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Vermillion Castle Trail - Dixie National Forest

Two mile round trip hike up steep switchbacks to a viewpoint at the base of Vermillion Castle Cliffs.
Rating: 2 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 1.6 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Appropriately named, Vermillion Castle, from a distance looks every bit a castle. Spires and towers, lofty ceilings and sloping... more »

Tips:  Elevation: Respect the fact you are hiking at 7000 - 8000 feet elevation. You can expect to be winded but pay attention to any... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking & Trailhead

Travel on I-15 to Parowan Utah. From Parowan take State Road #143 South, following the signs to Brian Head and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Approximately 3 miles South of Parowan is First Left Hand Canyon. Turn Left and follow the signs toward Yankee Meadows. Just passing the entrance to 5 mile picnic area is a large turnout on your left hand... More

2. Switchbacks

The trail immediately begins to climb through a series of switchbacks. The fast elevation gain bring beautiful views to the West looking down on 5 mile picnic area with red rock views further to the North. The views are often blocked as you make your way through scrub oak, pinyon, juniper, and ponderosa pine trees.

At times you'll notice damage... More

3. Conglomerates Ridge

Soon you'll reach a rim overlook composed of conglomerates and sandstone. This overlook provides a beautiful view down onto the road and across the canyon to Noah's Ark.

4. Grotesque Hoodoos

Continuing up the conglomerate and sandstone ridge, you'll immediately spot two grotesque Hoodoos against the skyline. Upon closer inspection, these Hoodoos are made from the conglomerate rock surroundings and not from the typical sandstone / limestone erosion like in Cedar Breaks or Bryce Canyon. The result is something out of Stephen Kings... More

5. Upper Shelf

Soon you'll reach the upper shelf and begin a nice horizontal hike along the side of the mountain. Gentle elevation gains and losses mark the path as you hike in and out of drainage areas.

The ever changing perspective of Noah's Ark continues to draw your attention, viewed from across canyon the viewing area of Noah's Ark Trail is easy to... More

6. Melted Sandstone

Arriving on top of a yellow ridge line you are greeted with several large layers of yellow sandstone. The shapes and features of this ridge line can only be described as "melted". The dripping, hardening effect caused by wind and water have created a design of windows, small pillars and very much a tortured scene in the rock. Add the dark red... More

7. Viewpoint of Vermillion Castle

After passing the melted sandstone the trail opens up onto a large ridge dotted with trees. The trail disperses in all directions as people have wandered the hillside taking in the sights of Noah's Ark to the South, the mountain behind Yankee Meadows (pond) to the East, and the massive deep red of Vermillion Castle make for beautiful pictures. I... More