photographing your outdoor adventure


Hiking The Red Reef Trail - Southern Utah

Red Reef Trail is a hike that I take just about everyone who comes to visit me on......with or without kids. Even before I was really into spending my days in the outdoors this was a hike that I would do often with friends, family, and even by myself. I did this hike with my senior prom date for goodness sake! With an amazing desert backdrop, towering red rock walls, arches, petroglyphs, rock caves to crawl through, tree stumps that look like elephants, trees that look like snakes, and pools for swimming in (if the stream is running) this hike is one that you do not want to miss when visiting Southern Utah.....just ask Tiny Shiny Home.


3 miles round trip


This is an easy family friendly hike with very little elevation gain. The only spot along the trail that isn't easy for some is the rope/climbing area near the end. This section can be scary and difficult for children and adults who are nervous of heights. If you are hiking with a baby on your back this can also be a difficult area to navigate. (see my tips below for hiking with a baby)


This trail is located in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Bring your national park pass to get in with or pay $5 at the self-pay station. The trailhead is located between Hurricane & Saint George and just 5 minutes north-west of Quail Lake Reservoir. Click here for a map and driving directions.


The trail is sandy and at times rocky but clearly marked. Make sure to take plenty of time to stop along the trail and explore. Near the beginning of the trail, you will come to a tree stump that looks a bit like an elephant. (I know it's tempting but be careful not to climb on the tree. It is delicate.) Go a little ways further and there is a great spot to climb up through a rock tunnel. Continue hiking for a bit and you will come to an amazing tree with sprawling branches that my kids call the snake tree. It is a great tree for climbing. If you follow the dry (or wet) stream bed you will come to a pool of water. When the water is flowing this is a great spot to climb the rocks and jump into the water. You can climb the trail up from here or go back and follow a rocky trail up. Once at the upper section of the trail you can sit on a bench, eat a snack and take in the beauty. Walk on and look for an arch in the rock wall straight ahead. If you hike up to the arch you can see some petroglyphs on the ceiling to the left side of the arch. Continue on the trail and the red cliff walls will close in creating a red rock surround that will leave you in awe. It is so beautiful you guys! If you feel comfortable climbing the rope section there is a little more exploring to do past this section and if you are truly adventurous you can climb the red rocks straight up to the very top. Scroll through for tips and additional info.


There are bathrooms at the trailhead