Quick Trips Near St. George

Categories: St. George

There are a lot of fun little places I go that aren’t necessarily a notable story or long enough adventure for a full blog post but are still worthy of mention. Here are a handful of activities around the St. George area that can be done in a few hours.


Cedar Pockets Sinkhole

I don’t know what the real name of this sinkhole is, or if it even has a name. It’s a strange coincidence that there is another, more well known sinkhole over at Gold Butte near an area called Whitney Pockets. That one is called Devil’s Throat, but I like this one better because it’s not fenced off and you can walk into it. It’s off the north side of the road that runs from Cedar Pockets Camp Ground to old Hwy 91, but it’s west of the mountains.

The hole is unusual because the ground actually rises up around it before collapsing, making it tricky to find. There are bats and garbage in the bottom. One bat we saw was obviously sick, possibly with rabies, so beware, especially if you have a dog with you. Someone in St. George got rabies from a bat this year. I can only imagine they were messing around with it.

Unlike other sinkholes I’ve seen in the desert, you can walk down into this one.


The Chuckwalla Trail

The Chuckwalla Trail, just north of the intersection of Bluff Street and Snow Canyon Parkway, is a nice walk that offers miles of walking through a network of trails crossing the southern portions of Snow Canyon State Park. Rock Climbing and Mountain Biking are other popular activities along the trail system. On the opposite edge are great views of the Ivins area from a high cliff and at the right time of year you can hear frogs croaking at Miller Spring.

There are several official rock climbing areas along the trail system.

This rock reminds me of the cursed and storied Kalakala Ferry. It probably does not remind many other people of that.

It’s a good place for mountain biking too.

The Paradise Rim trail offers some great views of Ivins.

From high points you can also see Pine Mountain.


Glitter Mountain

Glitter “Mountain” is a small dug up hillside exposing a thick band of selenite (follow link for directions). Selenite is a form of gypsum that is completely transparent like glass. The famous Naica Mine Crystals are the best example in the world, and have recently been found to have ancient microbes trapped in liquid pockets inside the crystals. One of the many cool things about Selenite is that it’s the mineral calcium sulfate dihydrate, meaning it contains two water molecules. That sounds crazy until you realize the crystals form in water.

An important thing to know is that Glitter Mountain, while on public land, is an active private mining site. Don’t show up with a pickaxe, but it’s ok to pick up discarded pieces off the ground.

Although it’s closer to St. George than anywhere else in the world, Glitter Mountain is actually in the Arizona Strip.

I always take pictures of flowers and then get home and see a disgusting spider hiding behind them.

A small piece of selenite to show how it’s clear as glass. I have some pieces that are over 2 inches thick and just as clear. The mineral can be scratched by your fingernail, so don’t toss it around or pack it in a pile or it won’t be clear for long.

I walked up  to the top of the hill and saw a quarter sized hole in road. I was shocked to see a deep crevice down in that hole. There’s only a very thin crust over the road at this fissure.

For the more adventurous there are many other tiny locations of interest in the Glitter Mountain area.

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