Hiking the Trails

There are 10 marked hiking trails in the Park. They vary in length from 0.5 to 4.5 miles and most are moderately rugged or more (list below from the Park map).


#          TYPE                   MILEAGE

---- ------------------- ------------

1          Rugged              0.75

2          Very Rugged*    3.0

3          Rugged              1.0

4          Very Rugged     0.75

5          Rugged              0.9

6          Moderately R     0.5

7          Moderately R     1.25

8          Rugged              4.5

9          Moderate            1.0

10        Easy                    0.75

---- ------------------- ------------

*Impassable if high water. No entry/exit at its north end.

The five hikes described here follow individual or multiple trails. Remember: Stay on marked trails; Carry and use the official park map; Areas above and below waterfalls are off limits; Wear trail-worthy foot gear; Evaluate your hiking skills and health as all trails have challenges and can be steep and composed of rocks, loose rocks, exposed tree roots; Avoid dehydration, bring water; What you carry in, carry out; Supervise children and keep pets on a leash; Trails close at dusk – plan to be off the trail before then.

Upper Falls Hike (Trail 7 - moderately rugged)


This loop hike starts at the Trail 7 trailhead (past the playground at Clifty Shelter) and works around Little Clifty Canyon staying on the upper trail onto Lookout Point, returning on the lower loop to view Little Clifty Falls, over the bridge around the rim on the hillside shelf, past Cake Rock to the ”underlook” for Big Clifty, then to the Big Clifty overlook. The staircase from lower 7 to upper 7 is not used.

Download flyer describing this hike.

Hoffman Canyon Hike (Trails 1,3,4 - rugged to very rugged)


This loop hike features Hoffman Branch Canyon and part of the Big Clifty Canyon wall. You can start at the Hoffman Falls parking area, Poplar Grove, or the Nature Center. The route described here starts at the Nature Center. and returns there.

Download flyer describing this hike.

West Canyon Rim Hike (Trail 8 -rugged)


This out-and-back hike follows Trail 8 from the trailhead in the parking lot at the Park’s north end until it starts to descend to Trail 2 near the south end, then returns. Two add-ons are noted: (1) the trail 8-2 connector down to the creek and (2) continuing on Trail 8 down to the creek at the south end.

Download flyer describing this hike.

Rim to Rim Hike (Trails 1,3-8 – moderately rugged to rugged)

The rim-to-rim loop hike is all around Big Clifty Canyon starting at Trail 8 at the north end, working your way south on the west side, crossing Trail 2, then heading up the east side on Trails 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, ending up at the north end parking lot near the Trail 8 start. It is a whopper almost 7 mile hike. The best times are fall to early spring when the foliage is gone and the views are best.

Download flyer describing this hike.

Brough’s Folly Hike (Trails 1,3,4,5,6)


Remnants of what became known as “Brough’s Folly” are found in the park along Trails, 1, 3, 4, and 5. You begin at the Nature Center with Trail 1 and end up at Trail 6 past Tunnel Falls. A grand our of the features of this abandoned pre-civil war railroad construction project. You can see much more about Brough's Folly at the Nature Center and pick up a brochure on it. This is an out-and-back hike - return via the park road or the the trails, or a combination of both.

Download flyer describing this hike.