On our second day at Brian Head, which I constantly type out as Brain Head, we decided to go hike in an interesting looking canyon we had driven through on the way up to see fall colors. Second Left Hand Canyon has some neat rock formations sticking up out of the trees. It’s downhill from the lodge but it’s high enough that the red tower formations are surrounded by pines, ponderosas, and some aspen, making it visually look reminiscent of Bryce Canyon.
On the way down from the lodge we explored some huge tower formations apparently made out of strange conglomerate rocks. I’m glad we did this because the towers are one of the areas that was badly burned the following summer. After those we headed over Second Left Hand Canyon where we hiked the Vermillion Castle trail. It’s about 1.5 miles and climbs steeply 570 feet. That’s not very long or high but you will feel it if you aren’t accustomed to the altitude, and it was still hot in the sun despite being the end of September. Once it’s up above the trees the trail offers some very pretty views of the valley and the equally impressive cliffs on the other side, included one called Noah’s Ark.
The trail is short enough to make an easy hike during a day of other activities if you are continuing up the road or simply staying at the resort. There are additional trails on the other side of the valley and off trail exploring up the side canyons can also be rewarding.