On Friday, June 29, 2022, we departed for our first outing of 2022. We headed toward Red Canyon Campground, northwest of Bryce Canyon National Park on Highway 12. We weren’t sure whether the campground was open yet or not, so our backup plan was to boondock just east of the campground. Upon arrival at the campground, we were pleased to find it open and nearly empty. The camp hosts informed us that the campground opens each year on the last weekend of April. The campground costs $21 per night but has running water, pit toilets, flush toilets, showers, and a dump station.
We chose site 29 for our stay. The parking spot was reasonably level and approximately 50′ long. The area is shady in the morning until about 10 am and then sunny for the remainder of the day. The table is nestled in the trees and stays shadier longer into the afternoon. Other sites may be better for the hotter months of the year. We would also consider staying in campsites 22, 9, and 1 in that order.
Campsite 22 is up high against the canyon wall affording excellent views. It is very private from others and has a nearly 70′ long driveway. However, the site doesn’t have very good tent spots. Site 9 is a wide, almost double campsite that is very flat, private, and away from the highway. Site 1 is a lovely, large, flat drive-through spot, but the table and firepit are not very private at the end of the drive-through.
We came south to red rock country to do some hiking and enjoy the outdoors. After arriving on Friday afternoon, we hiked straight up from our site until we reached the Golden Wall Trail. After that, we hiked on the trail to the arrow on the map. It was getting late in the day, so we decided to take the Buckhorn Trail dead-end and then return to camp. It was a great little hike. The Buckhorn trail was the highlight of the day. A few areas of the trail are narrow but nothing too tricky with a bit of care.
On Saturday, we walked along the paved bike path running along Highway 12 to the Red Canyon Visitors Center. Then, we took the Golden Wall Trail up to the intersection of the Golden Wall Trail and the Castle Bridge Trail. We debated over which route we would take and even considered making it a loop, but in the end, we chose to take the Castle Bridge Trail.
Eventually, we rejoined the Golden Wall Trail and hiked back to our campsite. While it was an enjoyable hike, those who don’t want to or are unable to hike 5 miles won’t miss much by just doing what we did on Friday. The views on both hikes were phenomenal, and the April weather was nearly perfect.
It was great to get away for the weekend, relax, and go on great hikes. The Red Canyon Campground is excellent, and even though it is close to Highway 12, the noise isn’t too bad after dusk. We’ll very likely return to enjoy some more hiking, and for sure, we’ll ride bikes on the paved bike trail that goes for at least 8 miles and ends in the Bryce Canyon National Park. Can’t wait for the next outing.
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