Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
Yes
Lodging
No
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 Mountain Wilderness sits just north of the city of St. George and has several trails that gives visitors the chance to enjoy the desolate yet gorgeous environment. As one of Utah's newest protected areas, the 18,689 acres were designated wilderness in 2009 and sit between Snow Canyon State Park on its eastern borders and Gunlock State Park to its west. The landscape consists of layered sandstone that has been exposed by wind and water over the eons. Entrada and Kayenta sandstones are responsible for the reds and yellows, while the Navajo dominates large sections of the terrain with a rich whitewash. Juniper, pinion pine, ponderosa pine and cottonwood are the most common tree species here, and there are wonderful desert wildflowers that come alive in the spring. A wide variety of bird life has been spotted here, including the peregrine falcon. Mountain lions are common here, but they are rarely seen beyond their footprints.

To access the area, you have several options. The Red Mountain Trail hugs the edges of Snow Canyon and gives you amazing views down and into the park. The Vortex is an unusual and interesting feature found along a freestyle desert trail on the western edge of the wilderness area. Padre Canyon and Red Sands bring hikers into the southeastern edges and give them great views up soaring sandstone cliffs. Temperatures spike here in the summer months, and it can still be hot in late spring and early fall. Make sure to bring lots of water and clothes to keep your sun exposure limited.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Solitude. Very rugged and mostly untouched. Desert tortoise.

Cons

Not many actual trails. Very hot in summer. Lack of water.

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Wildflowers
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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