Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
440.00 ft (134.11 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
1.80 mi (2.90 km)
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Most travellers barrel through Red Canyon and admire the beautiful rock formations without stopping for more than a picture or two. A minority actually stop at one of the traiheads and take one of the short trails up into the colored hoodoos. But very few even know about this obscure trail that leaves from the east loop of the Red Canyon Campground and offers tremendous views (and some solid hill climbing) with only a 90-minute time investment.

From the trailhead in the campground (across from site #25), the trail immediately starts winding up switchbacks, offering increasingly higher views of the red canyons to the north. For about 0.6 miles, the trail climbs until it reaches the top of a ridge and a small sign noting the junction with the Golden Wall Trail. Continuing up the Buckhorn Trail is a precarious dance along the steep edge of a spectacular cirque of red hills and hoodoos. At times the trail leads along the top of a narrow ridge with steep drop-offs on both sides. It isn’t particularly dangerous or frightening, though people uncomfortable with heights may be nervous. After following the rim of the valley, the trail threads up and over to reach Buckhorn Point, with its 360-degree views and massive rock formations.

Note: This trail can be easily combined with the Golden Wall Trail to form a loop that can be closed with a half-mile walk on the multi-use path (or the neaby dry wash, take your pick) back from the visitor center to the campground trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Gorgeous views. Few other hikers.

Cons

Exposed and steep.

Trailhead Elevation

7,320.00 ft (2,231.14 m)

Highest point

7,760.00 ft (2,365.25 m)

Features

Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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