May/June 2022 Issue
Whether you’re eager to get off the Las Vegas Strip or you’re looking for an alternative to Utah’s Mighty Five, you have plenty of options throughout Utah. Even better, the options are gram-worthy, with spectacular views and fewer people crowding for photos.
Snow Canyon State Park
From Las Vegas, your road trip begins on U.S. 15 North. Take this nearly all the way to Snow Canyon State Park near Ivins, exiting north at State Route 18 for the final miles. Pro tip, the 16 minute detour (one-way) off Interstate 15 to Valley of Fire State Park is worth your time at the start or end of this trip for other-worldly landscapes and rock formations, such as Elephant Rock.
Set in high desert, Snow Canyon is not a big park—just 7,400 acres—but you’ll experience vast views of stunning red rocks and towering sandstone cliffs, much like those at Zion National Park. Snow Canyon, however, is one of Utah’s overlooked gems, so expect a fraction of the crowds.
Meander across sandstone mounds, over open lava flows, and past scrubby lowland brush on the rugged Butterfly Trail. The Lava Flow Overlook boasts 360-degree views of black lava fields. Soak in the beauty of the Red Mountains, which are carved from white and red Navajo sandstone.
Sand Hollow State Park
From Snow Canyon, backtrack to Interstate 15, then motor north to State Route 9, which delivers you to Sand Hollow State Park near Hurricane. Revel in the striking juxtaposition between the sparkling turquoise waters and red sandstone landscape.
At this 20,000-acre state park, the dramatic rock formations and red sand beaches beg visitors to soak up the majestic landscape. On fair-weather days, families sit and chat at picnic tables on the beach, with RVs and tents set up for the weekend.
Rent a kayak from Sand Hollow Rentals for a paddle on the crystal-clear reservoir. The calm breezes and gently lapping waves are serene. Refuel with burgers and salads at the dockside restaurant, then take a guided tour on Utility Terrain Vehicles across 6,000 acres of orange-red sand dunes.