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Red Reef



  • Directions

  • Distance

    1.5 miles



The lower Red Reef Trail is a 1.5-mile round-trip that is accessed from the Red Cliffs Trailhead. The full Red Reef trail is 6-miles (one-way) and ventures into the Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness area; this is more of a strenuous backcountry experience. The lower section is no tame nature walk, it’s a fun ramble into a twisting rock canyon. In the spring and after rain, you will likely encounter pools at few different areas with delightful flowing water you can stomp through and swim in. A leisurely desert waterfall serves as a major landmark a short way up. This area is perfect for families allowing the kids (of all ages) to play in these cool desert oasis swimming holes, but there’s no need to end your ramble there. Using the Moqui Steps and rope, you can scramble up the waterfall’s sandstone edge and continue onward as long as you like. Most visitors end their hike here, for those wanting to continue, be prepared for a more strenuous backcountry experience.

  • Location - Red Cliffs Desert Reserve
  • Miles - 1.5 /out-and-back
  • Rating – Easy
  • Trailhead Facilities – Restroom / drinking water / trail kiosk