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.
Jacquie V. on Red Rock Canyon Trail
Koda came with and had heat stroke.. We want to go back.. Didn't get very far.
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.
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).
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.