Lower Red Lake Canyon

Lower Red Lake


18.8 miles (30km) round trip


5 at-large permits in the Red Lake/ Grabens Zone


There are no dependable water sources before reaching the river. Access to the river may be difficult at certain water levels due to vegetation and steep banks. Some topographic maps show springs between Devils Kitchen and Devils Land and in Cyclone Canyon: these no longer exist.


The hike from Elephant Hill to the Colorado River is a very strenuous one with an elevation change of 1,400 feet. There is little shade along the way as the trail climbs in and out of the Grabens and then descends the steep talus slope of Lower Red Lake Canyon to the river. This trail is recommended as a 2 to 3 day hike. There are several good places to camp along the river unless the water level is high. In June and July, the mosquitos are often thick among the cottonwoods and tamarisk lining the banks. The first rapids of Cataract Canyon are just below the mouth of Lower Red Lake. Use extreme caution around the river. River crossings without support are not recommended.