Flash floods have killed people who get trapped in them during flash floods. Editor’s Note: We have attempted to get permits for The Wave three times and failed to win the daily lottery all three times. There is one tricky part on the trail inside the canyon where there is a steep drop. Don’t go here if you’re claustrophobic at all. Day use is $6 per person, camping an additional $5 per person; overnight trips must be booked in advance and are restricted to 20 people per night, though this limit is rarely reached. About the time that the canyon widened out so much that it no longer resembled a canyon at all, we saw the familiar sign of the White House rock formation. Luckily, the dry conditions made for only four relatively consecutive crossings. We turned left at the juncture and headed up the narrow canyon. Once on the canyon floor between the boulders (just to the left of where Jennifer stands in the photo), the trail ahead is obscured. Any chance of rain or storms? When we returned last year in 2019, the only thing we saw were the crowds. Red Cliffs Park is near Harrisburg, Utah about 15-miles north of St. George, Utah along I-15. It is about 15 to 20-miles east of Kanab, Utah. A couple are about a hundred feet. Beware of spiders and snakes. We pushed on through the heat passing fellow hikers headed into the canyon. Our second day was forecasted to be a hot one. It isn’t every day you get to see those close up. With each step, the accompanying thought of, “Is there firm ground beneath?” followed. On your drive south of Highway 89 on House Rock Valley Road, don’t confuse the first trailhead you come to -- the Buckskin Trailhead -- with the Wire Pass Trailhead. You should be prepared for deep sand, ankle-deep water (or deeper depending on the slot and conditions) and all kinds of rock surfaces – rough to smooth. We made several attempts that ended with a ranch fence or gate making us turnaround and try again. The undulating narrow canyons and towering red rock formed by millions of years of flash flooding and erosion was something out of a Hollywood movie. We camped at the Dry Fork Trailhead which is on BLM land with no services, but it’s free. The first set of boulders are easy to traverse with a clear path leading ahead. Years before we took on backpacking Buckskin Gulch we had backpacked The Narrows in Zion National Park. The Wire Pass part of the trail is a short 1.7 miles, most of which is a wide-open wash. I had thought that this journey would be similar and in many ways that is true, but these two journeys are also very different. The next few pictures are of Ordeville Gulch in Zion. It sometimes is as narrow as 2ft. The terrain is sandy and loose but isn’t overly complicated. For the first few miles, Paria Canyon resembles Buckskin Gulch. The route then turns to a gravel road for approximately 10-miles. The rock walls tower anywhere from 100-300 ft tall, and at it's narrowest, is only 2 feet wide. It was difficult for us to determine the way ahead in dry conditions, I can only imagine how difficult it would be had there been a substantial amount of water in the gulch. Looking for some of the most incredible hikes on planet Earth? It will be worth it. Cellular service is non-existent along most of the trail. If you are afraid of these flying mammals this could be nerve-racking but we found the experience to be an exhilarating experience and a highlight of the journey. As we arrived in this area we were joined by the local inhabitants looking for their dinner. Again, GPS doesn’t work this deep in the canyon so know what you are looking for. First, pay close attention to local weather forecast. No camping is allowed at the trailhead. If you’re already in the canyon and see the water (if there is any) rising in depth, getting muddy, or increasing in debris, get out of the canyon. … Paria Canyon on a whole is much wider which exposes the creek bed to a lot of sun and heat. Just finding the road was an adventure. Buckskin Gulch is the longest and narrowest slot canyon in the world - a serpintine hallway with walls of solid stone and a floor dotted with boulders where in some places it's so tight, even the sky is not visible. The White House Campground is one of the four possible trailheads when hiking Buckskin Gulch. They can be contacted via phone at for pricing, directions, reservations and more. The path then continues its narrow journey through the hidden desert terrain. Here on the right side of the path are some petroglyphs of bighorn sheep. There is dispersed boondocking camping all along the Hole-In-The-Rock Road. Arriving at the boulder equation the path ahead immediately splits to the left and the right. These canyons get tight, so if you don’t like closed in places don’t go. This was a blessing but even in this extremely dry time the deepest part of the gulch still had waist-deep water with a soft muddy bottom. For mile after mile, there is no escape from the canyon other than hiking to its end. After a nice informative drive that added much to our future to-do list, we disembarked from the shuttle, stretched out, and put on our extremely heavy packs. Wire Pass To Buckskin Gulch, near Kanab, Utah Three miles or as much as you can take, moderate hike. Length 5.6 miElevation gain 616 ftRoute type Out & … Buckskin Gulch is a natural wonder. The shortest and most common route to experience pretty much all of Buckskin is Wire Pass to White House, which is a ~23-mile trek. We choose Peek-A-Boo Canyon which narrowed down to a tight squeeze (pictured above). Lucky for us, the monsoon hadn’t materialized and the land was parched. Cindy Wallis 2002 Ford F250 2018 Lance 650, Wire Pass To Buckskin Gulch, near Kanab, Utah 1.5 to 2 miles until Buckskin Gulch. A permit is needed for this canyon as well. When hiking to Buckskin Gulch from the Wire Pass trailhead, it takes awhile to reach the slot. Don’t be scared off by the warnings. The signed turnoff to Buckskin Gulch