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Red Cliffs Nature Trail

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, Utah

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Red Cliffs Nature Trail

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  • Marked as the Red Reef Trail, the Red Cliff Nature Trail is the first section up to the Moqui Steps.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • A large dead tree that sure looks like a sleeping elephant.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • The first waterfall (with no flow) and a watering hole. The trail continues behind and up to the left from here.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Hikers descending the Moqui Steps from the Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Exploring the Moqui Steps along the Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail.- Red Cliffs Nature Trail
  • - Red Cliffs Nature Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Amazing beauty. Waterfalls in red rock. Dog friendly.
Cons: 
Crowded. Hot in summer. Day pass fee.
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Region:
Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, UT
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
50.00 ft (15.24 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.50 mi (2.41 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,226.00 ft (983.28 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

If you want to experience a true red rock canyon but are a bit intimidated by desert trekking, look no further than the Red Cliffs Nature Trail. Starting off from the Red Cliffs Campground, this easy hike takes you through some really breathtaking canyon country. Large cottonwoods line the wash with sheer sandstone cliffs on either side. Pools of water lie beneath short waterfalls of slickrock while desert varnish streams down from the walls. This dog-friendly hike can get crowded, but a smaller amount of parking keeps it from getting too crazy. There aren't many elevation gains besides the route around the first watering hole. Keep an eye out for that as it heads around to the left before the first waterfall; the trail doesn't end here. There are several unnamed washes and even some short slot canyons off from this trail if you want to explore further.

The trailhead is marked as Red Reef Trail, so it can be easy to get confused. Basically the first part of the trail up to the Moqui Steps is called the "Nature Trail" to signify the easy, family oriented section. If you continue on past the steps, then you will officially be on the Red Reef Trail, which is a 6-mile shuttle trek or 12-mile there-and-back. Moqui Steps are a rope-assisted "staircase" consisting of small holes dug out of the sandstone rather than actual stairs.

Keep in mind that this area is very dangerous during a flash flood. Check the weather for the area surrounding Leeds, Utah, at least a few days before your trip. Traveling here in the summer can mean less flash-flood risk, but the heat can be dangerous. Dehydration occurs very quickly in any season here. If you have these two hazards in mind, the rest of the hike is safe and easy and suitable for the whole family. Don't forget to bring $5 cash for the day use parking fee!

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(56 within a 30 mile radius)

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