While we experienced some rain during our stay here at Sand Hollow State Park, the weather did clear enough for us to get out for three short but interesting hikes.
Babylon Arch – To get to this trailhead we drove north of the little town of Leeds (exit 22 north on I-15) and turned east on to 900 N Road, a maintained dirt road. After a drive of three miles we took the left fork at a “Y” in the road, then a quick right into a dirt parking area. The trailhead is in one corner of this parking area.
We followed the trail for about a quarter mile to where it joined a narrow two-track road. After another quarter mile we came to another parking area that is designated the Sand Cove Primitive Camping Area. The camping area is surrounded by colorful rock formations.
At the end of a wood fence is a step-over that is the beginning of the Arch Trail.
The arch trail meanders through some beautiful rock formations until you come to a bluff overlooking the Virgin River.
From the top of the bluff the trail goes steeply down through loose sand until you come to Babylon Arch. Gravity made the hike down easy, but guess what trail we will use to get back!
As you make your way down to the bottom of the sandy path you go around what looks like a large rock protruding from the sand. Go around it and you discover it is the arch.
We continued past the arch for about a half mile to the north side of the Virgin River, where we turned around and headed back.
We passed by the arch and headed back up through the deep sand.
As we hiked back through the campground area we were impressed with the view of the Pine Valley Mountains to the west. This hike was a little over three miles.
Confluence Park Hurricane Trails – This trailhead is very easy to reach. Just turn west on Main Street from West State Street in Hurricane and drive to the end of the road. There you’ll find a parking area with restrooms and information signs.
After looking at a map at the trailhead we decided to combine four trails for a loop hike of just under three miles. The first part of the hike took us west over a flat plain.
After a short distance the trail descended down a winding trail to the Virgin River.
It had rained fairly heavily the previous night, so the river was running strong and muddy. When we hiked down to it from the Babylon Arch the previous day the water was crystal clear. But things had changed!
Near the river there is a large fenced in area that serves as a care area for displaced Desert Tortoises. After a stay here the tortoises are released in various sections of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. We don’t know if there were any residents that day, but we didn’t see any.
Yellow Knolls Trail – This trail is located northwest of St. George in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. To get to the trailhead we drove about two miles south of exit 10 of I-15 on the E. Red Hills Parkway. We then turned west on Cottonwood Springs Road, which turns into Old Dump Road, a smooth unpaved road. The trailhead is in a small parking area 5.5 miles from Red Hills Parkway.
The hike begins with a long loop down through open prairie for about a mile.
It then follows a wash up into some beautiful rock formations that line both sides of the trail.
The trail goes on for miles into the rocks. We went a little over two miles before turning around and hiking back to the trailhead.
All three of these trails are short, fairly easy, and filled with interesting scenery. They are just three examples of the many trails in the St. George area.
That concludes our week stay in beautiful Sand Hollow State Park. Our original plans were to move on to Page, AZ for a week at Wahweap RV and Campground on the shore of Lake Powell. But a small purchase needs to be completed instead, so we are heading back to Boulder City, NV. We’ll spend a week there to complete the closing on our new home, then head toward Bluff, UT to explore some Native American ruins.
More on that later . . .