Utah's Snow Canyon State Park is located just north of St. George, Utah. It encompasses a fascinating landscape partially shaped by volcanic activity. The Diamond Valley Cinder Cone Trail, sometimes referred to as the Santa Clara Cinder Cone or Santa Clara Volcano, offers an opportunity to explore a volcanic cinder cone. The lava from this cone once flowed through Snow Canyon State Park and all the way to the city of Santa Clara Utah.
Volcano Cone Location: The Snow Canyon Volcano is situated on the northeast edge of Snow Canyon State Park. From St. George it is a 12 mile drive north on Highway 18.
Parking: The volcano is clearly visible from Highway 18 and parking is just off roadside. The parking area is a marked gravel lot and right at the base of the trailhead. Enter the parking area carefully as it is directly off the main highway and there are some bigger drop offs from the highway.
Trailhead: The trailhead for the Snow Canyon Volcano Hike is easily identifiable, with signs marking the start of the trail south of the parking area. The hike begins with a gradual ascent, gradually becoming steeper as you approach the cinder cone. The trail can be rocky with loose gravel and uneven in some sections.
Difficulty: The hike is moderately difficult, with a few steep sections and loose rock surfaces. It's suitable for most active ages and physically capable individuals. Caution should be exercised, especially on the steeper loose-lava sections.
Length of Trail: The length of the trail varies depending on the route taken, but it is approximately 1.7 miles round trip.
Views: From the summit hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of Snow Canyon State Park and the surrounding landscape. You can peer into the crater of the cinder cone and also enjoy vistas of other nearby volcanic cones. The views are breathtaking, offering a glimpse into the area's more recent volcanic history and sandstone geological formations.
Volcanic History: The volcanic eruptions in this area have shaped the landscape over time. The Snow Canyon Volcano is part of a larger volcanic field that includes several other cinder cones and lava flows. This volcanic activity is relatively recent in geological terms, with some scientists suggesting that eruptions occurred as recently as one-thousand years ago.
Lava Flows: Be sure to check out all the lava activity in Snow Canyon State Park. Lava flows from ancient eruptions have left their mark on the park, creating dramatic rock formations and rugged terrain. Visitors can see evidence of these lava flows with lava tubes, caves, and other volcanic features scattered across the landscape.
Overall, the Snow Canyon Volcano Hike offers a fascinating glimpse into the area's volcanic history and provides hikers with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It's a must-do for anyone visiting Snow Canyon State Park and a memorable outdoor experience for all ages.
Tips: Be sure to bring sun protection and enough water, there is no shade on this trail.
Make an extra little drive to try Volcano pie at the world famous Veyo Pies north of Snow Canyon and the Cinder Cone Trail Volcano.