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Johnson’s Canyon and Arch

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Johnson’s Canyon and Arch Trail is a beautiful, short and easy hike at the entrance of Snow Canyon State Park. It offers towering sandstone, a box canyon, a large arch, lava rock flow, and beautiful views. This trail closes every year from March 15 – September 14 to protect the endangered Desert Tortoise.

The parking is just before the entrance to Snow Canyon State Park. This used to be outside the fee area, but now requires a fee or Utah state parks pass. This is the same parking lot for Scout Cave and Padre Canyon. For both Johnson’s Canyon and Scout Cave you will cross the road and begin the trail on the opposite side.

The trail is clearly marked and has mostly shallow sand. It was easy to walk on and didn’t get in our shoes much. There are beautiful views looking further into Snow Canyon State Park. Soon you get to a split in the trail. Scout Cave is to the right and Johnson’s Canyon is straight.

You will pass a few sections with lava flow. Long ago the Santa Clara Volcano erupted and left lava flows and the lava tubes in Snow Canyon State Park.

The trail then goes along the side of a wash that might have water after rain.

Straight ahead you can see high sandstone cliffs.

As you near the corner and the trail heads left, you will see more greenery in the riverbed. The fall leaves were beautiful and we could hear the water rushing in sections down below.

Once you are heading into the canyon, you can see the tall walls on both sides. When you see the wooden fence, be sure to look up and see the massive 200 foot arch.

Up to this point the trail has been nearly entirely flat, but from here to the end there is a bit more up and down. It’s still mostly easy though.

Because this is a box canyon, there is a dead end in the canyon. Another box canyon in Utah is Maple Box Canyon in Central Utah. After rain there may be some wet portions here.

This is a popular canyoneering spot.

Here are a few more photos from the Johnson’s Canyon and Arch Trail.

Stats: Distance – 2.0 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 45-90 minutes 
Elevation gain – 154 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – None
Seasons to hike – September 15 – March 14 (closed March 15-September 15 for tortoise habitat)
Permits needed – $10/vehicle for Utah residents, $15/vehicle for non-residents or Utah State Parks Pass
Pets allowed – No!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d809.219386541316!2d-113.64569348442745!3d37.178174130328756!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x80ca42387916062b%3A0x41fb96e043702db5!2sJohnson%20Canyon%20Arch%20Trail!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1669262047886!5m2!1sen!2sus

Other hikes nearby are Jenny’s Canyon, Petrified Sand Dunes, Lava Tube Trail, Butterfly Trail and Snow Canyon Petroglyphs. Click here for all St. George area hikes.


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

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