The Red River Ranch backs onto the dramatic cliffs of Velvet Ridge, which extends for miles in both directions from the Lodge. Not only is the ridge beautiful, its appearance seems to constantly change throughout the day as the sun transverses the sky.
The Velvet Ridge trail begins in Torrey, five minutes east of the Lodge on Highway 24. Before you enter the town you will turn left at Sand Creek Road. Travel about one mile until you come to an unpaved parking area where you will see the Great Western Trail Information Board — here your adventure begins.
The trail is a 14-mile loop described as a “mellow outing.” You can hike it, but we recommend exploring it by mountain bike. Plan on an hour or two ride depending upon your pace. It is rated as suitable for beginners.
The loop begins with a short moderate incline. This is considered the hardest part of the trail. After that, you can enjoy a leisurely hike or ride over rolling hills. The peak elevation reaches 7,350 feet where you’ll have excellent views of the Fremont River below. The terrain is gravel, dirt, and sand, so you’ll want to make sure you have good shoes, whether you’re riding or hiking. As a friendly reminder, be sure to pack sunscreen, plenty of water, energy bars, and your camera!
The best time to plan your visit to the ridge is during late spring or summer to avoid snow. If you’re considering a southern Utah vacation this summer, Velvet Ridge offers a great day activity.
If a 14-mile hike is a little too much, nearby Capitol Reef National Park offers a wider variety of hikes, distances, and levels. Or you could simply explore the 2,000 acres of Red River Ranch property with Velvet Ridge in our own backyard.