Hiking, an activity that has turned into an obsession here in Southern Utah.

Rock-hounding, another obsession, though not as popular, here in Washington County.

The two passions combine in an activity sponsored by Utah Tech University -- and it's free!

In an opportunity to examine the landscape within Snow Canyon State Park, the Southwest Geoscience Center at Utah Tech University is collaborating with the park to host a free geology hike.

Explaining St. George’s red cliffs and lava flows, the hike will illustrate how the dramatic landscape of Southern Utah was created through erosion, volcanism and deposition over the course of millions of years. The hike will be led by Utah Tech University Geologist Janice Hayden, who has studied the geology of Southern Utah for decades.

“This is a spectacular chance for anyone interested to come learn about the geologic forces that contribute to our unique home,” Dr. Alex Tye, Director of the Southwest Geoscience Center at Utah Tech University, said.

The guided hike is set to take place at 5:15 p.m. on Oct. 4 and is expected to last an hour and a half. Participants will meet at the Upper Galoot parking lot on Snow Canyon Drive in Snow Canyon State Park. The event is free to the public, with the park’s entrance fee waived, but attendance is capped so pre-registration is encouraged at https://forms.gle/z5YGhuwAHQCf1BdGA.

The Southwest Geoscience Center at Utah Tech University facilitates the learning, exploration and protection of the unique geology and environments of the Southwestern United States. To learn more, visit geoscience.utahtech.edu.

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