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Snow Canyon Trail Ride

Written by Maree Shogren

Exploring Snow Canyon On Horseback

I hadn’t been on a horse in 20 years and my last experience wasn’t a good one. So when I was offered an opportunity to go again, this time in Snow Canyon, I was looking forward to replacing a bad memory with a good one, and that’s exactly what happened.

The tour starts from the Snow Canyon overlook parking lot and meanders north along the canyon rim, towards the white rocks. There were six of us scheduled for the hour-and-a-half tour, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., with the half hour for safety training.

The Desert Southwest Tour: St. George to Zion

Our guide, Brock from Snow Canyon Trail Rides, and a bonafide cowboy by trade, had us sign the legal paperwork, gave us a quick orientation, and then quickly assigned a horse to each person. I was assigned to Shooter, who was the alpha male of the group, and stood about a foot taller than all of the other horses. During the ride, he continuously head-butted the horse in front of me, Wanda, in the rear as if to tell her to pick up her pace. Wanda had a very peaceful and friendly manner about her and put up with Shooter’s antics, but refused to do his bidding and kept to her leisurely stride.

As we began the tour and left the overlook area behind, the trail was sandy and easy-going with spectacular views in every direction. Brock would occasionally slow us down, turn around on his horse and tell us something educational about the canyon and surrounding areas. He talked about how old the lava flows in the canyon were, about the gruesome life of the Tarantula Hawk, the many different kinds of plants and their uses, such as the Mormon Tea plant, which the early pioneers would often use for a number of ailments, such as stomach disorders, and as a decongestant. I found all of his stories to be informative and entertaining.

Horseback riders on switchback.

Once the tour starts to descend into the canyon itself, we had to cross Snow Canyon Drive, which the horses did with ease. The trail terrain then started to vary between sandy and rocky. I thought it might be hard to maneuver Shooter over the jagged lava rock, but he handled it with grace and ease.

I would highly recommend this tour mainly because the horses already know where they are going so you really don’t have to do very much as far as steering or controlling the horse. You really can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride while taking in the gorgeous view. It is definitely a family-friendly experience that I’m sure everyone would enjoy.

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