Utah definitely is the state of scenic splendor! There literally is one great National Park destination after another throughout this state. Utah has an endless amount of unique colorful landscapes combined with crystal clear cobalt blue skies and one of the best expressions of this statement can be found in the Red Canyon of the Dixie National Forest. Red Canyon looks like it came straight out of a western landscape artist’s vivid dream. The contrast of the bright red, yellow and orange sandstone colors are amazing to see in person, because the true grand scale of the red rock outcrops and gigantic hoodoos will come into perspective. To put it mildly, Red Canyon definitely has a way of making the jaw drop in awe!
Red Canyon covers a vast amount of territory in Bryce Country and the distances are deceptive. In the mile high crystal clear air, the bright red, orange and yellow canyon walls appear to be close enough to touch. What looks like shrubs on the canyon slopes is really towering pine trees. It is all too easy to start hiking toward an interesting sight that seems to be relatively close, then soon realize that the trek will be an all day affair. For this reason, it is best to pack plenty of water when doing the hiking trails in Red Canyon.
Red Canyon is in a high enough elevation for the summer temperatures to be comfortable. The autumn weather can be quite chilly, while the spring season weather can be virtually unpredictable. I have worked in Bryce Country in the past and I once photographed a late spring blizzard snow storm at Red Canyon, which goes to show how unpredictable the weather can be in the high elevations of Bryce Country.
Red Canyon is located on Utah Scenic Byway 12 in the Dixie National Forest next to Bryce Canyon National Park. The nearby towns of Bryce Canyon City, Hatch, Panguich and Tropic are the best choices for a base camp. There are lodging options on Scenic Byway 12 next to Red Canyon, which include a modern RV park and a western style cabin resort. Camping is the by far the best option and there is a campground that is nestled in the pine forest across the road from the Dixie National Forest Visitor Center.
When visiting Red Canyon be sure to bring a good camera, because this is one of the most picturesque landscapes in the entire west! The red sandstone arch tunnels on Scenic Byway 12 in Red Canyon are truly unique, so be sure to take the time to check these little tunnels out. The Butch Cassidy Hiking Trail runs through Red Canyon and there are many tales about how this old wild west outlaw used this region as a hideout. As always, the Dixie National Forest Red Canyon Visitors Center is the best place to start a venture and this is where the trail maps can be found. Red Canyon is like no other place on earth and the intriguing colorful hoodoos towering overhead will provide inspiration for a lifetime!
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