Recommended Trail Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers, Horses
Length: 6.85 miles
Difficulty: Easy/More Difficult (IMBA Trail Difficulty Rating System)
Sub Area: Red Cliffs
Managing Agency: BLM/SITLA
The Prospector Trail is located in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area
and runs parallel to I-15. Start this trail from the Grapevine, Cottonwood, or White Reef Trailheads North of I-15.
Popular with horseback riders, hikers, and mountain bikers, the Prospector Trail combines singletrack and two-track sections, and is a ride beginner and intermediate bikers can both enjoy. Just keep a look out for the big four legged types that have the right-of-way!
From the Grapevine Trailhead, at the western terminus, start with a good warm up on the Grapevine Trail. Note that the Grapevine Trail is used by government vehicles to service the wells in the area. Follow the road uphill to the junction with the single track Prospector Trail on the right. From here to the Cottonwood Trailhead the terrain is diverse and varies from packed, non-technical trail, to more challenging deep sandy washes, a few steep rocky hills, and bit of slick rock.
From the Cottonwood Trailhead, you can continue on the northeastern most section of trail to the White Reef Trailhead. This section is the easiest, with mostly packed trail, a few sandy sections and hills.
If beginning at the White Reef Trailhead, take White Reef Trail from the trailhead for 0.2 miles. Turn left onto Adams Trail and follow it until reaching a “Y” intersection. At this point the trail splits for users. Equestrians should go left to the low water crossing over Quail Creek, while hikers should go right to cross Quail Creek over a small, narrow pedestrian bridge. The trail reconnects on the other side of the creek. Turn right at the next intersection, which is the start of the Prospector Trail.
Views of the Pine Valley Mountains and the red sandstone cliffs of Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness grace the whole extent of this area.