Hikes Near Zion – Red Cliffs Desert Reserve

UWP20100303024cdPhoto Credit: Jim on flickr

Zion National Park is bar none one of the best places to hike in Southern Utah. Although, there may be times when it can be overly crowded by tourists, or simply just too far from town to be able to go explore. Not a problem! Here in Southern Utah we have many more hikes that are just as beautiful and captivating as Zion, and not nearly as crowded.
One of the many hiking gems here is known as Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. This is especially a fun hike mid spring when the snow has melted off the mountains and has filled the canyons below, creating an oasis of fun!
The specific hike I am referring to is Red Cliffs Nature Trail. This little hike starts out at a campground and makes its way through the scenic contrasting white sand trails and red cliffs until you meet a narrow canyon where you will trudge through some water and make your way to a waterfall. If you’re lucky, certain times of the year you can actually use some of the falls as a waterslide! Although the water will be pretty chilly, it is definitely worth it.
If you are a true adventurer then you will want to explore beyond the waterfall (which is technically where the trail ends). Beyond the waterfall you will need to be prepared to walk through, at times, waist deep water that can be extremely cold, so an extra pair of clothes might be a good idea. This is definitely not a waste of your time though, be prepared to be met with a wide canyon that is jam packed with beautiful scenery, wildlife and plantlife. This is by far one of the more interesting places for photographers as well, with the color of the sand mixed with the reflecting waters and bright red cliffs. This really is such a fantastic scene, one that everyone should enjoy.
The best part is you are not limited to just hiking one trail, there are so many spin off trails going in all directions, up and down, etc that you can take on. So make it a short hike to the falls, or a full days worth of adventuring. Just be sure to keep track of where you are going so you won’t get lost and are able to find your way out! This really is a great family friendly place to visit.

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