Hiking GuidesUtah

Hiking Guide: Red Hollow Trail

Red Hollow Trail

Overview

Directly east of Cedar City, there is a prominent red hill that forms a stark contrast against the forested mountains that surround it.

Behind it runs Red Hollow Trail, which is actually a series of mountain bike trails.

The hike can be accessed from Center Street (once it heads up the canyon) or Thunderbird Gardens on 900 North.

While Red Hollow’s scenery is not as stunning as more well-known parks nearby (e.g. Cedar Breaks, Zion, and Bryce), its views provide a glimpse of what Southern Utah has to offer.

Plus, it’s a kid-friendly, dog-friendly hike that’s less than 10 minutes from “Festival City USA”.

Tip: After the hike, continue 3.5 miles up Highway 14 and dine at Milt’s Stage Shop.

Looking down on Thunderbird Gardens from a perch along Red Hollow Trail
Looking down on Thunderbird Gardens from a perch along Red Hollow Trail

Quick Facts

  • Distance:  3 miles out and back
  • Hike Time: 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 660 feet
  • Fee: Free
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Hiking the Red Hollow Trail

From Red Hollow Trailhead, follow the trail northward as it ascends the canyon.

Red Hollow Trailhead
Red Hollow Trailhead

When we did this hike in May 2020, there were copious wildflowers on display, including firecracker penstemon, Indian paintbrush, and claret cup cactus.

Indian paintbrush
Indian paintbrush

For the first 3/4 miles, the trail has a 10% grade. Once you reach the saddle, there is a junction.

The trail furthest to the right takes you up to Thor’s Hideout. Any of the other trails ultimately lead to the same place, Thunderbird Garden Trailhead.

From the saddle, the trails gradually descend for about a mile before reaching Thunderbird Garden.

Strange sandstone formations
Strange sandstone formations

Map

Location

Red Hollow Trail is located on the north side of Utah State Route 14 at the mouth of Cedar Canyon.

From I-15 exit 59 in Cedar City, follow 200 N for 0.9 miles, then turn right onto Main Street.

Continue on Main Street for 0.2 miles, then turn left onto Center Street.

Continue on Center Street for 1.5 miles and park on the left in the dirt lot.

Get Directions

Resources

Links

Photos

From left to right: Maia, Max (the author), Kim
From left to right: Maia, Max (the author), Kim
Looking south from just above Thunderbird Gardens
Looking south from just above Thunderbird Gardens
Hiking as a family is the best!
Hiking as a family is the best!

Want to hike Utah’s best trails? Check out our other Utah Hiking Guides.

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