Red Reef Trail
The Red Reef trail is great for individuals and families wanting a short, easy hike with scenic views.
Trail Type: Hiking
Short, scenic and fun, this little trail in St. George leads from the campground at Red Cliffs Recreation Area into a narrow canyon beside a small stream. As you hike, the canyon narrows until it is just a few feet wide and a beautiful little waterfall blocks the trail. But it is easy to climb around and the trail continues into the canyon.
Red Cliffs Recreation Area, red rock, stream, water, waterfall
Spring and fall are ideal times to hike here. Afternoon temperatures are very hot in summer, and the stream may completely dry up. Summer mornings can be pleasant and it is great fun to play in the stream during warm weather. Climb around the waterfall and then slide down the natural shoot.
Red Reef Trailhead
The trailhead is at Red Cliffs Campground, a very nice little camping area where there are plenty of rocks for kids to climb on. Cottonwood trees provide shade. Water and restrooms are available. To reach the campground drive I-15 to the town of Leeds (15 miles north of St. George) and then follow the frontage road south to Quail Lake. Watch for the Red Cliffs sign and follow the paved road under the freeway and up to the campground.
The trail is well marked. BLM has provided interpretative signs identifying plants and natural features along the way.
The waterfall marks the end of the official trail, but you'll probably want to explore farther. At the waterfall, the small stream covers the entire canyon bottom, which is just a few feet wide. You'll notice steps carved into the sandstone to the side of the waterfall. Using the steps, it is easy to climb around the fall and you can then proceed up the canyon for miles if you are so inclined.
The area at and just above the waterfall is the most interesting part of the canyon. The pool beneath the waterfall is an ideal natural swimming hole and it is fun to slide down the natural shoot or to jump into the pool.
The depth of the pool varies according to water flow. Never jump into such a pool without carefully exploring to determine water depth.