those place you and John go! 😉

    Sherry — I highly recommend it. It is small, but has a more intimate feel that the bigger National Parks. It is easy to do them all three, as they are so close!

    Allen — Glad to hear Deede liked it. Wish I could have portrayed more of the essence, as it really was a restorative place.

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