IVINS — The southern entrance to Snow Canyon State park will be moving a little more south, as the city of Ivins has donated a portion of Snow Canyon Drive to the park.

Ivins City Council meets in Ivins City Hall, Ivins, Utah, Feb. 1, 2024 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The move that has been more than three years in the making was confirmed in a unanimous, 5-0 vote by the Ivins City Council recently.

As part of the deal, the park will take over ownership and maintenance of Snow Canyon Drive from the existing entrance to the northern border of the Vermillion Cliffs subdivision and create a new, larger entrance about 400 yards south of the present entry.

The new entry will include a “fast pass” lane for annual park holders and a longer entry designed to lessen the back-ups at the entrance that have grown with the park’s popularity according to Kristen Comella, manager of the park.

“The idea is to ease revenue collection and make people feel more like they’re in the park,” Comella told the council during a previous meeting on Jan. 18.

The entrance gate will grow from one to two entry lanes and be able to accommodate 48 cars at once.

Visitors who had taken advantage of the Johnson Canyon Trail parking area to avoid paying the per car fee to enter will soon be out of luck, as it will now be inside the park entrance. The park is talking about enlarging that parking lot, however, as well as other projects planned in the coming year.

No timetable has been given for when the new southern entrance will be built. There was little comment before the Thursday vote and no public comments during a public hearing.

Diagram from February 2024 shows location of new southern entry gate to Snow Canyon State Park compared to original location as well as portion of Snow Canyon Drived donated by the city of Ivins to the park shaded in red | May by Google Maps, diagram by Chris Reed, St. George News | Click to enlarge

A portion of the annexed road borders land belonging to the Red Mountain Resort, and the resort owners — Enlaw LLC — have expressed their consent to the park taking over the road.

Also giving consent in the City of Santa Clara, which has a small maintenance yard and water tank just after where the new southern gate will be, and the park has provided assurance of continued access for Santa Clara.

Ivins Mayor Chris Hart noted Thursday that technically, the road has been within the boundaries of the state park before now.

“We had a right of way through park property, so this seems like a natural thing,” he said.

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