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The Ultimate Guide to planning a Wedding or Elopement at Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

Snow Canyon State Park is known for its stunning views with easy accessibility and is one of my favorite, not so hidden gems in Southern Utah. Snow Canyon has 33 trailheads and can be a quiet park even during Southern Utah’s peak season.

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Not only that, but Snow Canyon has the most stunning backdrop to host your Southern Utah wedding or elopement! With Pinterest-worthy views, earthy vibes, and an inexpensive permit, you can create the desert wedding or elopement of your dreams at Snow Canyon State Park! Did I mention I got married in Snow Canyon in September of 2022?!?

I learned so much when planning my wedding in September, so I am here to walk you through all the details and things to consider when choosing Snow Canyon State Park as the destination for your celebration.....lets go!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Things to consider when choosing Snow Canyon for your wedding or elopement destination

  • The Best time to get married or elope at Snow Canyon State Park

  • Blackout dates for weddings at Snow Canyon State Park

  • How to get a permit to get married at Snow Canyon State Park

  • Details for planning an intimate elopement at Snow Canyon State Park

  • Best location for elopement photos in Snow Canyon State Park

  • Alexander & Kennedy - Getting married in Snow Canyon; My Story

  • Why hire Zion Adventure Photog to capture your Snow Canyon Wedding or Elopement

Couple getting Married in Snow Canyon State Park

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING SNOW CANYON FOR YOUR WEDDING DESTINATION

Before you say yes to Snow Canyon State Park, here are some things to consider right off of the Utah State Government site -

  • Group size may not exceed 50 people and 10 vehicles. Weddings exceeding 50 people are not permitted.

  • Groups of 25 or fewer people can choose from one of the following locations:

    • a) Snow Canyon Scenic Overlook*

    • b) Petrified Dunes*

    • c) Lower Galoot

    • d) SandDunes*

  • * These locations are still open to the general public and cannot be reserved for exclusive use.

  • Groups larger than 26 (and not exceeding 50 people) can only use (and reserve) Lower Galoot.

  • On Saturdays and Sundays from March-May and October-November, Lower Galoot can only be reserved between the hours of 8 am and 11am OR 4 pm and 9 pm.

  • No more than one wedding permit will be issued for any given date (i.e. once a date has been booked by a wedding party, regardless of time and location, it cannot be booked by another group).

  • Park hours are 6a.m. to 10p.m. daily. Day use is not permitted outside these hours.

  • Hiking is on designated trails only. Your ceremony, wedding party photos, or other wedding activities cannot take place off-trail.

  • The following are not allowed:

  • No Drones

  • No Amplified music

  • No Generators

  • No open flames or flammable items

  • No signs, balloons, or other temporary markers

  • No Rice, birdseed, confetti or other wedding toss items

  • No release of doves, butterflies, or any other type of wildlife

  • Dogs must be leashed and under control. Scoop, bag, and bin all dog waste.

If you are hosting an intimate ceremony with 50 people or less, this truly is a great place to say, “I Do.”

Family photos after elopement in Snow Canyon State Park

THE BEST TIME TO GET MARRIED/ELOPE AT SNOW CANYON STATE PARK

Southern Utah is gorgeous year round, but it is good to keep in mind the summer months (May-September) and our 100+ degree temps when choosing a wedding date. Spring and Fall (March, April, October & November) are absolutely perfect times for weather, but the park does tend to be a bit more crowded! If you want the park to yourself plan a winter wedding or elopement. Winter temps (December-February) in Southern Utah are mild and tend to stay around 50 degrees in the daytime.

BLACKOUT DATES FOR WEDDINGS AT SNOW CANYON

The park has strict blackout dates to follow when choosing a day for booking. Due to heavy visitation; high visitor demand and limited parking; or special events, wedding permits will not be issued for the following 2023 dates:

January 14 – 16 (Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend)

February 17 – 20 (President’s Day holiday weekend)

March 11 – 19 (Washington County Spring Break)

April 1 – 10 (Davis County Spring Break; Easter holiday weekend) o May 4 – 6 (Ironman 70.3 North American Championship)

May 27 – 29 (Memorial Day holiday weekend)

October 7 – 11 (St. George Marathon; Huntsman World Sr. Games; Columbus Day holiday) o October 12 – 16 (UEA / Fall Break)

November 18 (Snow Canyon Half Marathon)

November 23 - 27 (Thanksgiving holiday weekend)

Now with all of that in mind, you can make the decision if Snow Canyon is still a good fit for you! For us, it was!

