Paradise Canyon Area Trails
Paradise Canyon is an extremely popular hiking, biking, and equestrian destination within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve located in the northwest portion of St. George. It is bracketed by State Route 18 on the east, Snow Canyon Parkway on the south, and Snow Canyon State Park to the north. The area contains lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation (UDP&R). BLM lands are also part of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. UDP&R lands are managed by Snow Canyon State Park but lie outside of the fee area located to the north. Three trailheads serve the area: Chuckwalla, Halfway Wash, and the Gap. The canyon also supports four authorized climbing areas: Chuckwalla, Turtle Wall, Black Rocks, and Cougar Cliffs (aka Movie Rocks). The Chuckwalla area is located a short ¼ mile hike down the trail from the Chuckwalla trailhead. The Turtle Wall area is located about 1 mile down the same route off the west side of the Beck Hill trail via a short connector. The Black Rocks and Cougar Cliffs areas are accessed off State Route 18 at mileposts 6 and 7 respectively. To protect critical habitat, Black Rocks is closed to climbing from March 15 to June 30 each year.
Trails within Paradise Canyon include Chuckwalla, Beck Hill, Turtle Wall, Paradise Rim, Halfway Wash, Gap, and Gecko. These trails also serve as southern access to trails primarily outside of the canyon including Scout Cave and Gila. Most of these trails are graded easy to moderate with some uphill and rocky segments. Attractions include numerous red cliffs and rocky formations, flower displays in wet spring years, distant mountain peaks, views of St. George City, and wildlife sightings including tortoises, Gila monsters, rabbits, lizards, hawks, eagles, desert birds, and occasional roadrunners and coyotes. A variety of snake species also dwell within the canyon. For more detailed information on the wildlife species that may be encountered, go to the Wildlife link on this website.
Trails in this canyon are most often hiked or ridden in combination. For hikers, these combinations can be enjoyable, but may also be exhausting for persons not in good physical condition or who are not prepared with proper footwear, clothing, and water. Loop hikes can be fashioned from any of the three trailheads. Most loops will involve a distance of three or more miles in a desert environment. Summer temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees. Please go prepared. More detailed information is available for each of the trails listed above by going to the appropriate links under Trails.