Utah Trail Weaves Through Majestic Canyon: How to Hike It

by Victoria Santiago
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Utah has plenty of beautiful hiking spots, but this one trail near the Utah-Arizona state line is picturesque and easily accessible. The trail will take you through a slot canyon, of which the Beehive State has many. However, most of the slot canyons in UT are harder to get through. Getting to them safely requires hiking experience and a lot of gear.

Luckily, the slot canyon at Wire Pass trail is easy to hike. In fact, the entire family can enjoy a trip to the canyon. The slot canyon is called Buckskin Gulch. It’s more than 12 miles long and 100 to 200-feet deep, depending on where you are.

Hiking This Incredible Utah Trail Is Easy

There are a lot of trailheads that can take you to Buckskin Gulch. The best is the Wire Pass trail, though. The trail is 3.7 miles round trip. For the most part, the trail is easy. It gets hard in a few places, though. Even then, you’ll never have to rely on gear to get to the slot canyon.

The trailhead is in the parking lot off of House Rock Valley Road, which is south of Highway 89 near Kanab, UT. You’ll want to wear good hiking shoes.

The first mile takes you on a wide trail between cliffs. This part can get a little tricky because it’s sandy. As you continue on your hike, the wide cliffs start closing in. Eventually, you’ll be walking through a narrow opening between two cliff walls.

This is where things get a little difficult. There are a few obstacles along the way, including a ladder that you’ll need to climb.

Eventually, you’ll get to where Wire Pass trail meets Buckskin Gulch. Once you get there, take your time looking at all of the petroglyphs etched into the sandstone walls.

Staying Safe On the Trail

As with any hiking trail, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to safety. Hiking through any slot canyon should only be done in fair weather. Even the smallest amount of rain can make the trail and the canyons dangerous to be in. Thus, if it has been raining or if there’s a chance it might start, postpone your hike.

Also, be mindful of the wildlife in the area. Only In Your State mentions that rattlesnakes live in the area and you’ll most likely encounter them on your trail.

As we mentioned earlier, this trip is family-friendly. It is also dog-friendly. If you choose to bring your four-legged companion be prepared to help them in certain areas.

The Utah Office of Tourism website will have more safety information available for the hike, along with directions to the trailhead. To hike this Utah trail you’ll need a permit, which is also available online.

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