Red Canyon Trail In Utah

Here is everything you need to know about the Red Canyon Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Utah
  • Length: 8.6 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Info not available.

The Red Canyon Trail, located in the heart of the American Southwest, holds a rich historical significance that dates back thousands of years. This trail, also known as the Red Canyon Petroglyph Trail, is renowned for its remarkable collection of ancient rock art and its connection to the indigenous peoples who once inhabited the region. The trail is situated within the Red Canyon, a stunning geological formation characterized by towering red sandstone cliffs and deep canyons, making it an ideal canvas for the ancient artists.

The history of the Red Canyon Trail can be traced back to the ancestral Puebloans, who inhabited the area from around 700 to 1300 AD. These skilled artisans left behind an extraordinary legacy in the form of petroglyphs, which are rock carvings etched into the sandstone walls along the trail. These petroglyphs depict various aspects of their daily lives, including hunting scenes, religious rituals, and celestial events. The intricate designs and symbols provide valuable insights into the cultural practices and beliefs of these ancient peoples.

Over time, the Red Canyon Trail became a significant trade route for various Native American tribes, including the Ute, Paiute, and Navajo. These tribes utilized the trail for centuries, exchanging goods, knowledge, and cultural practices. The trail also served as a vital connection between different regions, fostering cultural exchange and interaction among the indigenous communities. Today, the Red Canyon Trail stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of these ancient civilizations and serves as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of the American Southwest.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Red Canyon Visitor Center: This is the main access point for the Red Canyon Trail. It provides information about the trail and its surroundings, as well as parking facilities.

2. Thunder Mountain Trailhead: Located near the Visitor Center, this trailhead offers access to the Thunder Mountain Trail, which is part of the Red Canyon Trail system.

3. Casto Canyon Trailhead: Situated a few miles south of the Visitor Center, this trailhead provides access to the Casto Canyon Trail, another popular trail within the Red Canyon area.

4. Losee Canyon Trailhead: Located further south of the Casto Canyon Trailhead, this access point allows hikers to explore the Losee Canyon Trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding red rock formations.

5. Cassidy Trailhead: Situated near the southern end of the Red Canyon Trail, this trailhead is named after the infamous outlaw Butch Cassidy. It provides access to the Cassidy Trail, which takes hikers through scenic landscapes and offers panoramic views.

6. Pink Ledges Trailhead: Located near the northern end of the Red Canyon Trail, this access point allows hikers to explore the Pink Ledges Trail. This trail offers unique rock formations and beautiful vistas.

7. Birdseye Trailhead: Situated in the northern section of the Red Canyon Trail, this trailhead provides access to the Birdseye Trail. Hikers can enjoy views of the surrounding canyons and forests.

8. Golden Wall Trailhead: Located near the middle section of the Red Canyon Trail, this access point allows hikers to explore the Golden Wall Trail. This trail offers stunning views of the red rock cliffs and canyons.

9. Hoodoo Trailhead: Situated in the southern part of the Red Canyon Trail, this trailhead provides access to the Hoodoo Trail. Hikers can witness unique hoodoo formations and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area.

10. Pink Cliffs Trailhead: Located near the southern end of the Red Canyon Trail, this access point allows hikers to explore the Pink Cliffs Trail. This trail offers breathtaking views of the pink-colored cliffs and surrounding landscapes.

Transportation Available

1. Red Canyon Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from Red Canyon Trail.
2. Bryce Canyon Shuttle – Shuttle service offering transportation to various trails, including Red Canyon Trail.
3. Ruby’s Inn Shuttle – Shuttle service operating near Red Canyon Trail, providing transportation to nearby attractions.
4. Zion National Park Shuttle – Shuttle service offering transportation to and from Red Canyon Trail and other popular trails in the area.
5. Bryce Canyon National Park Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to Red Canyon Trail and other trails within Bryce Canyon National Park.


The amenities available at the Red Canyon Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities that you might find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could include flush toilets or pit toilets.

2. Parking: There is usually designated parking available at or near the trailhead. This could be a parking lot or designated parking spaces.

3. Camping sites: Some trails may have designated camping areas or nearby campgrounds where you can set up tents or park RVs. However, it’s important to check if camping is allowed at Red Canyon Trail specifically.

4. Picnic areas: There might be designated picnic areas with tables, benches, and sometimes grills where you can enjoy a meal or snack.

5. Trailhead facilities: Depending on the popularity of the trail, there may be additional amenities at the trailhead such as information boards, maps, visitor centers, or ranger stations.

