Red Reef Hike | Southern Utah

This is such a beautiful hike. Last time we went we turned around right before the best part (we were on a time crunch) so I was determined to make it to the end this time around.

There are several hikes in the Red Cliffs State Park. This one is called Red Reef.

After the pay station, follow the road back. You will see parking spots, camping spots, and a bridge.

The trail head is right before the bridge. You will see a trail marker for Red Reef.

I carried our 2 year old in my Lille Baby Carrier. We got it last year after trying out several other carries. I just wish I had had this carrier with all four of my kids. It's SO incredibly comfortably and I love that the center of gravity is lower (vs having the baby up high like most hiking carriers). It's much easier for climbing with a child on your back and it goes up to 45 lbs so I'll be able to use it for another year!

The trail is easy to follow and perfect for kids. There are a few forks, but they all end up taking you to the same spot. You will pass a tree that looks like an elephant, climb some sandy stairs, pass a small green pool along the river bed, then see a large rainbow shaped cave in the mountain side. Just around the corner you will reach the waterfall where you will find steps carved into the ridge.

Our 6 year old Riz was a little scared to cross the ridge.

There are foot holes carved into the sandstone, and two ropes for support. It you have kids you will want to have 2 adults (or an older child), one to go up first and help littles over the edge to the top, and one at the bottom to help them grab the rope.

We hiked the trail mid March and no water was flowing. I'm not sure how early you have to go to see the waterfalls, but we did enjoy the beautiful green pools.

Just beyond the waterfall ridge there are several more pools and a deep canyon filled with another pool.

The only way to get beyond that point is through water so that is where we opted to turn around.

We recommend going in the morning in the spring or fall. The red rock gets very hot so mid day hiking in the summer would be miserable. This is a beautiful hike but there is only one small area that is shaded.

Be sure to check out our past Southern Utah Hikes here. We'd love to see your adventures.

#TheSaltProject and tag in your photos. We'd love to follow along. 

Entrance Fee(s)
Helpful Tips
  • Pack water
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby carrier for small children (you will need both hands to climb ridge)
  • bathrooms available
  • Dogs welcome
  • Entrance Fee $5
  • Camping is extra
  • Easy Hike
  • About an hour round trip
  • You can swim


  • Take Leeds exit, head south, take first turn west under I-15, follow signs to Red Cliffs State Park.

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