Cut into the sculpted Claron limestone of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, Red Canyon’s most immediately striking natural feature is its variety of weirdly sculpted erosional forms variously described as turrets, hoodoos, pinnacles, or spires. These geologic features extend along the byway for almost four miles, ending on top of the plateau edge.
In addition to its scenery, Red Canyon offers many easily accessible hiking and bicycling trails, a campground and a U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center.
To access the world-class Thunder Mountain Trail and a five-mile-long bicycle path, begin at the first parking area along Scenic Byway 12. Scenic Byway 12 Gateway interpretive panels are located here.
For ATV enthusiasts, the Casto Canyon Trail on the north side of Red Canyon is accessed off the Casto Canyon Road from Scenic Byway 12 at lower Red Canyon. Losee Canyon Trail is a popular mountain bike and hiking trail offering spectacular scenery amidst a backdrop of pinyon and ponderosa pines.