No Filter: Schussing cinder cones in Dixie

ST. GEORGE – Just shy of Diamond Valley in St. George and part of the majesty of Snow Canyon State Park stands a dark and ominous cinder cone, an old volcano that beckons the curious to hike the official and friendly trail that spirals upward about 384-feet in elevation to the black cone’s mouth. It is one of a few such cinder cones in the region, another being located farther up state Route 18 near Veyo.

Now for some – like Co-hosts Paul Ford and Grady Sinclair of course – a dusty trail walk down from the top of a cinder cone is no match for the alternative temptation of rapid descent.  When you’ve got lava rocks and rubble, who needs snow? See for yourself here, in Episode 23 of the “No Filter Show.”  Let ‘er roll:

Watch the “No Filter” video, click the play arrow  play-arrow  in the center of the video top of the story

Although many have gone before the “No Filter Show” co-hosts in descending what is now the Snow Canyon Park Cinder Cone on all manner of things other than their feet, doing so there is not a permitted use under park regulations; cinder cones are highly erodible, Snow Canyon State Park Manager Kristen Comella said. Utah State Parks are regulated such that any use that is not specifically permitted is considered prohibited, she said.

Cinder cones and other landscape features on lands in the region managed by the Bureau of Land Management are not subject to the “permitted only” regulatory scheme. According to information from the St. George office for the BLM, there are vehicle restrictions in the area of the Veyo cinder cone that it manages but no known restrictions regarding hiking – or skiing – on those managed lands.

Trails at the Snow Canyon Cinder Cone are currently slated for a three-phase work of improvement, part of which is expected to be undertaken sometime in the coming year, Comella said. The improvement project will be funded in part by $2,000 earmarked for the cinder cone by the Friends of Snow Canyon State Park, a nonprofit group organized to provide financial and volunteer resources to support the park.

Those interested in learning more about volcanoes and volcanic activity in Snow Canyon State Park may join an educational hike to the top of the cone scheduled by the park for Feb. 28, 4-6 p.m. The hike is open and free to the public but space is limited and registration required.  For more information, or to register for the “Cinder Cone Hike,” contact park staff at telephone 435-628-2255.

Caution: Rocks and rock fragments comprising or covering cinder cones derive from molten rock that hardened as it erupted from underground and then cooled quickly. These materials can be glass-like and sharp. Falling on them may lead to injury. The activities reflected in the video are risky; sledding or skiing over rocks can pick up high speeds and participants could easily tumble, face-plant, and may be hurt engaging in the activity.  Parental supervision is advised.

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed the written portion of this “No Filter” post.

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Post updated 6:20 p.m.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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  • wilbur February 7, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Kristen Comella: “Utah State Parks are regulated such that any use that is not specifically permitted is considered prohibited”.

    Spoken like a true apparatchik of the state.

    • Bender February 7, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      The lurking anarchist emerges.

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