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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Red Cliffs Desert Preserve

We came back to the Red Cliffs Preserve for another hike. This one was a blast in January, and would be even more fun in the summer. The trail generally follows a stream up the bottom of a narrow canyon. Along the way are several small waterfalls, pools, and stream crossings.

The trail starts from the parking area and heads north on the west side of the stream. At first it stays on the bench above the stream and doesn't go to the streambank until the first pool and waterfall.

After the waterfall, the trail once again departs from the streambank, but not for long. Soon it returns to the stream and crosses the stream to the other side.

Each stream crossing could be done by hopping from rock to rock. We didn't need to get our feet wet at all. From this point on, the trail is basically the streambed.
The highlight of the hike is when both rock walls squeeze in close, forming a waterfall. At this point, there are steps cut up the side of one of the walls and a rope for those who want to continue.
Above the steps, the canyon widens out again, before the trail disappears entirely into the stream.
I took my shoes off to go for a cold wade to look around a corner.
I didn't get to see much before my feet were screaming at me because of the chilly water.

This was around the corner:
I couldn't take it any more. The water was too cold, it was January after all. I quickly got back out onto the sandstone, dried my feet, and wandered back down the canyon. What a great hike!

Nearest City: Harrisburg, UT
GPS Coordinates: Parking/Trailhead: N 37° 13.459 W 113° 24.368
Time Needed: 1 hour minimum
Difficulty: Easy
Kid Friendly: YES! Kids would LOVE this hike.
Additional Info: $2/car cost.

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