Scout Cave is a very popular hike in Snow Canyon State Park that leads to a large cave with a beautiful view of the Ivins, UT area and Jarvis Peak. It starts just before the south entrance at the Johnson Arch Trailhead.
This easy hike is great for all ages, since it is never steep. Dogs are also allowed to use this trail but must remain on-leash. The first mile is flat, working its way around the perimeter of the black lava rock field. Then for the second mile, you drop down, cross the small stream (which may be dry in summer months), before working up a set of stairs. Finally, you can see your destination to Scout Cave, which requires one small climb up.
The best time of year to hike this is in the off season, November through March, when day time temperatures don’t exceed 70F. In summer months the sand and lava rock will be too hot for dogs paws to handle, and leave you dehydrated. Be sure to always carry at least 1-2 liters of water even in Winter months.
From St.George area, head north on Snow Canyon Parkway. At the round-a-bout and Chevron, turn right, heading north. Look for the first large parking lot on your left (West) marked by a brown sign for “Johnson Canyon TH”.
Here is a driving map.
Distance: 4 miles RT
Elevation gain: 424 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, ON leash
Kid friendly? Yes, all ages
Fees/Permits? Yes, the state park fee is required. No permit is needed.
Don’t forget to pay! The ranger was there checking, and several cars got ticketed. You may not have cell service here to scan the QR code, so I recommend just driving up to the entrance gate to pay, which is only another one minute drive.
. Cross the road, and begin the hike!
Don’t forget that dogs have to stay on leash the entire time. Thankfully Charlie and I hiked to Jarvis Peak in the morning. When he is tired he won’t pull and get irritated as much. Same for me haha! We try to avoid on leash hikes as much as possible, but every once in awhile we need to check out the “cool” places. These locations also tend to be very popular, hence, why dogs have to be on leash.
At 0.3 mile turn right for the Scout Cave Trail. If you go straight it will take you to the Johnson Arch, which dogs aren’t even allowed on that trail. Walk around the perimeter of a black lava rock field.
Eventually the trail drops down to the wash, where you will cross the creek.
Now you will hike behind and below a neighborhood. Keep following the signs and the wash.
Now comes the hardest part – a set of 30+ stair steps.
It’s sure to get your heart pumping now!
PS have you checked out the outdoor Rock Porch app yet? I post all my exact gear on there! You can check out my Hiking Essentials right here!
One little climb up before reaching the cave!
Ok I admit, Scout Cave was pretty cool. I enjoyed the destination more than the actual hike though, Would I come back? Probably not due to crowds (I had the cave to myself for maybe 1 minute!), and the on-leash rule. I’m always glad to do something once though!
Check out my video!
My track via Gaia GPS – the best tracking app! Get your app here for a discount.
Save me on Pinterest!