- Home - Hiking Trails - Hikes Around Mt Whitney Red Cliffs Trail Hike – Red Rock Canyon SP
In This Guide Turn by Turn Hike Directions Maps For the Hike What You Need For the Hike How to Get to the Red Cliffs Trail Distance 0.9 miles (1.4 km) Time 30 minutes Difficulty Easy Total Climbing 120 feet (37m) Highest Elevation 2,489 feet (759m) Dog Friendly Leashed Park Red Rock Canyon State Park Park Phone 661-946-6092
The Red Cliffs Trail is an easy 1 mile loop hike in a unique Mojave Desert landscape. You’ll pass the namesake Red Cliffs, rock formations of eroded sandstone, mudstone, and volcanic rock, thrusted up above the desert floor by faulting. It’s also been the backdrop of many movies and television shows. The Red Cliffs Trail is a great place to stretch your legs if you’re traveling between LA and the Eastern Sierra or Death Valley.
Getting to the Red Cliffs Trail
The trailhead address is:
Red Cliffs Natural Area, Cantil, CA, 93519, USA. It’s a great option for a roadside rest stop and hike. Follow the road from the turnoff on Rt 14 to the parking lot.
There are free bathrooms here, and there’s
primitive camping across the street by the Hagen Canyon hike. There’s bathrooms here, as well as picnic benches. A good spot for a break on a long drive. Gear for the Red Cliffs Trail Hike
This is a short hike and you don’t need any special hiking gear. 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.
Trail runners or sneakers Water A camera If you want hiking gear recommendations, check out my full gear list . I only recommend and review gear that I actually use. No company pays me to push their product. Everything on my gear list is battle tested on the trails, and should work well for you too. See The Gear I Use What To Know About the Hike Keep your eyes open for the desert tortoise. They’re hard to spot, but how cool would it be if you actually saw one? Photo from the BLM. 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. The rangers told me that desert tortoise are also around, but harder to spot. Red Cliffs Trail Maps
I highly recommend bringing some form of 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 and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS. Download the Hike GPX File View a Printable PDF 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. Red Cliffs Hike Directions Subscribe to HikingGuy on YouTube Turn by Turn Hike Directions The parking lot is massive. The trailhead is on the side closest to the cliffs. 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! You can help other hikers. If you do this hike and something has changed, snap a few photos and email me the details. I’ll update the guide so that others can do the hike safely. You May Also Enjoy Gear I Use
Don’t waste your money on gear that’s no good, I’ve done that for you. All my picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail.
See What I Use Why HikingGuy?
Cris Hazzard, and I want to help you enjoy the outdoors. I'm sharing my knowledge, guides, and the gear I personally use so that you can go out, have fun, and be safe. Was This Guide Helpful?
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