The Hagen Canyon Nature Trail is a 1.2 mile hike located in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park of California. The Red Rock Canyon area was underwater and the bottom of a lake 10 million years ago. Sediment flowed down from the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains and was deposited in layers. The workings of time and pressure turned that sediment into layers of rock, and the shifting pressures of plate tectonics eventually led to the dying up of the lake as these layers were pushed upward. Over time, wind and water have eroded the surface of these sedimentary layers to reveal the beautiful surfaces we see today.
Directions And GPS Tracks:
- The trailhead for the Hagen Canyon Nature Trail is located right off of HWY 14, 25 miles northeast of Mojave, CA. There is no exit ramp here, just turn onto Abbot Dr. and you’ll quickly see the parking lot. See on Google Maps.
- Download GPX
- See track on Strava
- Distance: 1.2 miles
- Elevation Gain: 94 ft
- Minimum Elevation: 2463 ft
- Maximum Elevation: 2520 ft
- Time: .5 hours
- Difficulty: (1/5)
- Dog Friendly: Yes
- Permit Required: No
- Parking: Free parking located in a lot at the trailhead
- Weather: This is the desert and it can be extremely hot and dry. Be extremely vigilant for flash floods as well.
- Trail Condition: Wide, smooth, and sandy
- Cell Phone Reception: Spotty
Hike Map And Elevation Profile:
Rudolph Hagen was an immigrant that came to the United States from Germany. He acquired the land now known as Red Rock Canyon State Park by purchasing mining claims in the area. He operated Red Rock Canyon as a private park complete with a bar, lodging, and post office. After his death, ownership of the land transferred to his family before becoming a California State Park in 1969. The Hagen Canyon Nature Trail is named in Rudolph Hagen’s honor.
0.0 Miles- The Hagen Canyon Nature Trail starts right from the parking area. This is a lollipop loop hike that goes counterclockwise. You will see a fork early on the trail, where you will want to stay to the right.
After passing the fork, you’ll continue on the sandy trail. You’ll have some really amazing views of the stratified red rock layers to your right.
0.2 Miles- You’ll reach a fork that allows for an out and back detour to get a close-up of the Red Rocks. Take the right hand of the fork to head out to the Red Rocks, then return and take the left fork to continue on your loop.
The close-up views of the Red Rock Canyon walls are simply amazing. Much like the Grand Canyon, you’ll get to journey back millions of years without a time machine. You’ll also get to see the peculiar shapes and structures created by the eroding power of wind and water over time.
As you return back to the fork in the trail, continue making your way southwest. You’ll see a large dome up ahead that signifies the turning point where you’ll begin heading back towards the trailhead. I saw quite a few people climbing up to the summit of this dome. I was a little short on time, but will definitely be making my way up there on my next visit. This is also the stretch of trail where it starts to get really sandy.
The first half of this hike packs in all of the best views, as you’re walking right alongside the walls of Red Rock Canyon. The return leg is pleasant, but you’re really just seeing the same things from a little further away. Continuing hiking northeast until you reach the trailhead and parking area to complete this hike.