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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
0.70 mi (1.13 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Utah's Scenic Byway 12, which passes Bryce Canyon National Park, proceeds through the beautiful Escalante area, and continues on to Capital Reef National Park, is well-traveled by visitors and locals alike. Just a few miles east from Highway 89, this road passes through the Red Canyon area of Dixie National Forest, and most travelers stop at only a couple of the many scenic turnouts. That is unfortunate, because this is a very accessible and scenic part of Utah, and it is well worth a few hours of exploration.

Several trails leave right from the visitor center 3.5 miles from the western end of SB-12, and one of the most beautiful and photogenic is the Pink Ledges Trail. After parking and browsing the outdoor exhibits, go around the building to the main trailhead. The Pink Ledges Trail is straight ahead. With a small vertical rise and many side spurs to explore, this trail is a great introduction to this interesting geological area that is similar to Bryce Canyon on a much smaller scale, but which is also unique. The iconic hoodoos loom ahead and are visible from much of the trail.  In late morning the light is particularly good for photography--the west-facing canyon walls are lit up and reflect warm light on the opposing walls, highlighting the red color of the rocks.

There are other trails to explore around the visitor center, or for a less-frequented walk, head to the Losee Canyon Trailhead and take the Arches Trail to see some amazing eroded rock formations and some great views of the Sevier River Valley to the west. Together these trails would make a great stop on the way to or from Bryce Canyon or beyond.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Easy short hike. Spectacular scenery.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

7,119.00 ft (2,169.87 m)

Net Elevation Gain

150.00 ft (45.72 m)

Address

Thunder Mountain Trail 33098
Panguitch, UT 84759
United States

Features

Big vistas
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

04.02.19
This is a nice trail and an alternative to the crowds of Bryce, but I would add that the highway traffic noise should be included in the list of "cons." Worth it in any case as a great way to view some hoodoos in a beautiful setting.
07.30.18
I have a question - we are going in Sept and are researching our trails. Is Pink Ledges trail located around the building by the Dixie Ntl Forest Visitor Center? I want to be sure I am reading this correctly
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