Red Reef Trail
Max elevation: 3875 ft
Min elevation: 3074 ft
Total climbing: 3150 ft
Total descent: -3169 ft
Note: this route turned left too early and made a slightly more difficult exit from the canyon to make the loop, so stay in the canyon farther than we did if you want to make the whole loop, and go around the water to the left if necessary. All the most dramatic scenery is in the canyon, not the loop, which is a beautiful desert hike.
Description: the beginning of this trail is a slot canyon with beautiful pools of water and ancient moki steps carved in the rock to help you get past one of them. If the canyon fills with water and blocks your progress, look for a trail to the right to bypass it. If you continue far enough, you can turn left and hike through several additional miles of desert to make a 10 mile loop hike of it.
Distance: 10 miles (loop)
Elevation gain: 1400′
Steepness: Mostly relatively flat.
Notable Features: water pools, moki steps.
Amenities: Restrooms at trailhead.
Fees: Parking day use fee.
When to go: year round.
Directions: Cottonwood Trailhead—Take I-15 Exit 16 (SR 9) south toward Hurricane and continue to the first traffic light in 0.8 miles. Turn left at the light onto 6300 West and continue for 2.0 miles as 6300 West turns into Old Highway 91. Just past Winkle Distributing, turn left onto a gravel road between Winkle Distributing and the Rocky Mountain Power maintenance building. Continue through two freeway tunnels (height and width restricted to 12’ x 12’) to reach the trailhead. Pay a day use fee and park in one of the day use parking spaces.