Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
482.00 ft (146.91 m)
Trail type
2.10 mi (3.38 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.

Red Cathedral Canyon Crest is an amazing ridgeline trail that provides stellar views down to Zabriskie Point, Golden Canyon and the Death Valley Badlands. Although not an official trail, there is a well defined tread that is easy to follow throughout its distance. Those with a healthy fear of heights may not enjoy this trail, but for the majority Red Cathedral Canyon Crest offers a fun and exciting ridgeline hike.

The trail begins at the Zabriskie Point Trailhead. Avoid taking the paved path to the overlook, instead follow the signed trail to the right. At the top of a small crest take the faint user trail to the right as it climbs to the top of a small summit. This first stretch is the most difficult and requires some minor scrambling and the use of hands during one small stretch.

From the first “summit” onward, the Red Cathedral Canyon Crest Trail offers spectacular views and a fun hike. You’ll be able to look down upon the crowds at Zabriskie Point, and even those walking the canyons in the badlands below.

The trail follows the ridge across several small summits until ultimately reaching the top of Red Cathedral. The view from here is fantastic. Not only can you view down into Golden Canyon below, but a view to the north toward Furnace Creek is also available.

The user trail continues onward, but Red Cathedral is the highlight of the trail. When satisfied with the views, return the way you came.

A National Park fee is charged to enter Death Valley. Please keep in mind the extreme weather of the area as well. This is not a great trail to hike during the summer heat as it is exposed with no shade.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Ridgeline hike. Badlands views.

Trailhead Elevation

653.00 ft (199.03 m)

Highest point

966.00 ft (294.44 m)


Vault toilet
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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