Don't miss this fantastic state park just 20 minutes outside of town –large red and white rocks, lava flows, petrified dunes and incredible views are all here. The trails are generally well-marked, and all seem to be of easy-to-moderate difficulty. Great road cycling in the park as well (wish I had brought my bike). Lots of parking right next to trail heads. Bathrooms and water are also available at the larger parking lots.
I was so surprised by the level of noise on trails - all I could hear was the wind. Quite a change from the Grand Canyon where all you hear are helicopters.
Although the SCSP brochure indicates that Johnson Canyon is closed from March 15 to June 1, it was closed on the day of my visit (Aug 20).
Jenny's Canyon is a very quick and easy trail ending in yes, a small canyon. Don’t forget to look up and see the large rocks lodged between the two walls. If you can handle a bit more of a climb, do have a look from Jenny's outlook - a great view of the valley.
I recommend doing the Hidden Pinyon trail but don't do it with running shoes – you will need more sturdy shoes or hiking boots. I totally lost the trail about a quarter of the way in – it looked like the trail ended (hence the term "hidden"). There is a very narrow entrance obscured by a tree to what I can only describe as a short tunnel formed my massive rocks leaning against each other - a very nice surprise and quite fun. This trail does have some small shaded areas for breaks. Blue birds nest in the trees along the trail and make an incredible contrast with the red rocks.
**FYI - bring a pen and exact fee (in bills). The day I visited, the main guard house was closed. You have to fill out details on an envelope and detachable form. Form goes in your car, envelope with fee goes in a secured box.
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