Hike the California Road Nature Trail Loop

California Road Nature Trail, Hinton, Oklahoma, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Hiking, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    2.3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    262 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

The park offers scenic hikes, canyon walls, and relaxing camp sites. You can spend an afternoon exploring what Red Rock Canyon has to offer, or spend a long weekend to witness a beautiful sunset and/or sunrise.

Red Rock Canyon is approximately one hour west of Oklahoma City, the entrance is on the south side of the town of Hinton. You can easily drive past the entryway if you aren't looking for the turn off to Red Rock Canyon Road. 

The California Nature Trail is on the southern end of the park and has easy parking to access the trailhead; you can park in the grassy area directly east of the trailhead, or if spots are available you can park near the restrooms that are also east of the trail. This well maintained trail offers an easy hike to witness birds eye views of the canyon and endless opportunities to see a multitude of wildflowers. I recommend taking this trail in the evening to witness a one of a kind Oklahoma sunset. This is a great trail for children and dog's but be careful during the summer months, snakes frequent the area to stay warm on the exposed rock. Also, keep an eye out for rustic wagon wheel ruts around the park; Red Rock Canyon was once a stop for settlers heading west on the California Trail.  

Other options in the park include the first trail as you drive into the canyon. This trail is known ad the the Rough Horsetail Trail and it is an easy 0.6 mile loop. The trail offers two scenic views of small ponds and there are several creek crossings with great views of wildflowers and obviously plenty of rough horsetail the trail is named for. This is a great hike for children or anyone who doesn't appreciate elevation gain. There are also two main canyon walls in the park that offer great opportunities for rappelling. You have to bring your own equipment but there are plenty of spots to choose from. The highest point to rappel from is approximately 80' high. 

The park offers a bathhouse and a pool during the summer months. You can RSVP camp sites, check on fees, and find a park map here

Pack List

  • First-Aid Kit
  • Camera
  • Food
  • Water
  • Tent 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sunblock and bugspray
  • Headlamp if hiking early or late in the day
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Overall rating: 

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Trail was in pretty bad shape, likely due to recent heavy rains. Need gps to stay on the poorly marked trail. Many downed, dead trees blocking trail. Scenery is great. About 300ft elevation and good mix of sun and shade.

10 months ago
10 months ago

Kevin Abernethy Explorer

Remember the past, cherish the present, work for tomorrow

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