Hike the Red Canyon Rim Trail at Flaming Gorge

Red Canyon Overlook

To have views this awesome so close to a parking lot almost feels like cheating. 5 miles of trail along the rim of Red Canyon provide unbeatable panoramas from atop the 1400 foot cliffs of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

If you only have time for a quick trip to the overlook, the main network of paths leave directly north from the Red Canyon Visitor Center and lead to a few viewpoints that provide impressive vistas to the east and west. For those looking for more solitude away from pavement, the Red Canyon Rim trail heads southeast from the visitor center toward Green Lakes and Canyon Rim campground, and is almost guaranteed to deliver awesome views of canyons and wildlife alike. The trail forms a lollipop loop that is almost 5 miles one way. You can either hike it as an out and back, or leave a car at Red Canyon Lodge or the shorter Canyon Rim Campground. The trail is also open to mountain bikes.

At an elevation of 7400 feet, it's a perfect quick-hitter weekend getaway. Dispersed camping is available along the forest roads of Highway 44, or you can snag improved sites at the Canyon Rim Campground.

The visitor center is open from mid-May to mid-September, and not coincidentally, that is when you'll find the biggest crowds. In off-season the road is open as long as snow permits, which means it's not impossible to get the sunset all to yourself.

Pack List

  • Appropriate clothing for the season.
  • Hiking shoes or boots.
  • Snacks and Water.
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Sometimes Good things Are Easily Obtianed

To call this trail a hike would be something of an inaccuracy according to my personal definition as there is next to no elevation change at all. However in this case that's actually part of the glory of it. You can drive straight to the trail head in any vehicle, and the route is about as physically demanding as any walk down the street might be and yet it gives you unparalleled visual rewards every step of the way. If you are looking for minimal effort with maximum return I can think of literally nothing better.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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