Road Trips,  UTAH

Red Reef Trail-Red Cliff’s National Conservation

Red Reef Trail-Red Cliff’s National Conservation 

Many people are heading to southern Utah to visit the big 5. Five national parks that brings millions of visitors to the area. And they all drive by Red Cliffs National Conservation Area without even noticing it. It’s an amazing canyon hike without the crowds if you want to avoid those Zion enthusiast and get that iconic canyon picture without the crowds.

Red Cliff's National Conservation

Distance: 2.2 In and out
Dog Friendly: Yes, On Leash Only
Address: 345 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone: (435) 688-3200
Square Miles: 69.88 miĀ²
Management: Bureau of Land Management
Established: 2009
Coordinates: 37.156, -113.554
Horses: NO
Entrance Fee: $5.00 A day $15.00 Camping Permit
Water: Don’t drink Stream water without filtering first.

Take a screen shot of the directions. It’s a mountainous area so service can be spotty, this way you’ll have step by step turns in the event your phone goes offline.


Directions Red Reef Trail

Don’t let this confuse you when you get there, you’ll have to take I-15 passed the park for about 2 miles, take the next exit and back track.

Red Reef Trail, Red Cliffs

Don’t cross this bridge, there’s a parking area before this picnic area. Park There.
The 1959 western movie “They Came From Cordura” was filmed here. Many tourist overlook this hiking area because it’s so close to Zion’s National Park. Zion’s gets roughly three million visitors every year. If you’re interested in hiking similar trails but want to avoid the crowds visiting Red Cliffs national conservatory white reef region is a great alternative and has a beautiful canyon trail.Red Cliffs Map

The beginning of the trail is rather flat and easy to follow. It looks a lot like this.Red Reef Trail, Red Cliffs

There’s classic red rock which is sedimentary, has many porous and layered multi-colored features. This landscape can be alluring and photogenic.


Red Reef Trail, Red CliffsAlong the trail is a waterfall, depending on rain fall and the last winters snow the waterfall may vary in size and flow.

This isn’t the end of the trial, the path continues up around to the top of the falls and continues into the canyon, it will bank to the left, north western.

Slot Canyon

Then the canyon gets thinner and starts to get a little more difficult. It’s still an easy hike but there’s one point that might be a little intimidating for some hikers. The trail goes up a second fall, a short one but there are steps carved into the rock and there’s a rope that will provide balance and security.
It’s not as scary as it looks.

Red Reef Trail, Red Cliffs

Red Reef Trail, Red Cliffs

The canyon continues around a corner and this is where the trail ends and you’ll have to turn around and head back towards the way you came.

Red Reefs Trail, Red Cliffs

As per usual, I took way more pictures than I could possibly post on here so if you’d like to see more I have several accounts that I’ve posted more images on.

P interest

Happy Travels
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Writer, Dashboard Destinations

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  • Lily

    Wow, what a beautiful place to go hiking. I really enjoy looking at your photos and I think your explanations of how to get there and where to park are great. It is so easy to miss the correct turnoff and I like that it is less crowded than Zion’s. You look like it was a fun walk and the scenery is amazing. Thanks for all the details so that we can get up there soon and enjoy the great outdoors again.

  • NicoleSpirals

    I never got to see Red Cliff’s National Conservation Area when I visited Utah a few years ago. I did several cross country solo road trips living out of my car and Utah was absolutely gorgeous! The landscape is so varied throughout the whole state. I did get to see Arches and the Bonneville Salt Flats as well as a national forest I’m forgetting the name of… But I’d love to visit again and hike this trail! It looks like a lot of fun. And you got some beautiful shots! Thanks for the detailed summary of what to expect.

    • NJKuhr

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m guessing it was Ashley national forest but there are a few other national forest nearby. Utah isn’t a place you can explore fully with one trip.

  • Kokontala

    Hi there! I’ve just gone through your article and I truly found it interesting. I personally think that this is one of the best travel places I’ve ever seen, and it can make really good photos. Thanks for sharing your post about the Red cliff national conversation with us. I will be sharing it further too.

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