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Petrified Sand Dunes

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The Petrified Sand Dunes are a really cool part of Snow Canyon State Park. Like their name suggests, it is sandstone hills that are fun for all ages to explore.

One of the fascinating things about the petrified dunes is the “Moqui Marbles” that you can find randomly. Apparently they were created as iron-oxide surrounded sandstone, creating the little balls. According to Hopi Indian tradition, ancestors would play with the marbles at night and leave them to reassure their loved ones that they were happy in the afterlife.

I decided to climb up the tallest of the dunes just south of the parking lot.

From the top the views were amazing! The first is the view to the south.

This is the view to the north.

Snow Canyon is quite hot most of the year, so be sure to bring plenty of water. There isn’t really a precise trail. The Snow Canyon map has it heading in a southwest direction, but you can kind of explore as you wish. Here is a map for reference. You can make this part of a larger loop to the Butterfly or Lava Tube Trails or the other direction to Hidden Pinyon Overlook.

Stats: Distance – 0-2 miles depending on route (1.2 miles round trip to connect to Hidden Pinyon Trail and back)
Approximate biking time – 30-120 minutes
Elevation gain – 50-216 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – None
Seasons to hike – Year Round
Permits needed – $15/car for ($10/car for Utah residents) or state parks pass
Pets allowed – No

Map to trailhead


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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