Red Canyon and Butch Cassidy
History and lore of the old west are alive in Red Canyon, thanks to Butch Cassidy, who was raised nearby in a cabin in Circleville where he lived from 1879 until 1884. Rumor has it that when Cassidy was in Panguitch at a dance he got himself into a brawl over a girl. Cassidy thought he killed the fellow and fled to the craggy land where Red Canyon is today. Turns out, the man he knocked out was just fine, but a posse was already sent out after Cassidy. He eluded them by hiding along what is now known as the Cassidy Trail. Red Canyon is not quite as famous as old Butch, but it is part of the vast 2-million acres that make up Utah’s most famous forest, Dixie National Forest.
Red Canyon – Utah
Red Canyon is located along Scenic Byway 12, just 9 miles from Bryce Canyon. Passing through it is required to get to Bryce Canyon National Park from the west. From the east, stay on Highway 12, past the junction of highways 12 and 63 for 9 miles, to find Red Canyon.
From the Native Americans who traveled the canyons, to people like J.W. Humphry who constructed the tunnels, Red Canyon on the Dixie National Forest has fascinated people for centuries. Unique vermilion-colored rock formation and stands of Ponderosa pines make the canyon exceptionally scenic. Take time to discover all that Red Canyon has to offer.
The first stop when touring Highway 12 is the Scenic Byway Information Kiosk located at the mouth of Red Canyon. This information pavilion provides an overview of the entire byway and highlights significant features.
The Red Canyon Visitor Center, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, has information on hiking, camping, picnicking, and sightseeing. A U.S. Forest Service campground is across the road from the visitor center.
As part of Dixie National Forest there are no entry fees to drive through or hike in Red Canyon. Red Canyon, a spectacular oasis of rock nested in a vast forest known to locals as “Dixie.” The two-million acre, 170 mile long forest ranges from Red Canyon’s arid desertscape of sandstone hoodoos to a lush high altitude forest on Cedar Mountain.