Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
190.00 ft (57.91 m)
Trail type
1.60 mi (2.57 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 Red Cliffs Nature Trail is an out-and-back course covering a round trip distance of 1.6 miles inside the Red Rock Canyon State Park's Red Rock Cliffs Natural Preserve.

Beginning by heading up a gradual slope to widening views of the dramatic Red Cliffs formations, the nature trail crosses the peak of a small hill before descending into the surreal interior. Very few visitors make it back here, and to see this landscape with no other visitors feels like you've entered a Martian environment.

The trail is soft sand which will slow your path. However, this provides more opportunities to look around at the tall cliffs, round sandstone hilltops, the Joshua trees, and the fissures and water-formed slot canyons carved out into the sandstone alongside the trail. While the course itself tends to keep to the center of the small valley, it is easy to venture off to either side and begin climbing the landscape.

After about 0.75 miles, the trail reaches its end at a dirt road that follows the park boundary. Here, hikers can turn around and retrace their route back to the trailhead.

There is a vault toilet and unshaded picnic tables at the parking area. Hikers should be aware that there is no shade along the hike and no cell service in the area. The nearest water is located at the Red Rock Canyon State Park Visitor Center near Ricardo Campground about 1 mile away.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful views. Surreal landscape. Short hike.


Exposed to sun.

Trailhead Elevation

2,390.00 ft (728.47 m)

Highest point

2,490.00 ft (758.95 m)


Vault toilet
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Family friendly

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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