The trails at the Red Canyon Visitors Center are my favorite type of trail, that is they are the type of trail I just stumble upon. My wife and I had actually driven the 45 minutes north for Zion Adventure Home in Kanab to do the Golden Wall Trail. However, upon arriving at the trailhead we were notified that the Golden Wall Trail was closed due to a landslide. Well, with that idea squashed we returned to the visitor's center to use the restroom. As luck would have it the visitor's center was closed. Well, that was two strikes and I knew that after one more strike, I would be out. So I returned to the car, really not sure what to do next.
While seated in the car we noticed an interesting little structure at the end of the parking lot. As always, I went to investigate. It turns out that structure was the old ranger station and it also marked the start of the Visitors Center interpretive trail. I've never really been too impressed with trails at visitor centers, they are typically boring.
We didn't so much start this hike on purpose as we kind of just picked up a trail brochure and started walking up the hill. After my two earlier strikeouts, I knew I was due, and boy did we luck out. My wife and I really just loved this trail.
The hike we did was actually three trails linked together. From the parking lot, we started on the Pink Ledges Trail, which leads to the Hoodoo Trail which quickly leads to Birdseye Trail. The start of the Pink Ledges Trail was exactly what I was expecting, a trail had a poor design and went right up a steep hill. However, once the top of the hill was achieved the path leveled and the trail was fabulous.
The best part of the trail was the little interpretive sites spread out every one hundred yards or so. They offered convenient places to take a break and learn something. Each location gave you information on some type of landform you were near or gave information on the local vegetation.
Did you know, that when scratched a ponderosa pine tree will smell like butterscotch? Me neither! A funning thing that happened was a guess the smell of butterscotch was just enough to give another visitor the idea to eat a Werther's Original butterscotch candy. Unfortunately, they left their wrapper on the ground and I had to pack it out, but it was worth the memory after learning about the smell the ponderosa trees give off.
As we continued down the trail, the views just kept getting more and more interesting. The trail went up to and through several hoodoos. It was so much fun to explore the area, we really felt like kids playing on the rocks.
The colors of the rocks along the trail were breathtaking. Whomever, designed this trail did a great job. Unlike many old trails from the CCC days that would pointlessly go up and down steep slopes, this one kept a constant elevation. I was able to take a relaxing walk and the thought of getting tired never crossed my mind.
Once at the end of the Hoodoo Trail, my wife returned to the car and I continued on the Birdseye Trail. The plan was for her to pick me up at the bottom of the trail. Unfortunately for her, as always, she missed the best part of the trail. The way the Birdseye Trail meanders along the edge of the cliff was spectacular. The views out into the canyon were so cool.
After doing this trail and seeing the distant vistas, I was inspired the next day to a bike ride on the Markagunt Plateau. The Markagunt Plateau is the flatish landscape that can be seen in the distance. The small humps on the horizon are actually volcanos. Just right past the red rock you see here, the landscape changed to black lava flows. Utah is so interesting, it is amazing how in one view you can see so much.
If your travels ever bring you to this area, we hope you will consider us for your lodging needs while in the Kanab area. Our rental, Zion Adventure Home, is just as beautiful as the landscape you see here.