Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

Black Knolls Trail

Recommended Users: Equestrians, Hikers
Type: Two-track
Length: 1.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Sub-Area: East Valley
Managing Agency: BLM and SITLA

Access: From I-15 Exit 8, turn west on St. George Blvd. Turn at the first right on 1000 East. Turn left on Cottonwood Springs Road. Travel north for 4.5 miles as Twin Lakes Drive turns into Cottonwood Road and the pavement changes to gravel. Turn right into a pullout and park, being sure not to block the gate. Note that the upper section of Cottonwood Road is rugged and may not be suitable for small passenger cars.

Description: To reach Black Knolls Trail, walk back down the road (south) 0.25 miles to the gate and stepover on the left. Follow the faint two-track trail west. In 0.2 miles the trail sweeps to the right heading south. The trail stays under the power line until reaching a drainage on the right at the 0.5 mile point. Turn right into the drainage until it swings around under the power line again. At mile point 1.3, turn left and continue south. The trail terminates in another 0.4 miles at the edge of the mesa, providing distance western views of the National Conservation Area, Pine Valley Mountains, and the cities of St. George and Washington.
Black Knolls Trail is the two-track for maintenance vehicles to access the major power line running parallel to Cottonwood Road. While maybe not a first choice for visitors since it lacks a loop, the trail has some redeeming features. It is close to town; road noise is almost non-existent despite its close proximity; winter mule deer can be seen moving through the area; and views of the distance red peaks in Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness, the surrounding black basalt, and the yellow-hued grass make for a pleasant experience.

View from the Black Knolls Trail

Area Trails Map