The Church Rocks trail is a popular bicycling trail as it is located in Washington City. It also makes for an interesting hike.
This trail is located west of Interstate I15 between exits 13 and 16.
The 2.5 mile loop trail travels along a red rock ridge to a viewpoint overlooking a large formation which resembles a large cathedral. From this point the trail loops around to the starting point.
Overall rating = moderate
Distance: 4.8 or 5.7 miles return from Highland Park or I15 exit 13 respectively – moderate
Elevation gain: 600 or 800 feet from Highland Park or I15 exit 13 respectively – moderate
Terrain: mainly slickrock – easy
Exposure: none – easy
To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System
There are two ways of accessing the Church Rocks loop trail. The first and easiest is from Highland Park off Telegraph Street. The second is from the Grapevine parking lot just north of Exit 13 of Interstate I15.
If coming from the north, take Interstate I15 exit 16 to State Road 9 east towards Hurricane. Turn right at the first set of traffic lights onto Telegraph Street, 6300W, and drive 2.5 miles to the first set of traffic lights at Highland Parkway. Turn right and drive up the hill to the end of the Parkway Road past Highlands park and onto Horizons Parkway parking at the north end of the parking lot.
If coming from the south, take Interstate I15 exit 13 south on Washington Parkway 1.1 miles to Telegraph Street and turn left. Travel 1.1 miles to the traffic light at Highland Parkway and turn left and drive up the hill to the end of the Parkway Road past Highlands park and onto Horizons Parkway parking at the north end of the parking lot.
If accessing the trail from the Grapevine parking lot take exit 13 off Interstate I15 and travel north a short distance and park on the gravel parking lot on the right.
From the trail head at the north end of the Highland Parkway, follow the trail which traverses along the edge of the ridge overlooking Coral Canyon until you come to the gravel road and gravel road down to the valley. A slightly more direct route is to hike through the gate and down the rough trail to the valley. Follow the bike tracks to the culvert. This is about 1 mile.
Continue straight ahead, through the culvert along the Grapevine wash until you get to the Church Rocks trail sign at 1.2 miles from Highland Park. Turn right and follow the well marked trail out to the church rocks and back a distance of 2.5 miles. On the return loop you can either follow the Grapevine wash to the start or the slickrock above and east of the wash. Then return through the culvert to highland Park.
If coming from the Grapevine parking area off I15 follow the trail east and to the ridge above the Grapevine wash. Drop into the wash and connect with the Church Rocks trail. On the return there is a trail up the west ridge of the wash so you don’t need to return to the trail start. The distance to the trail head is 1.6 miles each way. This route is somewhat longer than the first route and has a greater elevation gain.
The Church Rocks trail traverses the red rock ridge on vast expanses of slickrock with great views of the surrounding areas. At the far end the trail overlooks the red rock formation known as the “Church” because it resembles a large cathedral with many windows. The return leg loops up and back around to the start north of the outgoing red rock ridge.