Hagen Canyon Trail Hike (California)

Hagen Canyon Trail Hike (California)

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • Maps For the Hike
  • What You Need For the Hike
  • How to Get to Hagen Canyon Trail
Distance1.2 miles (1.9 km)
Time30 Minutes (Total Time)
DifficultyEasy
Total Climbing120 feet (37m)
Highest Elevation2,508 feet (764m)
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park NameRed Rock Canyon State Park
Park Phone661-946-6092

The easy Hagen Canyon Trail hike takes you through a colorful geographic landscape that was once all underwater. The colorful layers are sediment washed down from the old Sierra Mountains. Over the last 10 million years plate tectonic movement and erosion have formed what you see today. At one point it was a tourist attraction run by the Hagen family, today it’s a state park.  The hike is short and shouldn’t take you more than an hour.

Getting To Hagen Canyon Trail

The trailhead address is: Abbott Dr, Cantil, CA, 93519, USA. If you’re driving to the Eastern Sierras and Mt Whitney, or Death Valley, Hagan Canyon is a nice place for a stop.

Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
When you pull off of Rt 14 onto Abbot Drive, the trailhead is immediately to the left.

There are bathrooms nearby at the Visitor Center and at Red Cliffs Natural Area (another great hike). There’s also a primitive campsite up the road by the Visitor Center if you want to spend the night.

Gear for the Hagen Canyon Trail

This is a short hike and you don’t need any special hiking gear. However you’re in the Mojave Desert, it can get hot. It’s a short hike but you should bring water.

My Top Gear Picks

Garmin inreach review

Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:

  1. Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
  2. Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
  3. Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.

I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.

See My Full Gear List

What To Know For the Hike

lizard at hagen canyon trail
Keep your eyes open for lizards sunning themselves on the rocks. Photo by Dylan Duvergé.

Hagen Canyon Trail Maps

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

I highly recommend bringing a good paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x Plus and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.

Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
The Hagen Canyon Trail is a loop below the colorful cliffs. There small side trails off the loop if you wan to explore.

Hagen Canyon Hike Directions

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Turn By Turn Hike Directions

Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
There’s a small parking area at the trailhead and plenty of signage and info on the hike.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
When you start on the trail, it’s well marked with stones on the sides.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
Throughout the hike there are also small trail post signs, keep your eyes open for them.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
At the first split, hike to the right.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
There’s a nice bench here to soak it all in.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
The bench has nice views of the surrounding geological formations.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
There are lot of washes that cross the trail and are easily confused with the trail. You’ll see footprints in them where people made the wrong turn. Here cross the wash and continue on the trail.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
At the next junction, hike to the right.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
There’s a little turnoff to red cliffs that I recommend. The main trail goes straight, but make the right to check out the red cliffs up close.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
The trail is marked with rocks as it goes up to the cliff.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
Explore the rock formations with care, then turn around and head back down the main trail.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
When you get back to the main trail, make the right to continue.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
Keep your eyes open and hike across the wash.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
In areas where the rocks marking the trail are sparse, there’s usually a trail marker.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
The trail starts to wind around to the left along the cliff base. You’re starting the loop back.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
The trail is well defined in this section
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
Cross the large wash to continue on the trail.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
The main trail bears left, but there’s a little side trail to right. You can take the trail to the right a few hundred feet to check out some rock formations.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
If you go right, you’ll see some dark volcanic rock. Check out the rocks and head back to the main trail to continue the loop.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
Keep your eyes open for this formation, which is called camel rock.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
When you get back to the trail, continue across the wash to find the trail on the other side.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
The rocks marking the trail can be sparse, in which case look for the little trail markers on the ground.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
At this point, the scheme changes and you follow the wash. The bigger trail to the right kind of peters out.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
You’ll see a trail marker in the wash, which confirms you’re on the trail.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
Shortly after, the trail heads out of the wash to the left.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
The trail again heads left, and you’ll see the trail marker.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
Footprints and a trail marker confirm you’re in the right place.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
As you approach the end of the loop, the trail becomes well marked with stones again.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
One last big wash to cross.
Hagen Canyon Trail Hike
When you come back to the end of the loop, just continue straight back to the parking lot.

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