13 June 2015

Vermillion Castle

Dixie National Forest




First and Second Left Hand Canyon have a few of the hoodoos and other rock structures found in nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce National Park, but held in a cozy little canyon. The first one is paved and therefore much more accessible and both have a few trails. This is a short one up to some of the rock formations known as the Vermillion Castle. The first half is a steep warm up while the second half rolls along the views.

signs at the trailhead
A simple sign only showing the trail designations marks the trailhead.

The afternoon is a bit warm and feels even warmer as I climb the western slope of a tributary to get up to the level of the rock formation. The trail has a few little erosion problems, but it pretty easy to climb. A band of hard composite rocks seems out of place among all the much softer and highly colored rocks. It makes a good lookout point where much of the traffic seems to stop for a bit and possibly even finish.

towers of composite rock
A couple towers of composite rocks near the top of the steep climb up the canyon.


Parowan Canyon
The other side of Parowan Canyon at the mouth of First Left Hand Canyon.

Noahs Ark
Noah's Ark on the far side of the canyon.

Turning from the popular view out over the canyon, the trail climbs a little further up out of the composite rocks and past the towers. It almost looks like this might be a use trail at first, but it quickly gets back to looking official. It climbs toward a lump of red rock and then levels off to travel high along the edge of the canyon.

lump of red rock in greenery
Keep on climbing.

along the edge of the canyon
Dropping a little as it travels along the edge of the canyon.

yellow and red rocks
The Vermillion Castle comes into view behind a band of yellow rocks.

The trail comes to a wide platform among yellow rocks. After a couple spots before that looked like the trail was ending, I investigate for more, but it seems to really be the end this time. People have camped here at the base of the castle.

Vermillion Castle
Looking up at Vermillion Castle.

First Left Hand Canyon
Looking up First Left Hand Canyon.

After enjoying the view, it is time to head back the way I came.

lumpy yellow rocks
The yellow rocks are interesting too, even if not so striking a color.

a red flower
A few red flowers to go with the red rocks above.




©2015 Valerie Norton
Posted 21 July 2015

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