Gunsight

The Gunsight Route is a rugged, steep, 1.3 mile hike and climb that begins at the Gunsight trailhead off Snow Canyon Drive in Ivins, Utah.  The trail climbs about 1,500 feet to the Gunsight Pass.  Currently there are no Gunsight route signs.  Most of the trail is not marked except at the very bottom and at the top.  The route is extremely strenuous and is suitable only for persons in good physical condition and who are not terrified of heights.  Proper clothing, lots of water, and good maps (or a knowledgeable guide) are a must.  From the trailhead, proceed west about 1/2 mile on the Toe Trail and turn right up the main wash going north towards the head of the canyon. From there follow the wash about 1/3 mile and look for a faint trail behind a rock on the left and a small trail marker about 10 yards out of the wash.  (If you reach a huge boulder lying over and across the entire wash, you have gone about 120 yards too far and need to back up). From this point, the trail climbs up a steep ridge and over to the major drainage on the left. The drainage is steep, very rocky, and subject to falling rocks.  The drainage leads hikers to the bottom of a solid cliff face near the top of the mountain.  Closely follow the cliff face up and to the right to reach the notch for which the Gunsight Route is named.  Most of the route lies in the Red Mountain Wilderness Area.  Bikes and motorized vehicles are prohibited.  The trail is unsuitable for equestrian use due to extreme steepness and loose, rocky footing.

Views from the top of the trail are spectacular and breathtaking.  The route offers an option for coming down the face of the mountain for hikers taking the complete Red Mountain hike beginning at the Red Mountain trailhead off Highway 18 north of Snow Canyon State Park.  A strenuous loop hike up the Red Mountain Trail from the Ivins trailhead and down the Gunsight Route returning to the Ivins or Gunsight trailheads via the Toe Trail (or vise-versa) is also possible. Lands inside the wilderness area are administered by the BLM within the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area.  Adjacent lands are administered by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.