Trailhead (located 0.2 mile east of the road), which you avoid, is located a short distance south of the wash. You reach the spacious Wire Pass Trailhead, located on the west side of the road, 8.4 miles south of US 89. There is no limit on day use. You can camp in Zion National Park or near the trailhead boondocking is allowed on BLM land in Utah. There are also deep footprints in the dried earth that harken to a time when fellow explorers were forced to travel the muddy terrain. The Buckskin Gulch part of the hike is 13 miles long which makes for a lengthy first day. This section is notoriously difficult to decipher and is known as the boulder equation. Once entering into the canyon the path ahead very quickly comes to the first challenge, an 8’ vertical drop. Gloves to protect your hands from the rock handholds and a small pack to carry your water and belongings is recommended for the hike. While starting at the This is one of the longest slot canyons in the world, so it can be quite a hike. The biggest difference between this canyon and what you find out west is the moss covered green rocks. Postpone your hike until it clears. This is a BLM site and camping is very reasonably priced . GPS is useless as there isn’t a line of sight to the sky and therefore the satellite signal doesn’t reach into the depths of the canyon. This classic hike begins at the Wire Pass trailhead following Buckskin Gulch to its junction with the Paria River, then heading up-river to the White House Trailhead. As you can see from the picture, it is a beautiful canyon. Do not wander into a slot canyon casually without doing your research. Another panel of ancient petroglyphs can be seen near the confluence. These sections aren’t for the faint of heart as the water feels more like quicksand than water. Find a Campsite. There is a high sandy hillside on the left side of the trail that the creek bed traverses around. The canyon hike was a 1.5 to 2-miles long and joined with Buckskin Gulch and some more slot canyons. This is an easy slot canyon that can be walked through and navigated with children. Flash floods are a very serious threat when exploring slot canyons. However, if you are able to gauge the distance there is an emergency exit about 5 miles down the canyon from the Buckskin/Wire Pass intersection, known as the Middle Trail Escape. The thick sand under our feet, the mesmerizing patterns of rolling rock, and the lizards on the canyon walls – all of it was truly breathtaking. As it was just past noon and the mercury undoubtedly passing well beyond 90 degrees we were elated. David Kiel 2017 Ford F350 2012 Phoenix custom, Great Channels Slot Canyon, Hayters Gap, Virginia 36.86445, -81.94690 6.6 miles out and back, a moderate (1,200 feet) climb all the way to the top. Wire Pass Trail to Buckskin Gulch is a 5.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kanab, Utah that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The only place high clearance would be helpful is from the Peek-A-Boo Gulch parking area to the trailhead. Stay in the dry creek bed until you reach the Wire Pass slot canyon. The footing is mostly very loose sand, and when dry, fairly deep. You can climb down a large stick to continue inside the canyon, but it’s also possible to go outside and around that part of route. Before long the Wire Pass canyon widens and intersects with Buckskin Gulch. It’s also critical to be aware of the weather report for the area ahead of your hike or backpack trip. It is a steep winding road to get to Hayters Gap. The canyon at first widens slightly and large boulders cluster on the canyon floor. I was born to roam. Because of this, there are several rules regarding access. There are a limited number of nice smallish sites available. There is a BLM fee at the trailhead. They don’t let you in until people come out. There is a small BLM campground a short distance south of the Buckskin Slot Canyon trailhead. Two of the best campsites are located just above the confluence of Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon. If you see a building rain or thunderstorm, get out of the canyon. We did not have time to go in that direction. Always be conscious of the weather when entering a slot canyon. Slot canyons like Buckskin Gulch are extremely prone to flash-flooding, and should not be attempted if flooding is a concern. It is a short and steep three to four-mile hike to amazing views. Above: Only a little bit of water in this slot canyon – you need to be aware of the upcoming weather before entering a slot canyon. The fee is … Does Ford’s Built-In Truck Generator Make Sense. It’s a fantastic and almost surreal place, well worth taking time to see in a mindful manner. The location of Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons are about 10-miles east of Escalante, Utah off UT-12 then onto BLM Road 200. We enjoyed the high tight walls but kept up a steady pace because the heat was supposed to approach 100 degrees and we knew those walls would spread apart exposing us to the harsh heat long before we reached White House. Our campsites were: Night 1: Just below the confluence of the Paria River and Buckskin Gulch (mile 8) There is the Vermillion Cliffs and Paria Canyon Wilderness trailhead there. When you are on the canyon floor don’t go up the steep sandy slope but instead, climb up a smaller boulder just below the ledge that the sandy path leads to. Easy walk in sand to Class three rock scramble. There are also several other trails and an ancient American site. The trail itself is sandy and somewhat steep so the lack of your heavy backpacks makes it easier. This would be very easy to miss so make sure you have your eyes peeled when approaching White House rock. Before you know it the walls tower above you on both sides mere feet apart, blocking out all but a sliver of the blue sky above. A fee is required for all visits (see www.blm.gov) for details. The towering vertical walls tighten to about two feet in width. We almost gave up, and then came upon the road. Other recommendations are to bring a light backpack and keep your hands free when hiking and climbing. It is a low cost campground with water at the sites. They were not only unafraid of our presence but welcomed it as they tended to fly in circles around us as we proceeded forward. That means no sandals, no boots and no bare feet. Still, on a whole, this desert trail has a lot of solitude. Both of these hikes are difficult and ropes would help if you intend on doing Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot canyons. Beyond the 8’ cliff the slot canyon flattens out and the flat trail becomes a great indicator of the journey ahead. Luckily, we came across this native in an area of the canyon where we could actually give him some space. Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons, Escalante, Utah Three miles round trip from trailhead. The views are breathtaking and photo opportunities are endless. Douglas Davis 2008 Dodge 3500 2004 Hallmark Cuchara, Red Cliffs Park, Harrisburg, Utah Three miles round trip. Alternatively, you could attempt to lower yourself down the 8’ ledge by shimming your way down the walls but you are definitely risking unnecessary injury. We stayed at Bluffview RV Park in Farmington, New Mexico. You’re also very likely to lose cell service inside of a slot canyon, and that’s if the area has it at all. Most casual hikers are weeded out in the first few miles. Day use permits are available at the trailhead. There are some more easy slot canyons down the Hole-In-The-Rock Road just outside of Escalante, Utah. I have explored many slot canyons over the years, mostly using my truck camper as a base camp because many of the roads to get to them are dirt and difficult to navigate in a large motorhome or travel trailer. Trip Planner. Most people hike both over two days, camping along the way. That makes it an e… The second is how it was formed. Buckskin Gulch/Wire Pass junction to Middle Pass: 6.5 miles, 4.5 hours; Middle Pass to Rock Fall: 3.8 miles, 2 hours; Rock Fall to Camp Ledge: 1.0 mile, 0.5 hours; Camp Ledge to Buckskin/Paria confluence: 0.5 miles, 15 minutes; Buckskin/Paria confluence to White House: 7.3 miles, 4 hours; Buckskin/Paria confluence to Lee's Ferry: 28.0 miles There is little to no shade once direct overhead sunlight reaches into the canyon, so protective clothing and/or sunscreen is highly recommended. One of the coolest things about the canyon throughout is walking along and seeing towering walls ahead that seemingly block the path. Also, parking is very limited at the Brumley Mountain Trailhead. Numerous people have perished in Buckskin Gulch canyon over the years from falls and heat stroke, but floods are another potential threat. This means not just the immediate vicinity of the slot canyon, but the surrounding area as well. Canyoneering and repelling skills are required. There are several different ways to hike in this area. Buckskin Gulch is popular, potentially hazardous and part of the Paria Canyon - Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, so there are several rules regarding access. There is a path that climbs up the steep sandy slope on the left (north) side of the canyon to a ledge. Take the challenge and practice your off-road driving to get there. The first picture is from Birch Hollow Slot Canyon just east of Zion National Park in southern Utah. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! As we ventured into the murky, muddy water the hiking sticks that we had thus far barely used became essential tools for determining the best footing ahead. This is a great hike you can take kids on without too much worry. This will help with your balance and avoid potential falls. Once you enter there is no turning back. On our way through the canyon, we found an adolescent eagle (we think) face down dead in the sand. Your email address will not be published. Best Camping in Kanab on Tripadvisor: Find 332 traveler reviews, 222 candid photos, and prices for 5 camping in Kanab, Utah, United States. Access is seriously controlled and limited in both time of day and number of people allowed on site for any given period. Many require canyoneering and repelling skills. The nearby Stateline Campground is 10.5 miles south of the highway on House Rock Road. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. There is a downclimb of 15 feet close to the confluence. It is located at the mouth of Paria Canyon, 7.5-miles upstream … As Buckskin Gulch begins to once again narrow it reaches the confluence. Most of our hikes in Utah were done in mid to late March so it can be cool to cold. As long as the good Lord allows. There was no elevation change to speak of. This is a long canyon that ends in the Narrows. It is best not hiked in sandals, which Joyce did. There are no immediate National Forest Service campgrounds within an hour’s drive, so we camped at the free Virginia Wildlife Management Area, Hidden Valley. Camping is the same as for Mystery Canyon. I not would suggest being at Buckskin Slot Canyon on a weekend or during Spring break. The confluence refers to the area where Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon meet. Buckskin Gulch is located in the Paria Canyon Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area (also known as Paria Canyon) on the border of Utah and Arizona near the cities of Big Water, Utah and Page, Arizona. Be prepared to be amazed by the power of what water can do. It is important to keep ones hands free of items when climbing or descending. Now, my wife and I travel as a way of life. Buckskin Gulch is a narrow continuous slot canyon for 14 miles. Before entering slot canyons, check the weather. The final push is short but in deep sand. Buckskin Gulch Trailhead is located first, 4.5 miles south of 89 on House Rock Road. 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