Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
735.00 ft (224.03 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The hike to Red Cathedral is a “must do” for anyone visiting Death Valley National Park.

The trail begins at the Golden Canyon Trailhead, just a few short miles from Furnace Creek. This is a popular trailhead so I’d recommend arriving here early in the day if you are looking to avoid crowds.

The trail ascends gently through the colorful walls of Golden Canyon. These breathtaking golden colored canyons are one of the highlights of Death Valley National Park. As the trail continues up continue straight along the well beaten path. Eventually you’ll come to a signed junction where you’ll continue straight (left) toward Red Cathedral. Incredible views of Manly Beacon are a highlight of this stretch, it’s hard to believe that the peak is only 807 feet tall.

As the trail nears Red Cathedral it narrows dramatically into a slot canyon of sorts. Some very minor scrambling is required to get over (or under) a few boulders. The trail then opens up at the base of impressive Red Cathedral. Enjoy the amazing reddish colored vertical walls, and be sure to continue up to the end of the trail for a fantastic view toward Badwater Basin, Telescope Peak and the canyon that you just hiked up.

When satisfied, return the way you came.

Death Valley National Park fees are required for entrance. Also please keep in mind the extreme weather of the area. Hiking during the summer heat is not recommended.

For an alternate view from the top of Red Cathedral, be sure to check out the Red Cathedral Canyon Crest Trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Colorful canyon hike.

Cons

Can be crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

-132.00 ft (-40.23 m)

Highest point

531.00 ft (161.85 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Family friendly
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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