Lava Tube Trail is a 2.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near St George, UT that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
This is the real American Southwest, with a wildness and emptiness that allows you a taste of frontier life.
This was a fun hike with great scenery and a little adventure. Parking is easy and the trail is well marked. Easy walking, passing by lava flow, with vistas of the the snow canyon cliffs ahead of you and white rocks to the side. There are two large lava tubes areas which are marked on the trail map. Bring headlamps if you'd like to really get in there and explore. Otherwise you can just walk in the entrance for a taste of what it's like. There are a few other smaller tubes along the way, not on the map, that are also fun if you are ready for a squeeze and a slither. The nice thing is that the lava tubes are only about half way on the trail, so you can really customize how long or short you want your hike to be. After the lava tubes (where we lingered for quite a while) we took time to climb to the very top of the slickrock hill where an overlook is marked on the map. See our photos above. It was a fun easy scramble and a spectacular view at the top. Then we hiked back to the car. Overall we only did 2.2 miles and 2 hours of hiking. You can follow the trail to the end for a 4+ mile hike. You can crawl around in caves or just hike. We went at the end of September and temps were mid 80's on the surface and 50's in the big caves. Perfect, in other words :)
Fun hike, cool lava tubes, nice overlook of Snow Canyon
Nice, easy hike for the family with a very cool tree at the end..
You'll have to be a little adventurous and willing to go into tight spaces and climb out, but the caves and lava tubes were phenomenal! Not a far hike, but lots of exploring and lots of fun.
I had a few hours to spend in the Snow Canyon park and decided to combine few trail sections to make it a 5 miles loop and enjoy of few of the features this park has to offer.
I started from the Sand dunes parking lot, made my way up the West Canyon trail road with very beautiful view of the red cliff formations making up the walls of this canyon on either side of me. Straight up and ahead, the white rock escarpment stood in sharp contrast.
After 1.6 miles, I took the Lava Cave / Lava Flow trail on the right. The first quarter mile or so, across the dry stream bed, was a slow slog in very fine white sand. After that, the trail slowly ascended the Eastern bluff to reach the mouth of the Lava Tube. The tube was an extremely welcome sight, not simply because was one of the highlights of the hike... but also because it provided a cool shelter out of the sun for about 20mn and a quick snack. Outside, on the canyon floor, the temperatures were around 110 degrees. I did not have any headlamp or flashlight with me and therefore only went a few dozen feet inside the tube.
Once I mustered the courage to come out of the tube and into the full sun, I continued to the butterfly trail at about .7 miles, to turn back down south. Many sweeping view up and down the canyon as well as close ups of rock formations.
From Butterfly (.5 miles) and just before reaching the Snow Canyon Road, I connected with the Petrified Dunes Trail. The "Trail" appears to go up and across some of the petrified dunes; however, in the interest of time and not taking chances to get someone lost or sidetracked, I veered left before the climb of the dune to intersect (at about .25 miles) with the paved Whiptail Trail that I followed south for about .5 miles.
I took a short section of the Three Ponds trail (mostly to get off the paved section) before eventually taking a side-trip on the "Pioneer Names" trail. While not a life-shattering experience, this little detour was interesting, thinking about those that preceded me quite a long time ago. A short jaunt later on the Whiptail and I was back at the parking lot.
All told, the loop was a bit short of the 5.5 miles mark according to the track I uploaded.
This is a simple hike and it's fun to go into one of the tubes. A short hike, but you can connect to other hikes to spend more time in this lovely park.
The tubes are very interesting. Short east hike