Here in the desert we don’t have luscious beaches with beautiful blue water and white waves, but we do have sand!!! And lots of it. Snow Canyon State Park is a short drive from the city of St. George; just 8 miles north of St. George on State Route 18. To access the sand dunes you will have to pay entrance to the State Park. Entrance fees can be paid per visit, or you can even purchase an annual pass for Utah State Parks. The per entrance fee is only $6 per vehicle. Click here for more information on pricing (walk-in rate, cyclist rate, camping fees, etc.).
Once in the park, the sand dunes are a short drive down the main road and can be easily seen on the left-hand side. You will come upon a gravel parking lot where you will park and then walk to your desired location on the sand dunes. At the parking lot, there are bathrooms and picnic benches.
We always load up with snacks, sand toys, blankets, a frisbee and anything else that would be fun to do on any other beach. Make sure to bring water bottles so you don’t have to trek back and forth to the car for drinks. Tennis shoes are fine, but I prefer to have the kids wear sandals for easy clean-up when it’s time to leave. However, if you are there hiking and have boots or tie shoes on, no biggie.
You will have two parking lot options. The first one you see along the road is for a few cars, and close to the dunes. You can hop right in and start having fun, however there are no bathrooms. Continue down the road further to the larger parking lot. Here are restrooms, garbages and ample parking. Wherever you choose to park, you can see there is a lot of room to spread out in. You can walk anywhere along the dunes to find your perfect family spot. We like to head way out past where most people stop, but honestly, the distance is usually determined by the whiniest child.
Once we have found a nice little command post (where the parents park all our crap) then it is time to let the kids explore, roll, jump, build, spin and whatever else they can do in the sand. Well, and of course….dig holes. Lots and lots of holes.
This is the desert which means lots of little pokey bushes. The kids are fine to walk around barefoot, but you might get a little pokey (that’s our super scientific name for them). They usually don’t stick in your feet, or when they do, they are easy to pull out. Some leave a lingering sting, but the kids quickly forget.
I promise Kid4 above is not pooping. He is not a big fan of sand in his pants so he always tries to find a little perch. You’ll also notice that the sand does hold its shape. The top sand is very dry and warm, but dig down further and you will get sand with some more moisture that will allow for sand castles.
Do not say I didn’t warn you!! If you take a snotty-nosed child to the sand dunes, they will return home with colorful snot dribbling down their nose. Kid3 doesn’t seem to mind, now does she?
This adventure is a GREAT one! We hit the sand dunes multiple times during the year (we have even gone in February before!).
- Picnic area
- Low cost
- Hours of fun
- Lots of room to run and play
- You’ll get sand in your car
- Runny noses attract sand
- You’ll need a bigger bag to haul everything in
- Summertime = Hot