6. Water sources: Some trails may have water sources available, such as drinking fountains or natural water bodies like rivers or lakes. However, it’s always a good idea to bring your own water.

7. Interpretive signs: Along the trail, you might find interpretive signs or educational displays that provide information about the local flora, fauna, geology, or history.

8. Benches or seating areas: There may be benches or seating areas along the trail where you can rest and enjoy the surroundings.

It’s important to note that the availability of these amenities can vary, so it’s recommended to check with the local park or trail management for the most up-to-date information on the amenities available at Red Canyon Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Red Canyon Lodge – Rustic lodge offering lodging, dining, and outdoor activities near the Red Canyon Trail.
2. Flaming Gorge Resort – Resort with cabins, RV sites, restaurant, and marina located close to the Red Canyon Trail.
3. Dutch John Resort – Riverside resort providing lodging, dining, and fishing opportunities near the Red Canyon Trail.
4. Red Canyon Visitor Center – Information center offering maps, permits, and emergency services for visitors of the Red Canyon Trail.
5. Ashley National Forest – National forest with campgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking trails adjacent to the Red Canyon Trail.
6. Manila, Utah – Nearby town with various lodging options, restaurants, and emergency services for visitors of the Red Canyon Trail.

Red Canyon Trail Difficulty Notes

The Red Canyon Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 2.5 miles and features a mix of rocky terrain, steep inclines, and narrow pathways. While some sections may require careful footing and navigation, the trail is well-marked and maintained, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Hikers can expect to encounter breathtaking views of the vibrant red rock formations and lush vegetation that surround the trail, adding to the overall allure and challenge of the Red Canyon Trail.

Features And Attractions

1. Red Canyon Overlook: This scenic viewpoint offers breathtaking views of the Red Canyon and its unique rock formations. It is a popular spot for photography and enjoying the surrounding natural beauty.

2. Hoodoos: The Red Canyon Trail is known for its impressive hoodoos, tall and thin rock formations that have been eroded over time. These unique geological features are a must-see along the trail.

3. Pink Ledges: As you hike along the Red Canyon Trail, you’ll come across the stunning Pink Ledges. These vibrant pink rock formations create a striking contrast against the blue sky and green vegetation.

4. Fremont Indian State Park: Located near the Red Canyon Trail, this historical site is home to ancient Native American petroglyphs and pictographs. Visitors can explore the rock art and learn about the Fremont Indians who once inhabited the area.

5. Dixie National Forest: The Red Canyon Trail is surrounded by the beautiful Dixie National Forest, offering a lush and diverse landscape. Hikers can enjoy the shade of towering pine trees and spot various wildlife along the way.

6. Red Canyon Tunnels: The trail passes through two historic tunnels carved into the rock formations. These tunnels were originally built for the Union Pacific Railroad and add a unique element to the hiking experience.

7. Thunder Mountain Trail: This trail branches off from the Red Canyon Trail and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding canyons and mountains. It is a challenging but rewarding hike for those seeking more adventure.

8. Bryce Canyon National Park: While not directly on the Red Canyon Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park is just a short drive away. Known for its famous hoodoos and breathtaking vistas, it is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

9. Inspiration Point: Located within Bryce Canyon National Park, Inspiration Point offers one of the most awe-inspiring views of the park’s amphitheater. From here, visitors can see the vast expanse of hoodoos and colorful rock formations.

10. Mossy Cave: Another nearby attraction, Mossy Cave is a small but beautiful cave located in Bryce Canyon National Park. It features a waterfall and unique moss-covered walls, creating a serene and picturesque setting.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the Red Canyon Trail. Exploring this area will provide a memorable and enriching experience for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles are allowed on designated trails only.
– No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
– Camping or overnight stays are not allowed on the trail.
– Open fires and fireworks are strictly prohibited.
– Respect seasonal closures and restrictions, if any.
– Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
– Do not disturb or harm wildlife or vegetation.
– Pack out all trash and leave no trace of your visit.
– Observe and follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at the trailhead.

Seasonal Information

The Red Canyon Trail, located in the stunning Red Canyon area of Utah, offers visitors a breathtaking experience with its unique rock formations, vibrant colors, and diverse wildlife. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the most popular times to explore the Red Canyon Trail is during the spring season, from March to May. During this time, the weather is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit (10-25 degrees Celsius). The trail is adorned with beautiful wildflowers, creating a picturesque landscape. Spring also brings the opportunity to witness the awakening of wildlife, such as deer, rabbits, and various bird species. It is advisable to visit during weekdays or early mornings to avoid crowds, as this is a peak season for tourists.

