RedCanyon

There are a number of canyons in the Southwest called Red Canyon, including at least two in Utah,
which makes sense because of the brilliant red-orange rock in the area. This Red Canyon is at the
western end of Highway 12, a scenic road which leads to Bryce Canyon, Kodachrome Basin, and
through the Grand Staircase Escalante to Capitol Reef. Red Canyon is the first of the spectacular
scenic areas on this beautiful byway, famed for its association with the outlaw Butch Cassidy, who
was leader of the Wild Bunch Gang and the last of the great train robbers of the late 19th century.

This page is an overview of the Red Canyon section, with selections from the six pages
detailing the Pink Ledges area off Highway 12, the Arches Trail in the Losee Canyon area,
the Butch Cassidy Trail and the Golden Wall Trail in Red Canyon itself, a compilation page on
some of the Flora and Fauna of Red Canyon, and a page on Sparky, the Utah Prairie Dog.

Click a preview image for a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.
Click a Display Composite to visit the page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Red Canyon Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Red Canyon Galleries:

 Pink Ledges           Arches Trail            Cassidy Trail
Golden Wall Trail         Flora & Fauna          Utah Prairie Dog

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Pink Ledges Area

The Pink Ledges area is the section of Red Canyon off Highway 12 near the Visitor’s Center.
Spectacular red-orange castles, hoodoos and other formations are on both sides of the canyon,
along with the entrances to several trails such as the Pink Ledges Trail, the Butch Cassidy Trail,
the Golden Wall Trail, and others. This page houses images of some of the rock formations
along Highway 12 taken during several visits in the summer and in mid-winter, when the
red-orange rock and green forest are set off by the white snow and the blue Utah sky.

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Red Canyon Pink Ledges Winter 5566
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Close detail of fins and hoodoos in the Pink Ledges area of Red Canyon, taken in the
early morning in late December after a snowfall the night before. The horizontal cracks
along the sedimentary layer boundaries are outlined in snow, and the red-orange rock
stands out against a brilliant blue winter sky. I drove hundreds of miles to see this sight.

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Red Canyon Balanced Rocks 1008
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The Balanced Rock hoodoos fluoresce golden-orange in the late afternoon light, vignetted by conifers in late September.

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Red Canyon Tower
Golden Wall Trailhead X5739

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The Tower pinnacle is lit by the mid-morning sun from the approach to the Golden Wall Trailhead in late June.

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Red Canyon Pink Ledges 1273
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Hoodoo formations in the Pink Ledges, fluorescing in the late afternoon September light.

Bright red-orange hoodoos surrounded by a darker landscape and bright blue sky make
for a challenging calculation, as both the red and blue channels are at risk of overexposure.

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Red Canyon Hoodoos Pink Ledges 1263
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Hoodoos in the Pink Ledges area north of Highway 12, taken on a September day in the late afternoon.

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Red Canyon Pink Ledges 2006
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The Pink Ledges formation from the Pink Ledges Trail, taken in the early afternoon in September three days later.

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Red Canyon Pink Ledges Winter 5569
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The hoodoo formation over the Visitor’s Center emerges from a mixed conifer forest
 in the Pink Ledges area of Red Canyon. Shot in the early morning in late December.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Pink Ledges page

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Arches Trail

The Arches Trail is in the Losee Canyon area behind Red Canyon, to the Northwest. It is named
for 15 small arches on the trail, which also has many hoodoos and ledges accenting a red-orange
landscape with Juniper, Limber Pine, and Bristlecone Pine trees. At the bottom of the trail is the
stone shelter allegedly built by Butch Cassidy to cache supplies in his early days as an outlaw.

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Red Canyon Rock Shelter Arches Trail 0781
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At the beginning of the Arches Trail is a stone shelter which was allegedly built as a
supply cache by Butch Cassidy, who later gained fame as leader of the Wild Bunch Gang.

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Red Canyon Bristlecone Pine Arches Trail 0716
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A Bristlecone Pine root below the upper ledges.

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Red Canyon Red Queen Windows Arches Trail 0728
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The Red Queen and the Windows Arches formation.

