Here in February on free national park day, a buddy of mine invited me out to go hike a wonderful little day hike in a place called the Red Cliffs. It’s about 30 minutes from Cedar city and probably 20 minutes out side of St. George. You can see the recreation area from I-15 quite easily due to the fact that the whole mountain side on the west side of the road becomes a very vibrant red, thus the name “Red Cliffs.” To get to the location is a little tricky due to the fact that it is not well signed with directions, but to find some nice clear directions click here.
It only takes a few minutes after you get off the free way before you arrive at the parking lot. The parking lot is connected to a nice picnic camp ground area with a river running through it. Very pleasant. About 10 feet behind where you park is the beginning of the trail. (There are more then one and apparently there is one that is like 6 miles.) We headed out on the trail that takes you into the canyon. The trail is a pleasant sandy trail that cuts back and forth across the stream that runs through the canyon. There are plenty of little crevices and rocks to climb over and through.
The pinnacle of the mile or so trail is where one must climb up along the rock face, using the help of some steps cut into the rock and a rope attached by BLM. It can be a little sketchy especially if you are unsure with you feet, but its fun. After this point we could not go much further due to the weather conditions. It was very much still winter and the little stream was icy cold, so we could not follow it up where it turns into a slot canyon, so we headed up the rock faces and climbed to the top of a big spire and had lunch.
After enjoying the warm sun, and cool air for a few, we headed back down into the canyon. One disclaimer about leaving the canyon, it is very easy to go wonder around the top of the cliffs and if you are a little to adventurous you could get lost. It may be a far stretch, but it is not impossible.
Fun little anecdote, after we got out of the canyon we were waiting for a friend to come back from the restrooms and a few of the girls with us were playing in the stream where it crosses the road. Just kicking the water around a bit. Unknown to of of them how slippery the moss was they did a little hop skip and landed, but in a heart beat she was on her back, soaking wet. She did manage to save her camera though. At first we were worried for her, but her hysterical laughter said she was ok. Unfortunately for me I had to sit next to her cold soaking wet body on the way home, thus I was soaking wet when we got home.