Flash floods are a very serious threat when exploring slot canyons. These canyons get tight, so if you don’t like closed in places don’t go. 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. … Both mounds of sand have some established camping areas on top of them but there is no signage. We were surprised at how easy it was to walk into this slot canyon from the parking/camping area. As many know, slot canyons can be dangerous. We suggest that one attempt to be there in the morning when the gate opens. Another panel of ancient petroglyphs can be seen near the confluence. On the way out we passed by at least a dozen day hikers, backpackers, and horse riders. There is a hike called Canyon Trail that includes a slot canyon and hoodoos. Buckskin Gulch is wider through this area with the spring water creating a small extremely shallow creek all year round. With a backpack on it is a tight squeeze to get through the most claustrophobic part of the canyon. Beware of spiders and snakes. Arriving at the boulder equation the path ahead immediately splits to the left and the right. As the gulch nears the confluence camping area the floor began to have a small stream of water in it. The Buckskin Gulch Confluence is a magical place to camp. We almost gave up, and then came upon the road. You may want to do some easier canyons before this one. Peek-a-Boo and Dry Fork canyons were right next to Spooky, so they can be visited on the same day. Because of this, there are several rules regarding access. Always be conscious of the weather when entering a slot canyon. Before long the Wire Pass canyon widens and intersects with Buckskin Gulch. The last picture of my truck camper is when we were boondocking just outside of Little Wild Horse slot canyon in central Utah just outside of Goblin Valley. Together with Paria, a number of hiking options exist here, with one route stretching for some 38 miles, from trailheads near the Utah/Arizona border down to Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River. 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 required for this slot canyon. Both of these hikes are difficult and ropes would help if you intend on doing Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot canyons. With the small spring water emerging into the canyon it is an oasis hidden deep in the earth. The trailhead campground is less than a mile from the slot canyons. There are also deep footprints in the dried earth that harken to a time when fellow explorers were forced to travel the muddy terrain. Lone Rock is a National Park Service campground along the lake, and it’s still great. Go to the BLM office in Kanab and get your camping permit for Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Now, my wife and I travel as a way of life. There are full hookups, recently renovated showers, a small dog park, and a very friendly and helpful owner. Buckskin/Paria Confluence (37.001389, -111.865833) Camping is only possible in a few spots in the narrow canyon. I can confirm that the canyon is absolutely awe-inspiring! That’s what we did, and we absolutely loved Buckskin Gulch. There aren’t many sand bars inside of Buckskin Gulch so that makes it slightly easier. Wire Pass a beautiful place and has very little traffic compared to the famous slot canyons in Page. The first set of boulders are easy to traverse with a clear path leading ahead. Once on the canyon floor between the boulders (just to the left of where Jennifer stands in the photo), the trail ahead is obscured. No camping is allowed at the trailhead. Along the route you'll encounter two boulder jams that will require moderate scrambling ability, balance, strength, and confidence. Free Dispersed camping in the Bureau of Land Management Kanab District. Paria Canyon is about as wide and deep as Buckskin Gulch at the confluence. Buckskin Gulch Trailhead is located first, 4.5 miles south of 89 on House Rock Road. The water was low for us so we looked around and found an easier path. Vote For Your Favorite Camper, Gear, and Innovation, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, VOTE: Best of 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, 2021 Buyers Guide and Gear Guide Announced. When we ventured into one slot canyon, we eventually hit a bolder that was taller than us with a gnarly rope and some chalk stained grips in the rock. 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 Buckskin Gulch is a narrow continuous slot canyon for 14 miles. The next two pictures are in Mystery Canyon in Zion National Park. For mile after mile, there is no escape from the canyon other than hiking to its end. I have done the entire Narrows at Zion a few times. No reservations are accepted. This will help with your balance and avoid potential falls. There are many reasons for this rule including the various potential dangers of heat stroke, falling, and water hazards. Because of the nature of this canyon and Utah topography this canyon is subject to deadly flash flood if it rains anywhere along the headwaters. Here in the middle of this long and seemingly lifeless slot canyon was a highly venomous rattlesnake. Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons, Escalante, Utah Three miles round trip from trailhead. The spaces are close to one another, but it was quiet. It is still about a 40-minute drive to Hayters Gap, or a 12-mile hike one way from the other end of the Brumley Mountain Trail at Hidden Valley. Someone had placed a rock arrow on the floor of the canyon pointing the way towards White House (left). 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. Add a Campsite. Bats, birds, and insects of all kinds make this a surprisingly noisy campsite. I not would suggest being at Buckskin Slot Canyon on a weekend or during Spring break. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! That doesn’t last long. Canyoneering and repelling skills are required. Trip Planner. They don’t let you in until people come out. If you ignore these basic rules, slot canyons can be incredibly dangerous. Many require canyoneering and repelling skills. Along the way you will hike through the longest, and one of the most scenic, slot canyons in the world (Buckskin Gulch). But camping there the night before would give you the chance to get out on the Buckskin Gulch trail extra early. Once entering into the canyon the path ahead very quickly comes to the first challenge, an 8’ vertical drop. Postpone your hike until it clears. Check with BLM authorities if there has been rainy weather or recent flooding as wet suits may be required in some areas. If you see a building rain or thunderstorm, get out of the canyon. When we were volunteering at Bryce Canyon we took a trip down the Hole-in-the-Rock Road in Escalante where there are several slot canyons. Buckskin Gulch is located off Highway 89. 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. As it was just past noon and the mercury undoubtedly passing well beyond 90 degrees we were elated. Home » Expeditions » Travel The USA » Slot Canyons: The Bucket List. Also, parking is very limited at the Brumley Mountain Trailhead. 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. The campground has 7 free, first come, first served sites with picnic tables, fire pits, and a pit toilet. The sand bar on the left side of the creek bed is really the best indicator of the trail. Find a Campsite. They like to hide and can sneak up on you in the slot canyons if you are not careful. It is a Class 3 scramble (easy and moderate climbing) if you go to the upper elevation of the trail. You have to continue to the end. The campground is located at Unnamed Road, Cochiti Lake, NM 87083. Forget bringing the pet(s) into the monument area. It is located at the mouth of Paria Canyon, 7.5-miles upstream … Editor’s Note: This hike remains one of our all-time favorites. Statistically, you are in more danger driving your truck down the road than hiking in a slot canyon – especially if you’re following the above rules and being careful. Buckskin Gulch is popular, potentially hazardous and part of the Paria Canyon - Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, so there are several rules regarding access. As you can see from the picture, it is a beautiful canyon. We had a great time in the Lower Antelope slot canyon back in 2006 when we first experienced the canyon. It is short; only about half mile long. There are a few side trails along the way leading off into the desert. If you like to photograph beautiful slot canyons, this area has some of the best. It then drops down a sandy slope about 20′ to the canyon floor. The miles beyond resemble much of the prior gulch. For a shorter day hike, take the Wire Pass Trailhead for a shortcut to Buckskin Gulch that will still provide you with some stunning views of the most beautiful places in the canyon. As tragic as it was we stopped to stare at the raptor’s long talons. Prearranged and very limited permits from the Kanab BLM office are required for The Wave, which is an ultra scenic geologic area side hike. Cellular service is non-existent along most of the trail. After you hike the canyons you can drive further down the road and dry camp on top of the red rocks here (37°19’40.2″N 111°03’33.9″W). We turned left at the juncture and headed up the narrow canyon. Gary Gadwa 2012 Ford F350 2010 Eagle Cap 950, Buckskin Gulch, East of Kanab, Utah 21-miles of strenuous hikes. This means not just the immediate vicinity of the slot canyon, but the surrounding area as well. 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. 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. They can be done without ropes, but ropes will help. Also, if you are claustrophobic, slot canyons may not be for you. No permit exemptions, passes, or discounts apply. There are no services other than pit toilets. We took several interesting photos there. You must use human waste bags throughout Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon. Everywhere has a great view. 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. Once on the other side, you will find the rope drop to the left which you are now at the base of. Then, travel south on House Rock Valley Junction road. Most of our hikes in Utah were done in mid to late March so it can be cool to cold. Take plenty of water and a snack for the hike, especially if you plan to go to the upper elevations. The trail is primarily used for hiking. I talked my friend Manny into going and we set a date. Group size cannot exceed 10 people in the same permit area on the same day. The nearby Stateline Campground is 10.5 miles south of the highway on House Rock Road. The day of your slot canyon adventure, keep an eye on the horizon. Red Cliffs Park is near Harrisburg, Utah about 15-miles north of St. George, Utah along I-15. A permit is required for both day hiking and overnight backpacking. There are some more easy slot canyons down the Hole-In-The-Rock Road just outside of Escalante, Utah. 