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Red Canyon Red Queen Arches Trail 0709
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The Red Queen beside the Windows Arches is one of the most prominent and well-known hoodoos on the Arches Trail.

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Red Canyon Window Arches Trail 0718
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A view of the upper ledges and the Arches Trail framed by the hourglass window in the center of the Windows Arches.

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Red Canyon Red Queen Windows Arches Trail X2337
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The Red Queen hoodoo and the Windows Arches formation, with an assortment of
gnarled trees and skeletons adorning the landscape below. While these are called
arches, they are more properly windows in an eroding fin formation, which is well
on its way to becoming a set of individual hoodoos. The Red Queen was once a
part of the same fin formation, separating when the arch in between collapsed.

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Red Canyon Hoodoo Arches Trail 0720
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The hoodoo at the end of the Windows Arches formation.

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Red Canyon Tree Skeleton Arches Trail X2352
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A Limber Pine skeleton on the Arches Trail.

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Red Canyon Windows Arches Trail X2342
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A close oblique of the rear of the Windows Arches formation,
taken in the soft light of an overcast afternoon in late June.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Arches Trail page

ArchesTrail
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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Red Canyon Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Red Canyon Galleries:

 Pink Ledges           Arches Trail            Cassidy Trail
Golden Wall Trail         Flora & Fauna          Utah Prairie Dog

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Cassidy Trail

The Cassidy Trail is named for Butch Cassidy, a famous outlaw of the late 19th century.
Used by the outlaw to evade capture, this scenic trail has numerous hoodoos and other
red-orange rock formations, surrounded by Juniper, Limber Pine, Pinyon Pine and
Bristlecone Pine trees in a Ponderosa Pine forest. Included on this page are six
images of the Parker Ranch, Butch Cassidy’s boyhood home near Circleville.

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Red Canyon Hoodoos Juniper Cassidy Trail X2243
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Mushroom hoodoos and Juniper on the Cassidy Trail.

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Red Canyon Cassidy Trail X2199
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Hoodoos below a limestone ledge on the Cassidy Trail.

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Red Canyon Juniper Limber Pine Cassidy Trail X2188
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Juniper and Limber Pine on a slope above the Cassidy Trail.

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Red Canyon Limber Pines Cassidy Trail X2183
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Limber Pines rise into a brilliant blue sky beside red-orange hoodoos on the Cassidy Trail.

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Red Canyon Limber Pine Cassidy Trail X2211
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An ancient, twisted Limber Pine stands among Ponderosa Pines on an upper plateau of the Cassidy Trail.

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Red Canyon Bristlecone Pine Cassidy Trail X2214
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An ancient Bristlecone Pine on the Cassidy Trail plateau. The Bristlecone Pine is the oldest single living organism on Earth.

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Red Canyon Juniper Limber Pine Cassidy Trail X2233
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Juniper and Limber Pine at Brayton Point on the Cassidy Trail.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Cassidy Trail page

CassidyTrail
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Golden Wall Trail

The Golden Wall Loop Trail leads into the hills of Red Canyon south of Highway 12.
The eastern side of the loop trail, called the Buckhorn Trail, is the trailhead I used to
enter and exit the Golden Wall area. The trail winds through a Pinyon and Ponderosa
Pine forest into a Fir forest with beautiful red-orange hoodoos and rock formations,
offering panoramic views of the Red Canyon area and the Sevier Valley beyond.

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Red Canyon Golden Wall Trailhead X5737
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A view towards Butch Cassidy Draw across the forested flats at the Golden Wall Trailhead.

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Red Canyon Golden Wall Trailhead X5719
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A view across the forested flats towards the hoodoos and fins.

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Red Canyon Tower Golden Wall Trailhead X5747
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The Red Canyon Tower pinnacle framed by foliage.

The images above were a part of two Polarization Studies which are shown on the Golden Wall Trail page.

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Red Canyon Hoodoos Golden Wall Trail X5711
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The hoodoo wall at the base of the Castle Bridge area in early morning light.
This section of the Golden Wall Trail doesn’t get lit until later in the morning,
but by then the light has gotten rather harsh and the hoodoos wash out.

