Exploring Red Rock Canyon State Park in California

Red Rock Canyon State Park, just off of highway 14 in the Mojave Desert (2-hours from Los Angeles, California), offers awesome red rock formations where layers of rock form a gradient ranging from red, white to brown hues. My brother Steven told us to stop here as he visited a few months ago for the meteor shower and told us it was a cool rock wall. He was right.

The park spans over 27,000 acres and features hiking trails, including Red Cliff’s Nature Trail. Unfortunately, we didn’t check out the trail as we were on a time crunch to see Lone Pine, Big Pine, and to check into our 120-year old Victorian AIRBNB in Bishop, CA. 

Visitors of this State Park can explore the park's red cliffs, narrow ravines, and colorful rock formations shaped by millions of years of erosion. I’m always amazed when I see how Mother Nature shaped these rocks over time. The Grand Canyon will continue to amaze me.

Did you know Red Rock Canyon State Park attracts wildlife, including desert reptiles, birds of prey, and small mammals? Birdwatchers can spot species such as prairie falcons, golden eagles, and red-tailed hawks soaring on top of the canyon walls. I saw a black bird gliding along the side of the wall and it scared me for some reason. Looked creepy and I have PTSD from the 1963 movie, The Birds.

In addition to hiking and wildlife viewing, the park offers camping, picnicking, and stargazing, as I mentioned before. Its remote location away from city lights makes it an ideal spot for observing the night sky as there’s no “light pollution.”

While the park is open year-round, make sure to check weather conditions before planning this trip, as temperatures can soar during the summer months. Admission to the park is $10 per vehicle, and camping fees vary depending on the chosen campground. We just drove into the huge parking lot, with our “America the Beautiful” National Parks pass, stayed for about 45 minutes, and left to continue our road trip.

Check out our recap videos below:

Travel Tips for Red Rock Canyon State Park

  • Plan your visit during the cooler months to avoid extreme heat. We visited in late March and it was a bit windy and cold, for my taste. 
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes for exploring the rocky terrain. Honestly, I was wearing Vans and it was fine.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks, as amenities are limited within the park.
  • Check weather forecasts before heading out, as conditions can be unpredictable.
  • Stay on designated trails and respect wildlife habitats.
  • Consider camping overnight to fully experience the park's stargazing opportunities.
  • Pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect against sun exposure.
  • Keep a camera handy to capture the park's stunning geological formations and wildlife.
  • Dispose of trash properly and leave no trace of your visit.
  • Check for any park updates or closures before embarking on your trip.

Would I recommend this state park? I totally would as it’s a great pit stop with restrooms and not to mention, you’ll get to stretch your legs and check out crazy rock formations reminiscent of Sedona, Arizona and Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. 

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Location address: 37749 Abbott Dr, Cantil, CA 93519


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