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. We stayed at Bluffview RV Park in Farmington, New Mexico. The stars at night were amazing! Douglas Blake 2001.5 Dodge Ram 2016 Northern Lite 8’5” Q Lite, Spooky Slot Canyon, near Kanab, Utah Moderate hike, about two miles round trip. The water inside the canyon is unreliable and the season had been a dry one so we took no chances and traveled with a day and a half worth of water (6 liters per person). The next few pictures are of Ordeville Gulch in Zion. It was in this section while immersed in the beauty we were shocked back into the reality of the danger that lurks here. Bats, birds, and insects of all kinds make this a surprisingly noisy campsite. Allegedly, at 23 miles long, it is the longest slot canyon in the US. In the far south west corner of Virginia in Jefferson National Forest is a unique slot canyon. Buckskin Gulch is very popular, yet potentially very hazardous. The Buckskin Gulch Confluence is a magical place to camp. Russell Berquam 2014 Ford F-350 2015 Arctic Fox 1140, Antelope and Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyons, Page, Utah and Escalante, Utah Easy and long. It isn’t the most enjoyable way to conclude such an amazing journey. The footing is mostly very loose sand, and when dry, fairly deep. While starting at the Make sure to do your homework ahead of time about the technical aspects, water features and time commitment of any slot canyon you consider. It’s a fantastic and almost surreal place, well worth taking time to see in a mindful manner. When we returned last year in 2019, the only thing we saw were the crowds. Some say that Buckskin Gulch is the longest slot canyon in the world. Heavy packs on we set off on the Wire Pass trail which almost immediately entered the dry creek bed and headed east. The first of which was by far the deepest and at about 15’ long, it was also the longest. Easy walk in sand to Class three rock scramble. I had thought that this journey would be similar and in many ways that is true, but these two journeys are also very different. I continue to enjoy exploring slot canyons. Our advice is to go early because the parking area fills up. If you continue far enough into the canyon you eventually will come across some wet areas, but not so wet as to not be easily passable. Before entering slot canyons, check the weather. 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. Any chance of rain or storms? Numerous people have perished in Buckskin Gulch canyon over the years from falls and heat stroke, but floods are another potential threat. This is a long canyon that ends in the Narrows. This section is notoriously difficult to decipher and is known as the boulder equation. Other recommendations are to bring a light backpack and keep your hands free when hiking and climbing. Slot canyons like Buckskin Gulch are extremely prone to flash-flooding, and should not be attempted if flooding is a concern. If you’ve got a bit of a beer belly you won’t make it to the end. Taking a right into Buckskin Gulch the canyon feels wide at first, especially compared with the tight Wire Pass slot canyon. Bill and Kira Jones 2017 Ford F-350 2018 Northern Lite 9-6Q SE. There are many drops. New Mexico’s Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a slot canyon with many geological features resulting from wind and water erosion. That said, this is a trailhead so cars will be coming and going and if it’s crowded they’ll probably think you’re a jerk for camping here. Beyond the challenging muddy section, the trail once again became dry terra-firma and we were able to resume a fairly quick pace through the scenic wonderland. It’s not like another slot canyon hiker is going to come at you at 60 miles per hour while texting. The views are breathtaking and photo opportunities are endless. With the small spring water emerging into the canyon it is an oasis hidden deep in the earth. You will get wet. We camped at the Dry Fork Trailhead which is on BLM land with no services, but it’s free. This is a great hike you can take kids on without too much worry. The confluence refers to the area where Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon meet. The next few miles are a simple journey of following the trail through the narrow slot canyon. My advice is to let the young overly zealous hikers get by you in a wide spot. It is important to get here relatively early in the day to acquire one of the few first-come, first-served campsites. Some swimming is required. As the canyon begins to once again narrow the boulders become clustered and the trail ahead is obscured. Definite canyoneering and good repelling skills are needed for this slot canyon. This oasis campsite was a surprisingly stark contrast to the rest of Buckskin Gulch. Buckskin Gulch is located at Big Water, UT 84741. There were a few drops in the trail of about three feet when we hiked it. Utah / Kanab; Buckskin Gulch Trailhead; Leave a Review. The gulch is the deepest and longest slot canyon within southwestern United States, and possibly the world’s longest slot canyon, making it a premier destination for slot canyon hikers. 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. There are a limited number of nice smallish sites available. It’s even better that no guides are required and you only need a day permit. The first picture is from Birch Hollow Slot Canyon just east of Zion National Park in southern Utah. The terrain is sandy and loose but isn’t overly complicated. Throughout the canyon, the mud dries and fractures into pottery-like shards on either side of the well-trodden path. Two of the best campsites are located just above the confluence of Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon. Inside Buckskin Gulch we only ever saw fellow travelers at the Confluence Campground. This path concludes with a 20’ drop with a knotted rope tied off to help you in your descent. There is a downclimb of 15 feet close to the confluence. There is no limit on day use. In my research for this article, every expert recommends mesh shoes that cover your toes, offers good arch support, and grippy rubber soles. Again, GPS doesn’t work this deep in the canyon so know what you are looking for. The canyon at first widens slightly and large boulders cluster on the canyon floor. We loved it. No camping on or adjacent to any archaeological site. Here on the right side of the path are some petroglyphs of bighorn sheep. It remains about fifteen to twenty feet wide as it meanders through the desert. Buckskin Gulch . We packed up in the dark and set out on our hike in the early twilight. The canyons and washes were dry when we went. The White House Campground is one of the four possible trailheads when hiking Buckskin Gulch. We hiked Buckskin Gulch in mid-September which can often be one of the muddiest seasons. The ice made a series of deep fractured cracks in the capstone rock on top of Middle Knob that are more like a maze than the more “linear” water eroded slots of the West. Gloves to protect your hands from the rock handholds and a small pack to carry your water and belongings is recommended for the hike. Just go prepared with snacks and water, pay attention to the weather and surroundings, and know your limitations. About Buckskin Gulch. Buckskin Gulch is the longest slot canyon in the world and it is an epic backpacking journey full of amazing scenery and unique desert wildlife. We’ve been to several slot canyons in Utah and really enjoyed them. 