Red Rock Trail (Lillooet Grind)

Red Rock Trail (Lillooet Grind)

The trail up to Red Rock is one of those steep, satisfyingly hikes that lead you up to fantastic views over Lillooet and the Fraser River in BC, Canada. We visited in the autumn when there was a cool breeze, so it was a pleasant, fun walk. I imagine if you want to visit in the summer, you may want to go early to avoid melting in the heat of the day!

Red Rock trail map

Red Rock trail – the basics

Distance: 8 km (although alltrails says 6.3km)
Elevation gain:
550m
Highest Point:
837m 
Time: 2-3 hours
What to bring:
10 essentials
Facilities: No facilities.
Dogs: Yes. On a leash.
How hard is it?
Moderate. It’s easy to follow and not a long walk; But it is pretty steep.
Extra notes: Check yourself (and your dog) for woodticks if you visit in the springtime.

Red Rock trail – getting started

We parked near the end of a cul de sac on Victoria Street. There is space to park on the street, just please don’t block people’s driveways. You’ll see an obvious sign to the start of the trail. Follow this path around to a large water tower, then turn right up a steep gravel road.

Wildlife on the trail

We had only been walking for amount a minute before we met some deer. There are reports of bear sightings along this trail on alltrails; So be sure to make some noise as you walk to avoid hiking right up to a bear.

The trail follows an old logging road, so it is pretty wide and very easy to follow (if a bit steep.)

First Viewpoint

Around half way up, there is a great viewpoint with slightly rickety chairs. If you can’t manage the whole hike, or if you are hiking with kids that don’t want to go the whole way, this would be a good spot to aim for. The trail flattens out just before you reach the viewpoint, so you’ll know you’re nearly there.

Lillooet Views

This is the view down to Lillooet from the half way up to the Red Rocks. Not bad eh!?

This is looking southwest from just above the viewpoint with the chairs.

There is not a huge amount of shade in the first part of the trail, but there are loads of gorgeous flowers – even in the autumn.

After the first viewpoint, the trail gets steeper and climbs up through trees. There are quite a few smaller side trails here. The easiest option is to stay on the main, wider trail.

Red Rock Geology:

The red rocks at the viewpoint get their distinctive colour from oxidized iron in mariposite. The Gold Country Geo Tourism site explains; “Long before the Fraser carved its deep path through this rugged valley, a swath of mariposite ran from Red Rock’s outcrop across to the base of Fountain Ridge.” You can just see red rocks with similar colouring on the mountains on the opposite side of the Fraser River. It is mind-boggling to think all that space in between was carved out by the Fraser river over millennia.

Red Rock Viewpoint

Once you’ve made it up, the views from the rusty-coloured cliffs are fantastic. There is an unofficial memorial for a local hiker that has taken up the old viewpoint. We didn’t want to disturb that, but we enjoyed the scenery from a bit further away.

Red Rock land acknowledgement

From the visit Lillooet website: We acknowledge that the land is located on the unceded territory of the St’át’imc Nation, which includes Bridge River Indian Band (Xwísten), Pavilion Indian Band (Ts’kw’aylaxw), Cayoose Creek Band (Sekw’el’was), Seton Lake Band (Tsal’alh), Lillooet Indian Band (T’it’q’et), and Fountain Band (Xaxl’ip).

I found a cool interactive map of the St’át’imc Nation here. You can also learn some basics of their language here. As visitors to the area, please tread lightly and be sure to leave no trace.

Lillooet Panorama from Red Rock

I’ll finish with a panorama from the top so you can see the Fraser River, Lillooet and the beautiful mountains that surround this area.

The Red Rock trail was a great introduction to the hikes near Lillooet. It is one of the more obvious and popular trails in the area, so if you want to stretch your legs near this gorgeous town, you may find yourself up by this view. Click on the pins below to save them.

45 thoughts on “Red Rock Trail (Lillooet Grind)

    1. Thanks Alisha! Yeah Canadians are quite good at finding the best spots, then adding those red chairs!

  1. I did not know the red rocks got their color from oxidized iron in mariposite – that is quite interesting!

    1. It’s not always mariposite…but red/orange rocks is often from oxidized iron. I guess that is why colours can look sort of rusty.

  2. Gorgeous, I had to pin it! Red Rock Trail and the cross on the overlook was my favorite shot. Excellent article, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Erin!
      I hope you can visit, there are sooo many fabulous spots to get you immersed in Canadian nature.

  3. This looks like a super scenic hike. I love how there are even two chairs at the first viewpoint to take a break and soak in the views. The wildflowers look really pretty and I’m surprised there are still some in the fall.

    1. Do hikes near Ontario often have those red chairs too? I noticed in the Canadian National Parks in BC and Alberta, they are often located at good viewpoints…

  4. Wow, that viewpoint in the first picture is absolutely stunning! I’d love to give this hike a try sometime. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Another fabulous BC hike – the area is just full of them. I love that someone has put adirondack chairs there – what a way to ensure you sit and soak in the view.

    1. That is such a good point. We might not have stopped for long at that viewpoint…but when the chairs are there…you sort of have to stop and relax on them 😀

    1. Thanks Elyse! It’s funny, some years we see sooo many bears… I think we only saw a couple in 2021. Hopefully 2022 will be more bear-ful.

  6. I am loving following you on all the great hikes you do in BC. That trail up to Red Rock sure gave you some amazing views over the Fraser River. It would be great to see wildlife on the hike and flowers in bloom. I have kept this post for our return to BC later this year.

    1. Thank Linda! I hope you get to visit! This part of BC is not quite as well known as the hikes/views closer to Vancouver but it is such a gorgeous area.

  7. The steep hike looks like it was very rewarding. You got to enjoy that awesome scenery. The chairs are such a good idea. I love seeing some wildlife whilst hiking but I would be a little scared about the possibility of bumping into a bear. Not sure what to do in that instance.

    1. It’s not too bad. If you keep chatting/being loud the bears normally run off so you never see them!

      If you do see a bear, you just stop walking and stay as far away as you can. You shouldn’t run from them. If you get up close by accident, you can back away slowly while talking to them. Then, as a last resort if they get waaay too close, we bring bear spray. We’ve never needed it though.

    1. It’s cool isn’t it!? The slogan of Lillooet is “guaranteed rugged.” I guess that makes sense when you see how close to nature and rugged mountains they are located!

  8. Wow, even the half way views over Lillooet and the Fraser River along the Red Rock Trail were beautiful especially that Southwest view you caught. How beautiful but I have to say the peak is where I would love to make it to & just sit and admire the panorama!

    1. That’s the only bad part… the Red Rocks aren’t really the summit – you could keep going much further up the mountain. I was tempted…but we wanted to hike down and go to a winery next so we stopped at the Red Rocks. It is a fabulous view, even if it’s not the highest point!

  9. Woooow, look at these views! I love hiking and it is my favorite ways to explore a new place. That trail leading to Red Rock is definitely something I would love to do when visiting BC!

  10. I have done to many road trip to Himalaya and now I seriously want to try hiking. Your post has inspired me to go for that. The first view point and those rickety chairs looks nice…….a nice capture.

    Himanshu

  11. I’d definitely pause at those chairs just to take it all in! Too hard to resist those picturesque views.

    It’s definitely mind-boggling to think about how the river managed to carve out that much space over time.

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