Visiting Red Rock Canyon State Park

A few months ago when I had my Mojave Desert adventure around Boron and Randsburg I discovered a whole new world. Previously the desert had been a big mystery to me and, frankly, I thought there was little to see. Of course, I was totally wrong and ended up discovering more places than I could visit in a single day. One of the places was Red Rock Canyon Sate Park and I was sad I couldn’t fit it in. Luckily, recent travels found my nearby and I made sure to stop and visit.

Red Rock Canyon State Park is located just off Highway 14 where the southernmost part of the Sierra Nevada meets the El Paso Mountains. It’s a fairly remote section of Kern County with miles of open land and immense vistas. In the summer it’s hot as a firecracker but, luckily, I arrived early in the season and the weather was a temperate 80°.

In the visitor’s center I learned all about the parks history and, among other things, it was used for mining, shepherding and as a stagecoach stop. Perhaps, its biggest claim to fame is that of a filming location. From the silent era to the present day countless movies and TV shows have used the colorful rock formations as a backdrop. Everything from the Twilight Zone to Jurassic Park has utilized the parks unique features.

I was eager to explore but had limited time on my visit so the friendly ranger directed me to the Hagen Canyon trail. She advised it was a short, easy trail that offered a great overview of what the park had to offer. I was sold and immediately headed for a hike.

The ranger was totally right and the Hagen Canyon Trail proved to be a wonderful introduction to the park. Starting in a dry creek bed it passed over sand dunes and led me directly to the beautiful red rocks of the canyon.

Here’s the super awesome part of Red Rock Canyon State Park – you’re welcome to go off trail. How many places can you do that??? I took full advantage and headed right to the rust colored formations.

it was fascinating to see them up close and observe their delicate colors and textures. These beautiful formations have survived eons of wind and erosion and are truly unique. Once again, California has proved to be a fascinating and diverse landscape.

I have a lofty goal of visiting every California state park and I’m so happy to cross another off the list. Red Rock Canyon State Park is an incredibly beautiful corner of the desert and I’m so happy it’s been preserved tor all to see it.


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