Red Plateau was formed from a large lava flow. The towering cliffs form a line over the Dewdrop Range. On first glance it appears to be a solid wall, but when you explore the foot of the escarpment, it is easy to see ridges and gullies running north – south. The main hike up the cliffs approaches the first ridge and then veers into a narrow canyon to the right, climbing parallel to the ridge then onto the spine of the ridge. There is a larger canyon on the other side of this ridge which is rarely hiked and is herein named Red Canyon.
To hike Red Canyon, park at the main trailhead for the Dewdrop-Red Plateau hike and follow the trail towards the cliffs. At the foot of the ridge, the main trail cross a stile and veers right. Instead, follow the old double track to the left as it winds into the mouth of the canyon. Continue on a game trail north into the canyon. From this point, pick your own route, but the easiest choice is to follow the main stream bed upwards on the left side of the canyon. The surface is mostly gravel and small rocks. With the bug-killed trees it is sometimes necesssary to duck underneath the logs bridging the creek bed, but it is still relatively easy to hike 1km deep into the canyon.
Overhead on both sides are rocky cliffs, caves, spires, and hoodoos. In the upper canypn, the rift narrows and the hike tunrs into a scramble. Most hikers will pick a spot to turn around that meets their time and scrambling expertise. It is darker deep in the canyon so keep track of your time. The return trip is only 2.1 km making this a perferct route for an after-work exploration.