Another great time to visit the Red Canyon Trail is in the fall, from September to November. The temperatures are cooler, ranging from the 40s to 60s Fahrenheit (5-20 degrees Celsius), making it ideal for hiking and exploring the trail. The autumn foliage paints the canyon in vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. The trail is less crowded during this time, allowing visitors to enjoy the tranquility and serenity of the canyon.

It is important to note that the Red Canyon Trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions due to weather conditions. During the winter months, from December to February, the trail can experience heavy snowfall and icy conditions, making it unsafe for hiking. It is recommended to check with local authorities or visitor centers for up-to-date information on trail closures and conditions before planning a visit during this time.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Red Canyon Trail are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the natural beauty of the canyon is at its peak. However, it is essential to stay informed about any seasonal closures or restrictions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Whether you choose to witness the blooming wildflowers in spring or the vibrant foliage in fall, the Red Canyon Trail promises a memorable adventure for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trailhead with sufficient space for wheelchair users to enter and exit their vehicles.
2. Accessible Trailhead: A level and paved area at the beginning of the trail, allowing easy access for wheelchair users.
3. Wide and Paved Trail: The trail is wide enough and made of a smooth surface, suitable for wheelchair users to navigate comfortably.
4. Restroom Facilities: Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and sufficient space for wheelchair users.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: Scattered along the trail, these areas provide seating options for individuals who may need to take breaks.
6. Signage and Information: Clear and visible signs with accessible formats, including braille and large print, providing information about the trail and its features.
7. Accessible Picnic Areas: Designated picnic spots with accessible tables and grills, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy outdoor dining.
8. Assistance Animals: The trail welcomes service animals that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities.
9. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains placed at regular intervals along the trail.
10. Accessible Viewing Areas: Designated spots with unobstructed views, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy the scenic beauty of the trail.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Red Canyon Trail is a moderately difficult trail suitable for hikers with some experience and fitness level.
2. Weather Conditions: Be aware of changing weather conditions and check the forecast before starting the trail.
3. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 2.5 miles long, so plan accordingly for the time it may take to complete.
4. Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction to navigate the rocky terrain.
5. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
6. Hydration: Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike.
7. Trail Markers: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost or straying off the designated path.
8. Wildlife Awareness: Be cautious of wildlife encounters and maintain a safe distance if you come across any animals.
9. Emergency Contact: Carry a fully charged cell phone and have emergency contact numbers readily available.
10. Hiking Buddy: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety and assistance if needed.
11. First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers.
12. Trail Conditions: Check for any trail closures or maintenance updates before heading out.
13. Leave No Trace: Respect the environment by packing out all trash and leaving the trail as you found it.
14. Emergency Preparedness: Familiarize yourself with the trail map and inform someone about your hiking plans.
15. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition before attempting the trail to avoid any health risks.

Conservation Notes

The Red Canyon Trail, located in the heart of the Red Canyon area, is a significant natural resource with a conservation status that demands attention. This trail is classified as a protected area due to its unique ecological features and the presence of several endangered species. The conservation status of the Red Canyon Trail is crucial in preserving its delicate ecosystem and ensuring the survival of these vulnerable species.

One of the primary reasons for the protected status of the Red Canyon Trail is its diverse plant and animal life. The trail is home to a variety of rare and endemic plant species that are found only in this specific region. These plants play a vital role in maintaining the overall balance of the ecosystem and provide habitat and food sources for numerous animal species. Additionally, the trail serves as a critical migratory corridor for several endangered bird species, making it an essential area for their survival and reproduction.

Furthermore, the Red Canyon Trail is known for its geological significance. The unique rock formations and geological features found along the trail are of great scientific interest. These formations provide valuable insights into the Earth’s history and contribute to our understanding of geological processes. Protecting the trail ensures that these geological wonders remain intact and accessible for scientific research and educational purposes.

In conclusion, the conservation status of the Red Canyon Trail is of utmost importance due to its rich biodiversity, presence of endangered species, and geological significance. Preserving this trail ensures the protection of its unique ecosystem and allows for continued scientific exploration and education. Efforts to maintain and enhance the conservation status of the Red Canyon Trail are crucial for the long-term sustainability and survival of its natural resources.

Leave a Comment