Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

Three Ponds Trail

Recommended Trail Users: Hikers


1.71 miles


Red Mountain

Lowland (last 0.1 mile is within Upland)

Managing Agency:
BLM and Snow Canyon State Parks

Three Ponds Trailhead— From I-15 Exit 6, turn north onto Bluff Street. Continue north on Bluff Street to the intersection of Snow Canyon Parkway (SR 8). Turn left onto Snow Canyon Parkway. Travel 4 miles and turn right onto Snow Canyon Drive.  Continue until reaching the fee station at the south entrance of Snow Canyon State Park (there is a day use fee to enter the park).  Continue north 1.6 miles on Snow Canyon Drive and park at the Three Ponds Trailhead on the left.

Three Ponds Trail begins at the Three Ponds Trailhead within Snow Canyon State Park. The trail winds northwest through a combination of slickrock, rocky slopes, and deep sand.  Several other park trails intersect with Three Ponds so follow the “Three Ponds” signs to stay on track. At ¾ miles, the trail crosses a sandy wash. Look carefully for the trail sign that leads out of the wash and up onto the West Canyon Trail (use caution as West Canyon Trail is used by maintenance vehicles).  Cross the West Canyon Trail and continue for less than 0.1 miles before entering a wide sandy wash. At this point the trail enters the Red Mountain Wilderness (federal lands managed by BLM).
The trail is much more of a route as it now continues in the wash. Dramatic, colorful sandstone cliffs lead the way as the trail heads northwest. In another 0.3 miles expect to pass the intersection with Padre Canyon Trail, which splits off to your left.  A few more turns in the wash will bring you to the mouth of the canyon with impressive 400-foot walls. Upstream progress is soon blocked by a steep slickrock pour-off with three eroded potholes that fill seasonally with pools of water (hence the trail’s name). This is a nice spot to rest before returning to the trailhead.

Hikers on the Three Ponds Trail


A pool of water nestled in some red rock


Towering red cliffs