Utah- Snow Canyon State Park

Ride Olympic bred horses in Snow Canyon State Park

by Darley Newman

Patty Arnett of Snow Canyon Trail Rides took me out to ride in Snow Canyon State Park in St. George in Southwestern Utah. Patty’s horses are awesome. I was riding, Itos, an 18-year-old dark bay Dutch Warmblood with Olympic roots. Patty breeds and raises Dutch Warmbloods. One of her horses, the father of Itos, placed 8th in the Atlanta Olympics in 2002. That is pretty cool.

Snow Canyon has towering white and red Navajo sandstone canyons, juxtaposed with lava rocks. All along the ride, Patty tested my imagination and gave me some insight into hers by pointing out formations that looked like bears, the gopher from Caddy Shack, an eagle head and more. We rode to a spot where a couple of falcon nests were constructed in a rock wall, but alas, no one was flying around for us.

We rode through a trail through a sandy wash and were lucky enough to see a beautiful white flower blooming in the crux of the rock wall. It is amazing where things will grow. Patty pointed out a lot of plants as we continued to a high spot, where we could take in the white canyons at the North end of the park. This was my favorite part of the ride, besides the unique desert flowers. Pink and red canyons in the distance juxtaposed the stark white canyon at the North end. It was a beautiful spot to end our ride.

Darley Newman is the host of the Emmy Award-winning Public Television series Equitrekking®, which takes viewers on horseback riding vacations around the world. Equitrekking is broadcast on PBS stations and on international networks.

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