Prospector Trail

  • Activities: Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Riding

  • Trail Distance: 6.85 miles (one way) single and two-track

  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate


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

Follow the Cottonwood Canyon Trail for 0.3 miles to reach the junction with the Prospector Trail.  Please follow designated trail markers and avoid unsigned user-created trails. 

From the White Reef Trailhead

  • Hikers and Equestrians: Follow the White Reef Trail 950 feet, then turn left onto the 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 turn right and cross over a small pedestrian foot-bridge. The trail reconnects on the south side of the creek at the junction with the Prospector Trail.
  • Cyclists: The High Grade Trail allows cyclists to access the Prospector Trail and is the preferred route for cyclists, bypassing the Adams Trail which has limited visibility while crossing the riparian area of Quail Creek. From the trailhead, head southwest along the access road for .25 miles; passing the entrance tunnel to the Red Cliffs Recreation Area and crossing the single-lane bridge. The High Grade Trail is located on the south side of the road, after 0.42 miles on this connector trail cyclists can then turn left onto the Prospector Trail.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips


Geographic Coordinates

37.210368, -113.3994136


The Prospector Trail is located in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and runs parallel to the I-15 freeway. Visitors may access this trail from the Grapevine, Cottonwood, or White Reef Trailheads.

To enter the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, vehicle and trailer height and width are restricted to 11 feet 9 inches to pass through two narrow underpasses beneath the I-15 freeway. Plan your travel according.


Red Cliffs Recreation Area - Day Use Fee: $5 per vehicle. Cash or check only. The America the Beautiful Passes are accepted here and allow free day-use.