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.
|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.
|A couple towers of composite rocks near the top of the steep climb up the canyon.|
|The other side of Parowan Canyon at the mouth of First Left Hand Canyon.|
|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.
|Keep on climbing.|
|Dropping a little as it travels along the edge of the canyon.|
|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.
|Looking up at Vermillion Castle.|
|Looking up First Left Hand Canyon.|
After enjoying the view, it is time to head back the way I came.
|The yellow rocks are interesting too, even if not so striking a color.|
|A few red flowers to go with the red rocks above.|
©2015 Valerie Norton
Posted 21 July 2015