Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converge with the El Paso Range. Each tributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors. Historically, the area was once home to the Kawaiisu Indians, who left petroglyphs in the El Paso mountains and other evidence of their inhabitation. The spectacular gash situated at the western edge of the El Paso mountain range was on the Native American trade route for thousands of years. During the early 1870s, the colorful rock formations in the park served as landmarks for 20-mule team freight wagons that stopped for water. About 1850, it was used by the footsore survivors of the famous Death Valley trek including members of the Arcane and Bennett families along with some of the Illinois Jayhawkers. The park now protects significant paleontology sites and the remains of 1890s-era mining operations, and has been the site for a number of movies. After wet winters, the park's floral displays are stunning. This winter was very dry so the wildflowers should be sparse this year, but the beauty of the desert, combined with the geologic features make this park a camper's favorite destination. Wildlife you may encounter includes roadrunners, hawks, lizards, mice and squirrels. The park is open sunrise-sunset for Day-Use. The campground is open 24-hours.

This was beyond our expectations, the rock formations were a huge surprise as we hadn't read about the trail ahead of time. The only way I can describe this hike was that it made us feel like we were on another planet or in a different country. Such a gorgeous trail, many views to admire and take in. Can't wait to go back and take our time with the next visit.

There is a $5 parking fee, but keep in mind folks it's to help maintain the park and in my opinion to keep a place like this available to the public... that fee is totally worth it.

on Red Rock Canyon Trail

5 months ago

Koda came with and had heat stroke.. We want to go back.. Didn't get very far.

hiking
6 months ago

Red Rock Canyon is beautiful. I wish I could have taken my son to the bottom part of the trail. It is filled with incredible formations of rocks that follow, a sadly very dry, creak. It has a couple of picnic tables and is generally beyond enjoyable. I did this hike on a Tuesday at 1pm and it was great but wonder what the views look like at dawn or dusk with the play of shadows. Great trail to explore if you are looking for more than views and have time to explore.

Not that great. No parking on the street and there's a fee of $5 so bring cash. Cool rock formations in the beginning. I did the scout trail so not sure if that was supposed to be a loop? But it doesn't loop.

amazing rock formations. We started the hike at 6 a.m. and enjoyed the sunrise at the Calabasas peak. we decided to continue the hike to the Red Rock Canyon trail and I must admit that this is the most beautiful hike we have done so far. We saw 2 unleashed dogs but not long after that did we see the park ranger talking to the owners.

Start EARLY. I got on the trail at about 8:30 this morning (beautiful foggy 60-degree morning in the canyon... very quiet and still). I used the fire road instead of the scout trail. When I was coming back down to the parking lot at about 10 AM I hit three large, loud groups who were just getting started.

This is a beautiful trail past amazing geologic formations - primarily red rock with spines of white granite thrusting diagonally on either side of the canyon. There are caves that look naturally formed. The trail is a wide fire road that bicyclists can easily navigate (except for the Eagle Scout Trail section).

hiking
3 years ago

My fellow hikers and I made a couple wrong decisions with this hike. We missed the small trail to the right (marked by a sign about some scout's eagle project). Second, we kept following the fire road thinking there would be a trail off shoot at some point (there was not, other than a cool rock or two). And lastly, it was an 85+ degree day, not ideal for this hike, since there is not a single tree near or on the fire road. My advise, skip the fire road. Besides the sight to see on the fire road are the caves to the left which are before the Eagle Scout trail. The Eagle Scout trail leads to a great rock to climb and overlook the land below. That alone made the adventure worth it.

My family and I entered the trail at Red Rock Canyon Park. The road leading there is a single lane dirt road that passes through a residential neighborhood. There is a $5 parking fee and the ranger patrols so be aware.

Upon our arrival there was three other vehicles in the small parking lot. We paid the Iron ranger and proceeded up the trail. The trail is wide and simple at this point. There are some beautiful rock formations up and to the left such as an arch and small caves. Further down the main path you have a choice of continuing up the easier wide path or trekking up the rocks. The trail is marked on the right. The trail is beautiful and leads up to the peak to your right. Be sure to bring plenty of water because even with a beautiful cool day it was needed. We turned around at the peak thought the trail continues.

Upon reaching the parking lot the crowds had increased considerably. There was not a parking spot to be had. Most of the new arrivals stayed on the large easy trail. I rated the crowds as moderate. If you are on the smaller trail it would be light. If you were on the larger easy trail it would be busy.

One other thing to note, dogs are allowed on a leash.

hiking
4 years ago

NOTE: I think the distance listed on this trail is inaccurate. It is more like 4 miles, not 7.4 and you can verify this by looking at the trail on the topo map.

Hiked this in early Nov with 2 teens and an 7 yr old boy. Nice trail with very cool rock formations once the trail leads off the fire road.

Well maintained trail.

Took us around 4 hours to complete because the kids played in the rocks & caves for quite a while on the way up. I do recommend giving yourself a lot of extra time for this if you have kids. :-)

The trail sort of ends at the top of a ridge with some large boulders, but there actually seems to be a connection to another trail that is not indicated on the topo. We did not explore the trail any further.

Good.
1 star for rock formation.
1 star for well maintained trail
1 star for being dog friendly

Bad.
-1 star: Entrance is pretty but I found the rest a little boring.
-1 star: Not much shade.

Overall.
The entrance of the park is very pretty. There are some very interesting rock formations at the very beginning but as you go up the view become just a canyon with trees. Nothing special, it is a dirt road all the way up. It is a fairly easy trail.

Easy hikes for dogs, and looks like a good place for biking.

Pretty great views here. Mostly dirt road up to the top where you can boulder a little bit. Lots of wildlife and lizards. A great hike when it's not too hot.

mountain biking
5 years ago

I appear to be the only mountain biker to review the trail, but I've also hiked it. I start from my house (in Woodland Hills), and its a 25 mile loop for me. For mountain bikers, the best ways to access it is from Old Topanga Canyon (right at the summit; head west and follow the signs for the trail.) Alternatively, you can continue down @ 2 miles to Red Rock Canyon, turning right (east). Either way, you begin climbing; from Old Topanga, almost immediately; from Red Rock, in approximately 2 miles. I find the climb up from Red Rock to be somewhat steeper with grades in spots (per my GPS) over 20%. Whichever way you go, it's steep, but there are great views from the top; on a clear day, you can even catch the Pacific in spots. Continue down the opposite way, and you arrive back at Old Topanga, either the summit or Red Rock. If you simply park on Old Topanga and do the loop, its @ 7 miles, with 600 ft. (over 2 miles) or 1000 ft. elevation gain (over 3 miles). If you have the time/energy, from the Summit of Old Topanga, continue east through a gate (no vehicles allowed). There's a dirt road called Summit to Summit Motorway, which will eventually take you 3 miles east to the summit of Topanga Canyon. All in all, a nice workout. The numbers below reflect the distance/time from my house. Your distance/times will differ.