Sandstone Mountain consists of three peaks. The lowest one is north of the main mountain. The two higher peaks are to the south.
From the top of the highest peak of Sandstone Mountain you have wonderful views of the surrounding area.
There are a couple of routes to climb this mountain. There is a long trail from Toquerville or a shorter trail from the Babylon area of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. This posting describes the latter route.
Overall rating = moderate/difficult
Distance: 4 miles return – moderate
Elevation gain: ~900 feet – difficult
Terrain: sandy access trail plus steep rocky climb to the top – difficult
Exposure: long drop offs on climb to the top – difficult
To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System
If travelling north-east on Interstate I15, take exit 22 onto S Main Street in Leeds, Utah and proceed north-east through Leeds. If travelling south-west on Interstate I15 take exit 23, turn left on Silver Reef Drive going under I15 to N Main Street and turn left heading north-east. Travel north-east out of Leeds to gravel road 900 N which is marked with a brown sign. This road veers south into Babylon and ultimately ends at the historic Stormont Silver Mill on the Virgin River, a distance of 4.3 miles.
At about 3 miles turn left off the main road to a Fenced Parking Area about 200 feet from the main road.
From the Fenced Parking Area take the Flicker Trail towards Sandstone Mountain. At about 1/2 mile you will come to the Sandstone Mountain Trail on the left.
The road to the main parking area from the Leeds turnoff descends gradually and is quite rough and sandy in places. A high clearance vehicle may be needed to travel this road. Also this road can be sand covered in places making it difficult to return as the return is uphill. The main road which continues on to the Virgin River and the historic Stormont Silver Mill is steep and rocky and requires a 4 wheel drive vehicle or ATV.
Follow the obvious trail across the sandy hills along the western flank of the mountain for about 1 mile. The last 1/2 mile goes up a fairly steep rocky trail to the summit of the southern peak. On March 9, we returned to the parking area along the same route.
There are two possible side trails. The first is a route up to the Regal Arch. This is a steep rocky climb up from a sandy wash. This can be recognized by a break in the fence which borders the Sandstone Trail and a scenic wash far below the trail. Rock climbing skills would be required.
The second is the Horse Trail marked by a horse step over and a distinct horse trail up the distant sandy slope. This trail climbs up through narrow canyons to reach the top of the mountain saddle. From here a steep descent brings you back to the far end of the Sandstone Mountain Trail.
To reach the highest point on Sandstone Mountain,follow the Horse Trail down into the main wash. From there work your way up along the hill on the west side of and above the wash. Keep working your way southward and upwards towards the summit of the mountain. This is a long difficult climb but does not require technical equipment. From the summit, we climbed down onto the narrow ridge to the south of the mountain top and then worked our way down the south east slope to a wash leading to the Arch trail and back up to the Sand Cove camping area.