Red Cliffs Trail (Red Rock Canyon State Park, California)

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.

Rating:
4 / 5
Distance:
0.9 miles (1.4 km)
Time:
30 minutes
Difficulty:
Easy
Climbing:
120 ft (37 m)
Trail Condition:
Marked Desert
Challenges:
Heat
People:
Minimal
Known For:
Rock Formations
Best Time:
Anytime
Dogs:
Leashed
Bathrooms:
Yes
Parking:
Free
Hike Weather:

Red Cliffs Trail Hike Trail Maps

Google Maps trailhead:
Red Cliffs Natural Area, Cantil, CA, 93519, USA

Hike Location

Red Cliffs Trail California 3d map
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

Red Cliffs Trail California 3d 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

Red Cliffs Trail California elevation
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

Download a GPX file to use on your GPS device. GPS devices are great to plan and follow routes, and there are tons of free electronic hiking maps that you can use. But don't rely solely on electronic navigation, always have a paper backup. Print out the PDF below, get a topo map, and/or print these directions.

View a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Red Cliffs Trail Hike Directions

Red Cliffs Trail (Red Rock Canyon State Park, California)

Do you have the right gear for this hike? Check out all the gear and clothing that I personally use and recommend. I've tested it all and cut the junk out so you don't waste your money.

What to Expect on the Hike

Turn by Turn Hike Directions

Red Cliffs Trail California
Follow the road from the turnoff on Rt 14 to the parking lot.
Red Cliffs Trail California
The parking lot is massive. The trailhead is on the side closest to the cliffs.
Red Cliffs Trail California
There’s bathrooms here, as well as picnic benches. A good spot for a break on a long drive.
Red Cliffs Trail California
Once you park, the red cliffs will be looming over view to the north.
Red Cliffs Trail California
The trailhead is well marked. Start the hike at the sign.
Red Cliffs Trail California
Most of the trail is marked with stones on either side. Lots of stones and footprints.
Red Cliffs Trail California
There are also occasional little trail signs, keep your eyes open for them.
Red Cliffs Trail California
After you climb a gentle grade, you’ll come to the first junction, marked by a small sign. Keep going straight.
Red Cliffs Trail California
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.
Red Cliffs Trail California
Here’s a closeup of the sign at the last junction.
Red Cliffs Trail California
Keep an eye out as the trail makes a right turn up the ridge. There’s a marker too.
Red Cliffs Trail California
The trail will climb through a grove of Joshua Trees.
Red Cliffs Trail California
There are nice photo opportunities with the Joshua Trees and the Red Cliffs in the background.
Red Cliffs Trail California
Towards the top of the trail bear left and head to the top of the ridge.
Red Cliffs Trail California
When the trail reaches the top of the ridge, you’ll have great views.
Red Cliffs Trail California
Continue down the ridge trail. There’s a nice bench where you can rest and check out views of the Red Cliffs.
Red Cliffs Trail California
Continue on the ridge trail as it starts to descend.
Red Cliffs Trail California
When you reach the junction, make the hard right toward the parking lot.
Red Cliffs Trail California
The trail is marked with stones on its sides as it heads back toward the parking lot.
Red Cliffs Trail California
Keep following the trail back to the parking lot. That’s the hike!

Red Cliffs Trail Hike Video

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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.