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Editor’s Note: Hikers should not enter the cave if they are not in good physical condition and without proper spelunking gear, including a light.SNOW CANYON STATE PARK — Most hiking trails lead to a picturesque view from the top of a mountain. The Butterfly Trail in Snow Canyon State Park takes hikers to an incredible lava tube cave.
Located 15 minutes from St. George, Snow Canyon State Park offers a variety of hiking trails. The Butterfly trailhead is located off Snow Canyon Drive and is marked with a sign. The trail is a little under 2 miles round-trip and is fairly flat for most of the hike, making it a nice hike for families with children.
The trail is mostly hard-packed dirt, but has some sandy areas as well. About a quarter mile into the hike, the trail climbs over some petrified sand dunes that are kind of rocky and uneven, so hikers should wear good shoes for the hike.
The Butterfly Trail and the Lava Flow Trail use the same path for the majority of the hike, but it is clearly marked with signs so hikers shouldn’t have a problem staying on track. The trail winds through black lava rock and beautiful red and white rock cliffs, creating gorgeous scenery for hikers. And if you are lucky, you might see a wild Gila monster.
The Butterfly Trail ends at a marker where the Lava Flow Trail and White Rock Trail continue to the right and the West Canyon Overlook Trail continues to the left. To reach the lava tubes, hikers should continue along the trail that forks to the right for about 100 feet.
The lava tube caves are located on the right of the trail and are surrounded by a lot of large lava rocks. Hikers can climb down into the entrance of the underground caves, but the caves are very dark and hikers should enter at their own risk.
The hike to the lava tubes takes about 30 minutes round-trip.
Distance: 2 miles roundtrip