SR-18

Moderate to deep down-slopes provide a challenge to bikers who must control their speed so as to enjoy safe riding.

The SR-18 trail runs approximately 7 miles from the junction of State Route 18 and Snow Canyon Parkway in northwest St. George to the trailhead parking area at the north entrance of Snow Canyon State Park.  The paved trail lies entirely inside the right-of-way for the state highway and is administered by the City of St. George.  The trail accommodates hikers and bikers but is not open to motorized vehicles and is unsuitable for equestrian use.  Elevation at the south end of the trail is 3100 feet and rises to 4105 feet at the north trailhead.  Numerous ups and downs occur throughout the length of the trail resulting in a total up and down elevation change of about 1500 feet.  The ups and downs create some challenges for bikers riding north and make for an exhilarating (and possibly dangerous) ride when heading south.  Visitors are cautioned to use discretion in controlling speed on the downhill segments.  Portions of the trail are quite level and make easy travel for walkers and novice bikers, but many will find the length of the trail and the uphill locations to be strenuous in nature.  Views from the trail on the south end include the red sandstone cliffs on the east side of the highway and red outcrops and black lava drainages to the west in Paradise Canyon.  Further to the north visitors will have numerous opportunities to enjoy excellent views into Snow Canyon State Park and the white sandstone cliffs to the east behind Diamond Valley and Winchester Hills.

The trail connects on the south with other segments of the St. George City paved trail system including the Snow Canyon Parkway trail, the Red Hills Parkway trail, and the city trail segment leading to Bluff Street Park south of Diagonal Street.  At the north end, the trail connects directly to the exceptional and unpaved Gila trail and the Snow Canyon Road inside Snow Canyon State Park.  Most of the Gila trail lies outside of the park’s fee area.  These connections allow for some very interesting and scenic loop options for hikers and bikers alike both in and out of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve and the Red Cliffs NCA.  Visitors to the south end may wish to park vehicles at the popular Chuckwalla trailhead parking area located less than a quarter mile north of the intersection with Snow Canyon Parkway.  The SR-18 trail also provides direct access to popular (but unsigned) rock climbing areas at Black Rocks and Cougar Cliffs (aka “Movie Rocks”) located 1.5  and 2.3  miles north of the south end of the trail, respectively, and to the spectacular Snow Canyon Overlook about 6 miles north of the south end.  Contact Snow Canyon State Park officials for information specific to these climbing areas.

 

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