This place is magic.
You can watch the video for our hike in the canyon HERE!
Our hike was technically to the Red Cathedral by way of the Golden Canyon Trail. You can also off-shoot to Zabriskie Point or Gower Gulch. Here’s the good news about the hike in the canyon: it’s pretty darn flat with just a little elevation that you can’t even feel because you’re still BELOW sea level.
The main canyon is just over a mile long, but there are small tangents you can take if you want to feel like you’re getting “lost” or want a little more seclusion. I never felt like we were going the wrong way or missed a turn, so if you’d prefer to stick to the main trail, it’s truly not that hard. At the sign, we kept heading straight, but others were turning around or heading on a different loop. As always, keep in mind how physically prepared you are, how much water you have, and your snack situation. All are important in the desert!
If you want to head to the Red Cathedral, after the sign it gets a bit narrow and requires some climbing over/under rocks. It’s pretty fun at the outset, but know your limits! After the rocks, you begin to climb up and there is loose gravel, a sheer edge, and elevation. Not. My. Scene. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t make it to the top. Knowing that I would have to come DOWN made me uneasy, so I stopped, sat, enjoyed the view I had, and then crab walked my way down. Thankfully, no one was coming up.
Even though I didn’t make it to the top of the trail, it didn’t matter because I still had an incredible view of the rock formations.
Just freaking gorgeous (this next one was taken by Ben who went up the ridge).
A few tips for this trail:
- Know your limits. I can’t stress this one enough.
- Be prepared for crowds! The parking lot was overflowing by the time we left. We had arrived early and found a parking spot, but it wasn’t so easy for someone pulling in around 10:30ish.
- Have water and food. Dress for the weather you are experiencing and what you COULD experience. Don’t forget sunscreen!
- Take it all in and appreciate the beauty.
Happy Hiking, friends!