A volunteer trail steward with the Friends of Snow Canyon recently stopped by park headquarters to report vandalism in the form of spray paint in the White Rocks area of the canyon. It is unclear when the damage occurred. However, the vandalized area spans more than 10 meters.
“Visitation to the park has steadily increased every year for the past 10 years” said Kristen Comella, Snow Canyon State Park manager. “Unfortunately, so has the rate and type of vandalism. What at first appeared to be a small area has turned out to be an extensive section of white Navajo sandstone.”
According to state park officials, spray paint is one of the most difficult types of vandalism to remove from rock surfaces. Power tools are often required to sand or grind the paint off. This alters the natural rock features, and the area is never quite the same. It takes money and a lot of time to remove the damage.
“I’m not sure what is more shocking, the fact that these vandals showed a total disregard for the natural beauty of the canyon or the fact that they hiked several miles armed with spray paint in what was a very deliberate act,” Comella said.
The first of what will be multiple cleanup efforts is planned for late November.
“Given the rugged terrain and safety concerns, we are still formulating our plan of attack,” Comella said. “Snow Canyon is a special place, like so many of the natural areas we are blessed with in southern Utah. We encourage all park visitors to travel lightly and leave things as they find them. It would be a shame if visitors 50 years from now experienced a canyon full of spray paint, names carved in rock, glow sticks, and garbage. We can do better than this and should.”