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Red Canyon Hoodoos Golden Wall Trail X5724
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Hoodoos on the slopes in the early morning light. Those at the top of the slope are beginning to lose that magnificent color.

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Narrow-Leaf Yucca Red Canyon X5730
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Narrow-Leaf Yucca on the flats approaching the trailhead. The flower stalk rises through the spiny leaves to about five feet.

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Red Canyon Golden Wall Trail X5694
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The view towards Butch Cassidy Draw from the Golden Wall Trail.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Golden Wall Trail page

GoldenWallTrail
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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Red Canyon Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Red Canyon Galleries:

 Pink Ledges           Arches Trail            Cassidy Trail
Golden Wall Trail         Flora & Fauna          Utah Prairie Dog

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Flora and Fauna

The Flora and Fauna page is a compilation of 30 images of Flowers and Plants,
Trees and Landscape, and Sparky the Utah Prairie Dog selected from among the
pages in the Red Canyon section. Bristlecone Pines, Limber Pines, Pinyon Pines,
and Evening Primrose from the Cassidy and Arches Trails join the illustrious rodent.

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Evening Primrose Desert Holly Red Canyon X2171
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Evening Primrose beside a Desert Holly at sunrise on the Cassidy Trail.

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Red Canyon Bristlecone Pine Arches Trail X2308
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A Bristlecone Pine stands atop the ledge above the caves on the Arches Trail in the soft light of an overcast afternoon. The Bristlecone Pine is the oldest single living organism on Earth. Some Bristlecone Pines are nearly 5000 years old.

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Red Canyon Junipers Cassidy Trail X2185
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A stand of Junipers on the Cassidy Trail. Several species of Juniper are in the area, including Utah Juniper and Rocky Mountain Juniper. Like Limber Pines and Bristlecone Pines, some Junipers can reach great age (over 2000 years).

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Red Canyon Precarious Pinyon Pine Arches Trail 0761
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A Pinyon Pine preserves a precarious perch on the precipice overlooking the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

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Red Canyon Tree Skeleton Cassidy Trail X2166
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A tree skeleton at sunrise on the lower Cassidy Trail.

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Red Canyon Juniper Limber Pine Cassidy Trail X2196
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Juniper and a gnarled Limber Pine on the Cassidy Trail.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2263
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Sparky the Utah Prairie Dog sniffs a fragrant stalk near her extensive burrow in Red Canyon.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2258
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“You talkin’ to me?”
(apologies to Robert de Niro)

Note the Bentonite clay sticking to Sparky’s fur and especially to her nose.
It’s hard to take that deadly stare seriously when she wears an orange clay facial mask.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Flora and Fauna page

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Utah Prairie Dog

The Utah Prairie Dog is the smallest of the Prairie Dog species and is listed as Threatened.
The rampaging rodents dig extensive tunnel communities, and the damage they cause to farms
has made them targets for varmint hunters and poison usage throughout Utah, contributing to
the threatening of the species. This particular rodent, known as Sparky, has created an
exceptionally impressive underground home in the Bentonite clay of Red Canyon.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2253
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Sparky the Utah Prairie Dog outside her extensive underground burrow in Red Canyon.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2255
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Sparky poses in front of the entrance to her burrow.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2281
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She seemed quite interested in the large glass eye.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2261
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Sparky the Utah Prairie Dog sniffs a fragrant stalk. Prairie Dogs eat mostly vegetation.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2267
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... but she will munch a tasty nut now and then.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2288
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Sparky in the characteristic erect seated position.

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Utah Prairie Dog Red Canyon X2292
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Prairie dogs sit erect to watch for danger, and yip to alert others with a complex
set of calls which describe the predator, how big it is and how fast it is approaching.
They also have calls for things which are not predators and are quite communicative.
Recent studies have indicated that Prairie dogs have the most sophisticated of
the animal languages, with a different sound for each predator and action.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Utah Prairie Dog page

UtahPrairieDog
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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Red Canyon Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Red Canyon Galleries:

 Pink Ledges           Arches Trail            Cassidy Trail
Golden Wall Trail         Flora & Fauna          Utah Prairie Dog

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