While on a trip to Cedar City we found a short, fun hike that ended at a great lookout point. There were even some petroglyphs along the way. This hike is called the Lion’s Mouth Cave Hike (AKA Lion’s Den Cave Trail), and it stretches about 1.0 mile roundtrip if you climb all the way to the lookout point.
The trail starts about 18 miles west of Cedar City. Most of the drive is on a paved road, but the last mile is on a good dirt road. Any car should be able to make it. Take exit 59 in Cedar City (200 N) and head west (UT-56). Follow this road for 17 miles and then turn left onto Pinto Rd. Stay on Pinto Road for 1.2 miles until you come to a pull-out on the right side.
When you reach the large pullout on the right side of the road, you may want to take the second entrance. It’s a little nicer. The trail starts between the fenceposts.
This hike climbs a little, but not too steeply. It immediately leaves the shade of the juniper trees and enters an area where all the vegetation has been removed. We wondered why they would chain off this area, concluding that it might be a fire break.
After a short walk around to the west side of the knoll, you reach a rock wall on the right. Continue around the west side and you’ll see a short climb up into a grotto. There are petroglyphs in this small alcove, and though someone has made it difficult to determine which are real and which are fake, there are some pretty cool examples painted in red.
When you finish with the petroglyphs, you can continue around the north side of the hill and there are ways to climb to the top. At first, you see steep climbs up rock faces, but as you continue around they get easier and only a little scrambling is required.
The climb to the top is easy, and you can stand right on top with a 360 degree view. You can even see back to Cedar City and all the way out to the small town of Enterprise. Of course, you’ll want to keep careful track of little ones on top, though if you stay in the middle of the hill you are well back from the edge.
This hike was very short and simple, taking us less than an hour including looking at petroglyphs and taking in the panorama from the top. For other family-friendly ideas near Cedar City, check out our list of adventures in the area.