Historic Babylon / Little Purgatory
This Historic Babylon/Little Purgatory loop trail is accessed from the Historic Babylon trailhead off the southern portion of the Babylon Road. Travel to this point should be made in a high clearance vehicle or 4WD once you’ve passed the turnoff to Sand Cove. Dinosaur tracks and Indian petroglyphs can be easily accessed from the trailhead parking area. The main trail consists primarily of a single track, dirt trail that is rocky in parts with a section of old two-track near the northern part of the loop. The total distance from the trailhead to the return point is about 5.6 miles. Although the loop trail can be hiked in either direction, hiking or riding it in a counter-clockwise direction would be easier as the rate of climb is gentler starting with the Historic Babylon trail. The elevation gain to the highest point is about 900 feet with a total up and down elevation change of about 2400 ft. The Historic Babylon trail climbs about 2.8 miles up to a ridge at the north end where it becomes the Little Purgatory trail. From this high point, great, nearly 360-degree views are had of Zion National Park, Gooseberry Mesa, the Hurricane Cliffs, Sandstone Mountain, the Pine Valley Mountains, the Cottonwood Canyon and LaVerkin/Black Ridge wilderness areas, the Beaver Dam Mountains and portions of Arizona as well as interesting geological formations along the way. The trails are marked with trail signs and a few cairns in some of the rocky areas. A leisurely hike time start to finish would be about 3 – 4 hours, plus stopping time. Overall, this moderately difficult, total loop trail is suitable for hikers and equestrians but offers difficult challenges for bikers including a half mile of steep, rocky switchbacks near the south end of the Little Purgatory trail. The trails lie almost entirely on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management within the Red Cliffs NCA.