Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
364.00 ft (110.95 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
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Red Sands (also known as Three Ponds) is a really beautiful desert trail within Snow Canyon State Park. The hike isn't very long, but it does consist of deep sand along most of the second half, and it definitely slows down what would be your normal pace. The first half of the trail consists of sections with flat sandstone, which is always fun to hike on, and it has wide, sweeping views of amazing desert landscapes. The trail does interconnect with several other hikes in the park, but everything is very well marked. You can change up your route or combine it with other trails with ease. After you make your way through a sandy washed canyon about two-thirds of the way, the view opens up into a large bowl of stone with a particularly stunning portion that is candy-striped with Navajo and Entrada sandstone. At the end of the official trail is one of three ponds (hence the secondary name), and hikers can continue further into a narrows at their own risk. A sign at the pond let's you know the Snow Canyon Trail has ended just before the entrance of the narrows.

There are a few sections toward the end of the hike where there are no longer signs letting you know where to head. Keep working your way northwest and then north along the wash and keep an eye out for the many footprints of the hikers who already know where they are headed. You will cross the wash a few times as you get close to the pond. It's pretty easy to find, and the canyon walls keep you from getting too far off course. The ground and moss can be very slippery when wet back in the canyon, so be careful. Make sure to bring water and a hat on this hike.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Great scenery. Less people than most nearby hikes further down on the trail. Several options to do side routes.

Cons

Deep sand on trail. Very hot during the day in summer. Exposed.

Trailhead Elevation

3,339.00 ft (1,017.73 m)

Highest point

3,515.00 ft (1,071.37 m)

Net Elevation Gain

176.00 ft (53.64 m)

Features

Family friendly
Wildflowers
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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