Hiking the Roadrunner to City Creek Trail
We pass this area several times a week driving from St. George to Washington City as we make our way over to the big box stores and I-15 freeway. Each time we do, I notice this trailhead and wonder what lay beyond the end of the concrete pathway.
If you look closely at the bottom portion of the fencing, it's woven tightly hopefully ensuring the endangered tortoise will stay out of harms way. Before the fencing, we'd frequently find a tortoise crossing the road and stop the car to move the little guy safely over to the brush.
Be sure NOT to do that now as they are on the endangered species list and it's illegal to touch them!
Red Hills Parkway is the proper name of this road and it's pretty scenic on its own having incredible views of Pine Valley Mountain and The Red Mountain. It's also used as a portion of the bike leg of the race in the St. George Iron Man 70.3.
In the photo above on this particular morning, it was especially pretty because it had rained the night before and all of the colors were super intense. I pulled over in the large, dirt parking lot to take a better look at the trailhead. I only had time to snap a quick photo with my camera phone, but I knew I would be back soon with my family to hike the trail.
My family decided Friday evening to take that hike but we were getting a late start at 5 pm and since it's wintertime and dusk would be soon, we knew that we probably wouldn't be able to complete the whole three mile loop.
From the dirt parking lot, the trail led us through a tunnel under the Red Hills Parkway.
There were mostly bike tracks on the trail and my husband said that it'd be a fun mountain biking trail but there were some pretty difficult areas that would be considered advanced for mountain biking.
A beginner or intermediate level mountain biker could always get off their bike and walk it in those steeper and rockier areas. But for hiking in the middle of winter, it was for us, nearly perfect conditions.
We brought our leashed dog and she loved it! We also caught a glimpse of three deer grazing on the lush foliage down by the creek.
It was a breathtaking hike and a perfect time of day to take photos because the sun was low and the lighting was great for photography.
All the photos I took on this hike were with my iPhone 8. I always use the free photo editing software App called Snapseed.
I first "tuned" my pics with Snapseed and then used a little of the Snapseed HD filter to make the photo look more the way it really appeared with the naked eye.
Most of the terrain is hard packed dirt with an inch or so of softer dirt and some rocks.
It's a little hard to see from the photo, but this area for mountain biking would be considered advanced as it's a steep, narrow switchback and the rocks are very slippery.
Since it was quickly becoming darker, colder and we didn't have a flashlight, we made the decision to cut off the trail early and hike up a steep enbankment towards where we could hear the cars rushing by. Out we popped at the top of the Roadrunner Trail and not too far from the tunnel and parking lot.
We estimated that we might have completed half of the three mile trail.
Hiking back towards the tunnel and parking lot.
Along the way we passed a deceased coyote that our dog spotted. It looked as though he'd been there awhile but it was interesting to me seeing that his body was still mostly intact. For me, it was also kind of sad for just a minute. But such is the circle of life...I can't ponder on it too long because I'm a mom of three sons.... and they consume the majority of my pondering reservoir....
All in all, this was a super fun and relaxing hike with the family and pup. We returned to the car at about 6:20pm and we had hiked for nearly an hour and a half. It was a perfect way to end the day and this mom even had a decent night's sleep from all the fresh air and exercise!
Highly recommend the hike but give yourself enough time to complete it and if you hike it during the warmer months, be sure to get an early start as there is very little shade. Also be sure to take plenty of water and wear hiking boots because of the loose, jagged rock.