Dixie Outdoors: Red Cliffs Nature Trail offers sandstone, streams, overlooks

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Imagine yourself scaling smooth sandstone with beautiful streams of water surrounding you; that’s what you will experience with Red Cliffs Nature Trail in Leeds.


The Red Cliffs Nature Trail hike is a perfect Sunday evening hike. I finished the hike in about an hour with a ten-minute rest at the top. It is the perfect length for busy students who don’t have a lot of time for six-hour hikes. The fact that the hike is only about twenty minutes from Dixie’s campus is also something that might attract students because you can leave and be back in less than two hours.

Although the majority of this hike is very mild with pretty flat terrain, there are a few spots you will need both hands to maneuver around some tricky rocks. The trail ends after about a half mile, but you can continue hiking on somewhat harder terrain to experience more spectacular views.


“This Red Cliffs Nature Trail is spectacular,” said Sam Christensen, a freshman accounting major from St. George. “There is the perfect mix of beautiful sandstone walls, flowing streams and amazing overlooks on this hike. It is also great for all ages because it is a fairly easy trail. I would do this hike again in a heartbeat.”


According to www.utah.com, the fall and spring seasons are ideal times to hike Red Cliffs Nature Trail. The stream may dry up during the summer months when there are dry-spells in the weather, which makes the hike a lot hotter and less scenic.


The hike begins with a somewhat boring view compared to the rest of the hike, but as you continue your way through you will begin to notice more stunning views. My favorite part of the hike is the view at the end. You can look over a canyon of beautiful red rocks and what looks like millions of sandstone sculptures.


“This hike was a fun out-and-back adventure,” said Matt Bass, a senior business major from West Jordan. “March is the perfect time of year to hike this trail as well.”


Red Cliffs Nature Trail is located about 15 minutes north of St. George in Leeds.

According to www.blm.gov, the quickest way to get to the hike from St. George is to take Interstate 15. Once you reach exit 22, turn right onto the frontage road and continue south for two miles. After passing the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, turn right and continue under two freeway tunnels. Follow the paved road for 1.3 miles to the campground.


There is a $5 fee per vehicle to enter Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. The park is open year-round, and there are restrooms and drinking fountains available at the trailhead. There are also camping areas available at the Red Cliffs trail head. There is a lot of shade coverage from all of the cottonwood trees for those hot summer days as well.


According to www.blm.gov, there is a natural shoot you can slide down and waterfalls you can climb around. The depth of the streams and natural swimming pools varies according to water flow for that time of year, so make sure the water is deep enough to jump in before you do so.


Kristen Condie, a freshman health science major from Ogden, said it’s a good idea to wear sturdy hiking shoes or tennis shoes that are capable of getting wet. It might even be a good idea to wear a swimsuit if you are planning on getting into the water. If you aren’t planning on getting wet it I would suggest wearing light clothing such as gym shorts and a tank top. Don’t forget drinking water and a snack to eat at the top.


“I loved the Red Cliffs hike, ” Condie said. “It’s like a mini-Zion, very scenic, and a fun, easy hike.”