- Home - Hiking Trails - Hikes Around Mt Whitney Red Cliffs Trail Hike – Red Rock Canyon SP
The Red Cliffs Trail is an easy 1 mile loop hike in the shadow of unique red cliffs in the Mojave Desert. It's a great place to stretch your legs if you're traveling between LA and the Eastern Sierra or Death Valley.
0.9 miles (1.4 km)
Red Cliffs Trail Hike Trail Maps
Google Maps trailhead:
Red Cliffs Natural Area, Cantil, CA, 93519, USA Hike Location The Red Cliffs Trail is in California's Red Rock Canyon State Park. There are a million Red Rock Canyon parks around, so make sure you specify California in your GPS, otherwise you might be routed to Utah or Oklahoma. The Red Cliffs hike is a good one to hit when traveling between LA and the Eastern Sierra or Death Valley. 3D Hike Map The hike takes you along the base of the cliffs (on the left), then up onto a ridge where you get nice views across to the Red Cliffs. Hike Elevation Profile There's a couple of little uphills, but otherwise nothing hard. It's very easy and family friendly. Just watch out for the heat. Interactive Hike Map Red Cliffs Trail Hike Map Downloads View a Printable PDF Hike Map Download the Hike GPX File Red Cliffs Trail Hike Directions What to Expect on the Hike The Red Cliffs are rock formations of eroded sandstone, mudstone, and volcanic rock. There’s also faulting here. If you’re into geology, there’s lots to see. Otherwise they’re just pretty rocks. This area was originally part of a Kawaiisu trade route, used for thousands of years. A ton of movies and television shows have been shot here in Red Rock Canyon State Park, including a lot of old westerns and more recently Westworld and Jurassic Park. Keep your eyes out for wildlife. I always manage to see lots of desert hares, roadrunners, and big lizards. In the summer it can get really hot. You’re basically on the border of the Mojave Desert, the Eastern Sierra Nevada, and the western El Paso range. Bring water, even though it’s a short hike. If you want to camp, there’s a first come, first serve primitive campsite up the road by the Visitor Center. Turn by Turn Hike Directions Follow the road from the turnoff on Rt 14 to the parking lot. The parking lot is massive. The trailhead is on the side closest to the cliffs. There’s bathrooms here, as well as picnic benches. A good spot for a break on a long drive. Once you park, the red cliffs will be looming over view to the north. The trailhead is well marked. Start the hike at the sign. Most of the trail is marked with stones on either side. Lots of stones and footprints. There are also occasional little trail signs, keep your eyes open for them. After you climb a gentle grade, you’ll come to the first junction, marked by a small sign. Keep going straight. You’ll go downhill for a few minutes and hit the next trail junction, marked by a low sign. Stay right on the well-trodden trail. There are smaller trails that go straight that you should avoid. Here’s a closeup of the sign at the last junction. Keep an eye out as the trail makes a right turn up the ridge. There’s a marker too. The trail will climb through a grove of Joshua Trees. There are nice photo opportunities with the Joshua Trees and the Red Cliffs in the background. Towards the top of the trail bear left and head to the top of the ridge. When the trail reaches the top of the ridge, you’ll have great views. Continue down the ridge trail. There’s a nice bench where you can rest and check out views of the Red Cliffs. Continue on the ridge trail as it starts to descend. When you reach the junction, make the hard right toward the parking lot. The trail is marked with stones on its sides as it heads back toward the parking lot. Keep following the trail back to the parking lot. That’s the hike! Red Cliffs Trail Hike Video Please subscribe to my YouTube channel here! Show your support for my free hiking guides by checking out the deals below.↓↓↓ You can also make a small donation if you'd like, but please don't feel obligated to do so. HikingGuy.com is a labor of love because I want people to get outdoors and enjoy the trails safely. I want people to buy gear that actually works and not waste money on crap. I love helping people enjoy the outdoors, but it takes hundreds of hours of my time and hundreds of dollars of my money to add new content, maintain, and update. A small amount of money from REI affiliate sales and banners help offset my hard costs like website hosting. The content on this site will always be free for everyone to enjoy.
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Hikes Around Mt Whitney
Most people don’t just drive to Mt. Whitney, hike it, and leave. A more common common scenario is to make a trip of a few days to Mt Whitney, maybe acclimatize, and enjoy the area. Even for those not hiking Mt Whitney, a trip through the I-395 and Eastern Sierra area is a fun place to explore and do some great hikes. Here are some hikes around Mt Whitney that you can enjoy whether you’re going for the summit or not.
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Hiking isn’t what comes to mind when you think of LA, but there are actually some pretty awesome LA hikes. You have cool trails and parks like Runyon Canyon nestled in the middle of the city. There’s also the iconic hike to the Hollywood Sign. If you’re in the north part of the city, Topanga State Park is a big outdoors playground with lots of good hikes. If you’re on the south side of LA, check out the hikes in Orange County. The great southern California weather means that most can be hiked year round.
Read More A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.
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