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A breathtaking experience through a beautiful slot canyon that gets quite narrows at points and leads to Buckskin Gulch!


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Map Key

1.7

Miles

2.8

KM

Point to Point

4,862' 1,482 m

High

4,725' 1,440 m

Low

45' 14 m

Up

166' 51 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

8%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Geological Significance · Historical Significance

Family Friendly This makes the perfect adventure hike for energetic kids

As a side note: DO NOT accidentally hike The Wave trail (Coyote Buttes North) without a permit. There is a VERY expensive fine from what I have heard.

Need to Know

Permits are required for this hike, but they don't need to be reserved in advance. Get your permit ($6 per person and $6 per dog) from the box at the trailhead, or pay and print in advance on Recreation.gov. Also be sure you know the flash flood danger before you go. You can check with the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office in Kanab or online before embarking this hike to ask about current conditions and risk.

Description

The trailhead starts at a parking lot about seven miles down a dirt road off Route 87 (that also services the Wave which requires a permit) and follows a pretty obvious sandy trail. The trail is pretty uneventful for about a mile, and then you'll start to see a canyon appear.

When you get to the canyon you'll know, as there is a dramatic entrance. Inside the slot canyon the experience is awe inspiring as the 100-200 foot walls narrow to about a foot in one short (3-5 foot) section of the canyon. The footing is fairly good and mostly sandy which makes for easy hiking, but there are some rocks.

At about the 1.3-mile point there is a section that you'll need to down climb about 7-8 feet on a pile of rock and driftwood, but recently a sturdy ladder was put in place to aid this section. A big flash flood could always take out the ladder, however, so don't necessarily count on it being there.

The same goes for any part of this trail: Conditions can change due to flash floods, leaving debris and affecting how easy or hard the hike becomes. If it has rained recently, you may even encounter pools of muddy water (and cold!) that you'll have to wade through. Don't let that deter you, because reaching the canyon confluence is a special experience.

Once there, you'll meet another huge slot canyon coming in from the left. This is the main Buckskin Gulch, and it continues from this point downstream for many more miles. At this junction, be sure to look to your right to see Native American petroglyphs on the cliff wall. Remember to only look but not touch this ancient rock art.

This junction makes the typical turnaround point for a casual day hike, but you could continue deeper in either direction of Buckskin Gulch from here.

Contacts

Shared By:

Abe Ferraro with improvements by Kate McConnell and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 20 votes

#214

Overall
  4.7 from 20 votes
5 Star
80%
4 Star
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3 Star
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Trail Rankings

#28

in Utah

#214

Overall
18 Views Last Month
6,213 Since Feb 21, 2018
Intermediate Intermediate

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Photos

I feel wonderful, the surroundings are beautiful, and this is just the beginning of the adventure.
Mar 14, 2017 near Kanab, UT
This area is utterly stunning.
Mar 17, 2017 near Kanab, UT
The Wire Pass route almost feels magical.
Feb 15, 2017 near Kanab, UT
The beginning of the slot Canyon!!!
Feb 21, 2018 near Kanab, UT
View from the trail
Jan 24, 2023 near Kanab, UT
View from the trail
Jan 20, 2022 near Kanab, UT
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 2 days ago
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Check-Ins

Jul 21, 2024
brent birsa
May 4, 2024
hdjohnson
Went down to buckskin Gulch and just a little bit downstream and back very fun 4mi
Jan 24, 2023
Stewart Carnes
The ladder has been washed away. It's either a 8 foot climb / drop at the overhang in the slot or take the bypass trail
Dec 30, 2022
Gary Walker
5mi
May 15, 2022
Meaghan O.
3.6mi
Apr 10, 2022
Christine Bostick
amazing beautiful
Jan 20, 2022
Stewart Carnes
Nov 12, 2021
John Encarnacion
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