This paved trail takes visitors through a colorful canyon filled with a fascinating landscape of stone hoodoos and tunnels near Bryce Canyon National Park. Over the course of 5 miles, the trail gains more than 750 feet of elevation as it winds through a ponderosa pine forest and offers a new view of these awe inspiring rock formations around each turn. This trail is open to foot traffic and bicycles and is suitable for children and adults of all skill and fitness levels.
The Red Canyon Trail begins at the Thunder Mountain Trailhead near the bottom of Red Canyon on Highway 12 near Panguitch, Utah. To reach the trailhead from Panguitch:
- Drive east and then south on Center St./Highway 89 for 6.8 miles to the signed junction with Highway 12/Bryce Canyon National Park.
- Turn left onto Highway 12 and continue 2.7 miles.
- Turn right into the trailhead and parking area near the bottom of Red Canyon.
You may also access the Red Canyon Trail from the top by continuing on Highway 12 an additional 4.9 miles to the Coyote Hollow Trailhead on the right.
From the parking area, begin riding or walking east on the Red Canyon Trail. For the first several miles, the trail stays fairly close to Highway 12 on the left and a usually dry wash bottom on the right. The slope is gradual and mostly consistent as it climbs steadily up the canyon.
After 1.2 miles, stop at the crosswalk where the Red Canyon Campground intersects the trail. This is the only crossing until arriving at the Coyote Hollow Trailhead at the top of the canyon. Continue up the canyon admiring the many colorful stone formations along the way.
After approximately 2 miles, the first of two impressive stone tunnels is seen on the left. Highway 12 passes directly through these well-engineered, iconic features that have a very natural look to them. It’s common to see drivers parked along the narrow roadside taking photos. Trail users have the luxury of viewing the tunnels without having to find a place to park.
Continue up the trail to a wooden bridge that crosses the wash. From here the trail turns away from the highway and winds through the trees up toward the rim of the canyon. There are a few steep sections towards the top before your arrival at the high point of the trail which sits at approximately 7,840’ above sea level and 4.8 miles from where you started. Continue .4 miles to the Coyote Hollow Trailhead, or turn around at any time for the leisurely downhill walk or ride back to the Thunder Mountain Trailhead.
- Clean up after pets.
- Pack out all trash.
- Dogs must be on leash.
This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.