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Family-friendly outdoor adventures in Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon

By Mike Godfrey, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Apr 11th, 2019 @ 1:48pm



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s public lands offer no shortage of terrific family-friendly activities.

Among them, the roughly 18-mile Red Canyon/Multi-use paved trail system between Red Canyon Visitor Center and Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park stands out as one of the states most scenic and family-friendly bike trails.

Running parallel to Utah State Route 12, winding through enchanting canyons, forests, and hoodoos; the Red Canyon Bike Trail demonstrates clearly why Utah, natural splendor and family-friendly fun are synonymous.

As if the beauty of Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Park weren’t incentive enough to add this trail to your travel list, the Powell Ranger District offers tons of other great activities to satisfy a whole range of outdoor appetites, including hiking, horseback riding, camping, wildlife viewing, mountain biking and more.

One particularly noteworthy offering is the Thunder Mountain equestrian and mountain biking trail. For intermediate to advanced mountain bikers, the 15 miles Red Canyon/Thunder Mountain loop is a hard trail to beat. Equal parts challenging and awe-inspiring, completing this legendary loop is certain to thrill and bring a smile to your face for years to come.

While the bike path and surrounding area offer plenty of activity for all interests and skill levels, there are some safety precautions that should be adhered by all. There’s simply no substitute for preparation. Make sure to watch the below video, consult this brief online pamphlet and contact Dixie National Forest or Bryce Canyon National Park if you have any additional questions.

Also, make sure to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. In addition to high summer temperatures, a number of the area's creeks and drainages are prone to flash floods during rainstorms. Last summer, a storm damaged some sections of the bike trail near the Red Canyon Visitor Center. The damage has been patched and is open for use, while the U.S. Forest Service works to get the funds necessary to repair the trail.

Make sure to bring plenty of snacks, water, sunscreen, and first aid — especially if tackling Thunder Mountain. If you do plan to enter Bryce Canyon via the bike path, be aware there is an entry fee.

Finally, please remember to tread lightly and leave no trace.

There are few aspects of Utah as awe-inspiring as our natural treasures. Enjoy them and do your part to preserve them.


Mike Godfrey

About the Author: Mike Godfrey

Mike Godfrey is a graduate of BYU and along with his wife Michelle, the manager of At Home in Wild Spaces, an outdoor recreation website, blog and community, dedicated to sharing national parks, wilderness areas, hiking/biking trails, and more.

Mike Godfrey

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