Couple getting married at Snow Canyon State Park

HOW TO GET A PERMIT TO GET MARRIED IN SNOW CANYON

Your first order of business will be to get a permit for your wedding date. Permits are only given for the current calendar year. You must have a permit prior to three weeks of your chosen wedding date. There is a $150 filing fee that is due upon booking your date.


For the Lower Galoot trailhead, the cost is an additional $100 for up to three hours and then $30 for every hour after that. You can call or email the park (snowcanyon@utah.gov) for your special use permit. Your photographer and videographer (reach out to book us to capture your day!) will need to do the same to get their photo and video permit. Each person that drives into the park for your ceremony will also need to pay the $10-$15 entrance fee.

There are so many stunning views all throughout the canyon! Here are some examples of the endless possibilities that can take place within the park.



DETAILS FOR PLANNING AN INTIMATE ELOPEMENT IN SNOW CANYON STATE PARK

Snow Canyon State Park is the perfect place for an intimate elopement! Combine travel, outdoor adventure, and the celebration of your love by eloping in this red rock desert paradise.

Exchange private vows in a slot canyon with just the two of you and a few of your closest family and friends, then head to get killer shots that truly show off those immense red rock desert views. Hire us to help you plan the perfect elopement.

THE BEST LOCATIONS FOR ELOPEMENT PHOTOS

Jenny's Canyon

A short, sandy walk to a quaint yet magnificent slot canyon. This trail is only a .5 mile round trip walk and is lightly trafficked throughout the day. You can run your fingertips along the soft red walls of the canyon, and it offers a cool refuge from the hot desert in the summer.


Petrified Dunes

The dunes are essentially massive hills of Navajo sandstone that cascade around you with epic red rock views in all directions. A short and easy walk leads you to the massive views.

Snow Canyon Overlook

This location features a desert setting with the stunning red rock of Snow Canyon State Park in the background. This is a drive up to location making is super easy and accessible.

Off the beaten path

There are so many beautiful places in Snow Canyon to get away from people and immerse yourself in nature. Capture stunning red rock and desert vibes with a local photographer who knows the area well........THAT'S ME!!! CLICK HERE TO BOOK ME FOR YOUR SNOW CANYON ELOPEMENT!

Alexander + Kennedy - GETTING MARRIED AT SNOW CANYON STATE PARK; MY STORY

We opted to host our family in a full-blown wedding weekend celebration to show our friends and family from around the country our favorite places to explore and adventure in our area!


We had everyone stay at the INN Santa Clara, a local INN about 12 minutes from the park. After visiting with the owners of the INN, we fell in love with the idea of hosting our family there for our wedding weekend!

Each room was impeccable and themed to represent different things unique to the area. INN Santa Clara was a place that our family could return to after hiking in Zion, racing at the sand dunes in Sand Hollow or shopping at the local boutiques in downtown St. George.

There are several awesome VRBO’s that can host large groups. Red Mountain Resort, right by the entrance, can host large groups and is an all-inclusive resort.

We held our ceremony at the Lower Galoot Trailhead in Snow Canyon so we could invite 50 people. We rented benches, got an arch off of Amazon and we added floral arrangements that we worked on together to create the look! After our ceremony, we had all of our friends and family head back to our reception.

This gave us some time to take some photos of just the two of us. There are so many ways to incorporate the park into your day. For us, the park was the scene of our first date together, so it meant a lot to us to get married within the grounds.

For our reception, we transformed the INN's grassy “parking” area into a space for dinner, dancing, and toasts! Everything was perfect, and it was a night to remember.

Couple at Petrified Dunes after eloping at Snow Canyon State Park

WHY HIRE ZION ADVENTURE PHOTOG TO CAPTURE YOUR WEDDING OR ELOPEMENT AT SNOW CANYON STATE PARK

At Zion Adventure Photog we are a team of local photographers who love the outdoors, but even more than that, we love adventuring with our clients and showing them our amazing home.

With all our local knowledge and seven years of experience capturing elopements in Southern Utah, we are skilled in making sure every detail of your day goes down without a hitch. We help you figure out the perfect locations, timing, and all the details of your day to make it everything you want and more.

 

However you choose to celebrate your union will be perfect! The key is to stay true to it being the perfect representation and celebration for the two of you.


Happy Adventuring,

Kennedy


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