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. It is a steep winding road to get to Hayters Gap. And a ton of fun. Once you are in some of the slot canyons there is no turning back. Does Ford’s Built-In Truck Generator Make Sense. Along the Burr Trail we camped along the road not too far from the slot canyon. It is important to keep ones hands free of items when climbing or descending. Know the canyon and your skill level before you enter a slot canyon. Bats zoomed through the tight canyon walls picking off the few insects that reside in the gulch. Jim Hignite 2016 Ram 3500 2009 Lance 1181, Birch Hollow Slot Canyon, Mystery Canyon, Ordeville Gulch, Little Wild Horse and more, All Around Utah Difficulty depends on the canyon. It was the sound of a rattle going off in an alarming pitch echoing off the tight walls that alerted us to the danger. "One's destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things." The main thing to take into consideration when camping is the location of the fresh water springs, since the springs are the easiest places to obtain water. Our campsites were: Night 1: Just below the confluence of the Paria River and Buckskin Gulch (mile 8) Security will not allow pets past the entry booth, even if the critter(s) will never exit the vehicle. This is one of the best hike we’ve ever did. They were not only unafraid of our presence but welcomed it as they tended to fly in circles around us as we proceeded forward. Camping can be done near the trailhead in many dispersed locations. 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. TCM readership in 2020 smashed every prior record with an incredible 1.9-million unique visitors... Vote for the best truck camper, best truck camper gear, and best truck camper... Every make and model has been verified directly by the manufacturers and represents the... nuCamp RV has produced a video showcasing the 2021 Cirrus 620. The Wire Pass slot canyon is one of the narrowest parts of the journey when backpacking Buckskin Gulch. 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 example, if you want to hike Buckskin Gulch (highly recommended) do a Google or  Yahoo search and read about the description and difficulty of that slot canyon. The road to access it starts out as a good dirt road, but then the turn-off to the canyon requires a high clearance four whee drive. They can be contacted via phone at for pricing, directions, reservations and more. It is a low cost campground with water at the sites. Combined with the adjoining Paria Canyon, the entire hike is about 20 miles long. One of the coolest things about the canyon throughout is walking along and seeing towering walls ahead that seemingly block the path. The Buckskin Gulch part of the hike is 13 miles long which makes for a lengthy first day. Beyond the escape route, the trail narrows to the tightest section within Buckskin Gulch. 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. At the time we went in 2019, the fee was $6. Latest: Vote For Your Favorite Camper, Gear, and Innovation. After acquiring our site we hiked the Toadstool Trail located about 3 miles away. It was a long hike to get to the canyon, but it was easy. Unless it’s been raining it’s an easy dirt road with no need for four-wheel drive. Permits are $6 per person for day hiking and $5 per person per day for overnight backpacking. You’re also very likely to lose cell service inside of a slot canyon, and that’s if the area has it at all. The biggest difference between this canyon and what you find out west is the moss covered green rocks. Just finding the road was an adventure. Then drive another 15-miles or so to the trailhead. They call it Spooky because there’s some very tight squeezes. There are no “no overnight parking” signs so it seems legit to stay here. Distance is nearly impossible to gauge inside Buckskin Gulch. It is very long and the last repel, drops you about 100-feet down a waterfall into the Narrows of Zion National Park. Many are very beautiful and there is a lot to explore. This rockslide will drop into a dark hole that could have water in it (it didn’t when we were there). The way the canyon walls light up with all the nooks and crannies of thousands of years of being polished by wind and water is stunning and similar. We awoke early the next morning just before sunrise and moved our rig from the campground to the trail parking lot. 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. Spooky and Peek-A-Boo are easy ones that kids enjoy. The trail itself is sandy and somewhat steep so the lack of your heavy backpacks makes it easier. You just need high clearance. There is a small BLM campground a short distance south of the Buckskin Slot Canyon trailhead. Don’t go here if you’re claustrophobic at all. There is a small brown flag (a stick) with an arrow on it showing the way but the actual trail was located about 20’ to the left and then turned back towards the flag. And purchase a permit is required to navigate some tight areas of canyon... In many dispersed locations most people hike both over two days, camping along the road not too far the. Loose but isn ’ t work this deep in the Narrows in Zion been! 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