White Reef Trail
Activities: Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding
Trail Distance: 1.6 miles (one way) single-track
Trail Difficulty: Moderate
The White Reef Trail begins at the White Reef Trailhead in the Red Cliffs Recreation Area. This trail is an old two-track, possibly a remnant of early mining days and was used to access old claims.
The White Reef Trail winds and climbs over small hills, though reddish purple clay soils of the Chinle Formation. These clays soils are the preferred habitat for the endangered Shivwits Milk-Vetch (Astragalus ampullarioides). Known populations of the milk-vetch are fenced to prevent intrusions and can be seen along the route.
Along the trail, a few closed mining adits (horizontal passages from the surface in a mine) can be seen in the geologic formation known as the White Reef on the west. Despite the trail’s proximity to the I-15 freeway, the sound of traffic dies down quickly upon leaving the White Reef Trailhead. The trail offers outstanding views of colorful geologic features and long distance vistas of the landscape.
Note: Because of the clay soils, this trail may be extremely soft and muddy during or just after rain.
Visitors may create a 3.2 mile clock-wise loop by taking the White Reef Trail, turning right onto the Adit Trail (connector), and then right again onto the Leeds Reef Trail to return back to the White Reef Trailhead.
Within the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, critical habitat for the endangered Shivwits milkvetch, a small native plant that grows only in Washington County on specific soil types, are conserved and protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Please help us conserve and protect your public lands by following all outdoor ethics and posted regulations.
Access note: To enter the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, vehicle and trailer height and width is restricted to 11 feet 9 inches to pass through two narrow underpasses beneath the I-15 freeway. Plan your travel according.
Northbound from Saint George: From I-15 northbound, take exit 22 for UT-228 north toward Leeds, then turn right onto Old Highway 91. Continue for 2 miles, then turn right onto West Red Cliffs Campground Road.
Southbound from Cedar City: From I-15 southbound, take exit 23 toward UT-228/Leeds, then turn left onto Silver Reef Road. Continue for 480 feet, then turn right onto Main Street. After 1.5 miles, continue southbound on Old Highway 91 for 2 miles. Turn right onto West Red Cliffs Campground Road.
Day Use Fee: $5 per vehicle. Cash or check only. The America the Beautiful Passes are accepted here and allow free day-use.