Red Mountain Wilderness
A large block of Navajo Sandstone is the geologic setting of the approximately 18,700 acre Red Mountain Wilderness. Newly designated in 2009, a portion of this Wilderness is within the also newly-designated Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. The Santa Clara River channel bounds this unit on the west, while Snow Canyon State Park partially wraps around its southern and eastern boundaries. The mountain top is a dramatic expanse red sand and slickrock. Rugged sandstone outcrops push up through pinyon pine, Utah juniper, and an understory of sagebrush, manzanita, and scrub oak.
Numerous mammals, birds, and reptiles reside in this Wilderness. Mountain lion, bobcat, and common and kit fox are the more elusive mammals, while mule deer, coyote, jackrabbit, and cottontail are the most commonly observed wildlife. Various raptors, passerine (aka perching birds or songbirds) and nonpasserine birds fill the air including hawks, quails, road runners, sparrows, and hummingbirds. Along with the usual side-blotched and whiptail lizards visitors could see the desert spiny and Great Basin collared lizards.
Hikers and backpackers enjoy panoramic vistas of the spires and mesas of Zion National Park to the east, the Virgin River Gorge to the south, and the high peaks of the Beaver Dam Mountains on the west. Equestrians find many opportunities for trail riding in the Red Mountain Wilderness, with some trails leading to spectacular overlooks into Snow Canyon, where black basalt flows overlie the red and white Navajo sandstone, creating a dramatic visual contrast. Visit the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area web page for more information about trails in the Red Mountain Wilderness.
|Note: Trails in this wilderness area are not maintained or marked, and should be considered backcountry travel. Navigational aids are strongly recommended. Search and rescue operations are not uncommon for hikers lost in this wilderness as distances are deceiving and many people go unprepared for the rugged conditions. Also keep in mind that all creeks and washes are subject to flash flooding. Please read Know Before You Go.|