What Kid Wouldn’t Hike a Volcano?

How many times have our kids made salt clay volcanoes for geology? You can reinforce what they’ve learned by hiking an old volcano.

Cinder Cone Trail

Snow Canyon Cinder Cone Trail
While on Spring Break in St. George Utah, my 6 year-olds were up for an adventure with their older cousins. We decided to hike the Cinder Cone Trail at the northern end of Snow Canyon.

Although this is a short hike, it gets steep, slick and rocky after the saddle. Those with younger children may want to stay at the saddle – the view overlooks Snow Canyon and is stunning.

Those who continue will summit the cinder cone rim. To the south is Snow Canyon and to the north a smaller cinder cone.

This cinder cone and the one summit-ed are part of the Santa Clara Volcano. They are responsible for much of the lava flow covering the area.

Once we reached the rim, we decided to descend into the volcano. It is just under 100 feet deep. We refueled with water and snacks at the bottom.

Fun Facts to Share with Kids

  • Cinder cone sits over 500 feet higher than Snow Canyon
  • Crater is elliptical at top and 616 feet across
  • Cinder cone sits over 500 feet higher than Snow Canyon
  • Crater is elliptical at top and 616 feet across
  • 100 feet deep
  • Cinder cones are the simplest type of volcano
  • Cinder cones have a single vent from where the lava came out. The lava turns into cinders which is how the volcano grew in size

Tips for Hiking this Trail

  1. Wear sturdy hiking shoes with good traction – after the saddle the ascent is basically a scramble
  2. Wear long pants and shirt – I learned the hard way that the lava rock is sharp
  3. Children under 5 years should stay at the saddle
  4. One adult per 2 children

Veyo Volcano PieVolcano Pie
Reward everyone after the hike with a drive over to Veyo and buy one of their special volcano pies to celebrate.

Directions to Cinder Cone Trail head
Trail head is on the east side of the road one mile north of the Snow Canyon Drive junction with State Route 18.

Length: 1.5 miles round trip

Difficulty: Moderate – The steep incline and loose rocks make it difficult

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Mary Edwards
I live with my twin girls and husband at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the summer I like to run, hike, and camp. In the winter I like to snow shoe, cross country ski and cozy up to a stack of novels. My family delights me with their love, humor, and desire to go on outdoor adventures with me from catching butterflies to dipping toes in rivers, to making s'mores up the canyon. I earned a Master of Professional Communication at Westminster College and was marketing manager for the Utah Symphony & Opera Deer Valley Music Festival and Program Director at Brighton Girls Camp. Both opportunities fueled my love for the outdoors.

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