Paunsaugunt Plateau in Southern Utah

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Paunsaugunt Plateau

The high altitude Paunsaugunt Plateau Utah is best known for its breathtaking scenery and Bryce Canyon National Park on the eastern side which offers stunning red rock formations. Read More

  • Paunsaugunt Plateau has marvelous views from its lofty height of 7,000 to 9,300 feet
  • It is 10 miles wide and 25 miles from north to south
  • Bryce Canyon lies on the eastern rim of the plateau where erosion has created spires, pinnacles and hoodoos
  • Scenic highway 12 climbs to the top of the plateau
  • ATV routes can be accessed from Ruby’s Inn on Hwy 63

Overview

The Paunsaugunt Plateau has marvelous views from its lofty height of 7,000 to 9,300 feet across the spectacular landscapes of southern Utah. It is 10 miles wide and 25 miles from north to south. Bryce Canyon lies on the eastern rim of the plateau where erosion has created spires, pinnacles and hoodoos in the vibrant red sandstone. Scenic highway 12 climbs to the top of the plateau.

Location and Information

Paunsaugunt Plateau in Utah is bordered on the east side by the East Fork of the Sevier River, on the north by Red Canyon and U-12, on the south side by the Pink, White, and Vermillion cliffs and on the western side by the Sevier Valley and US-89. The nearest town is Kanab.

Activities

ATVing
The Paunsaugunt Plateau has some of the most scenic ATV trails in the state which were created by the Forest Service. Most routes are in the south and west of the plateau and run through spectacular Bryce-like scenery. Trails are open year-round, weather permitting.

ATV routes can be accessed from Ruby’s Inn on Hwy 63. The connecting trial runs south parallel with the highway and crosses to the west side of the road to the Gateway Trailhead.

Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is a popular way to see some of this area’s most breathtaking sights. There are many outfitters and tours in the area which offer rides from a couple of hours to overnight trips particularly around Sunrise Point, Dixie national Forest, Losee Canyon and Red Canyon.

Scenic Drives
Highway 12 runs to the very top of Paunsaugunt Plateau offering breathtaking vistas of southern Utah.

Hiking
There are several hiking trails in the Paunsaugunt Plateau area of Garfield County which form various interconnecting loops from 3 to 8 miles.

The shortest loop follows the Rich Trail from the Red Canyon Trailhead for 1 mile to its junction with the Ledge Point Trail. A half-mile climb takes you out to Ledge Point with views of Red Canyon and out to the Sevier River, the Markagaunt Plateau, and Brian Head Peak. You can follow the short Ledge Point loop back around to the trailhead, or continue on the Cassidy Trail for another mile to its first junction with the Rich Trail, making a 5 mile loop.

Bryce Canyon also has many popular hiking trails including the Fairyland Loop, Peekaboo Loop, Queen’s Garden, Navajo Loop and the Rim Trail.

Fun Facts

The word “paunsaugunt” comes from the Paiute language and means "home of the beavers".