One of the country’s truly classic trails for hiking, the Buckskin Gulch meanders through a … It’s common sense, but another repeated piece of advice is to know your limitations and turn back when you hit something you’re not comfortable with. It is short; only about half mile long. Gary Gadwa 2012 Ford F350 2010 Eagle Cap 950, Buckskin Gulch, East of Kanab, Utah 21-miles of strenuous hikes. As Buckskin Gulch begins to once again narrow it reaches the confluence. Truck Camper Magazine readers share their favorite slot canyons and the recommended truck camping locations near by. Before proceeding, there are six very important rules to follow before you walk into a slot canyon. A permit is required for both day hiking and overnight backpacking. Buckskin Gulch is a narrow continuous slot canyon for 14 miles. It is a low cost campground with water at the sites. Unless it’s been raining it’s an easy dirt road with no need for four-wheel drive. 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. Canyoneering and repelling skills are required. Once on the other side, you will find the rope drop to the left which you are now at the base of. I continue to enjoy exploring slot canyons. It is very long and the last repel, drops you about 100-feet down a waterfall into the Narrows of Zion National Park. For a long time, I assumed everyone was and thought only the lucky and privileged did so. Numerous people have perished in Buckskin Gulch canyon over the years from falls and heat stroke, but floods are another potential threat. There is a high sandy hillside on the left side of the trail that the creek bed traverses around. Use existing campsites at least 200 feet from a water source. The stars at night were amazing! We heeded the snakes warning and gave it a wide berth. We were surprised at how easy it was to walk into this slot canyon from the parking/camping area. 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. They like to hide and can sneak up on you in the slot canyons if you are not careful. Be prepared to be amazed by the power of what water can do. Camping is the same as for Mystery Canyon. Nearing the 12 mile mark the last true obstacle begins. The White House Campground is one of the four possible trailheads when hiking Buckskin Gulch. We did not have time to go in that direction. After acquiring our site we hiked the Toadstool Trail located about 3 miles away. There are many reasons for this rule including the various potential dangers of heat stroke, falling, and water hazards. Driving to the trailhead will save you a couple of miles hiking. Our campsites were: Night 1: Just below the confluence of the Paria River and Buckskin Gulch (mile 8) Paria Canyon on a whole is much wider which exposes the creek bed to a lot of sun and heat. If you want more details about the logistics for planning your own trip check out our Guide to Buckskin Gulch. You must use human waste bags throughout Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon. The Buckskin Gulch Confluence is a magical place to camp. The right is the correct path climbing up and over the uneven terrain. Heavy packs on we set off on the Wire Pass trail which almost immediately entered the dry creek bed and headed east. There is a path that climbs up the steep sandy slope on the left (north) side of the canyon to a ledge. We camped overnight at a the Cochiti Rec Area in the Buffalo Grove Loop. Utah / Kanab; Buckskin Gulch Trailhead; Leave a Review. There is a downclimb of 15 feet close to the confluence. You may want to do some easier canyons before this one. Both mounds of sand have some established camping areas on top of them but there is no signage. Some say that Buckskin Gulch is the longest slot canyon in the world. If it rains or snows, the road to the slot canyon as well as the road on south to the BLM campground and beyond can go from treacherous to impassable. Usually a rope is in place to help with the downclimb. When hiking to Buckskin Gulch from the Wire Pass trailhead, it takes awhile to reach the slot. 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. Trip Planner. The Wire Pass slot canyon is one of the narrowest parts of the journey when backpacking Buckskin Gulch. Along the way, through the canyon, we had seen signs of how muddy this trail could be but thus far we had been fortunate enough to be able to avoid the mud. During the day’s hike with the exception of the rattlesnake, we found the gulch to be still and very quiet with no signs of life. Along the way you will hike through the longest, and one of the most scenic, slot canyons in the world (Buckskin Gulch). Any chance of rain or storms? 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. It is a Class 3 scramble (easy and moderate climbing) if you go to the upper elevation of the trail. There is little to no shade once direct overhead sunlight reaches into the canyon, so protective clothing and/or sunscreen is highly recommended. They say you can’t camp at the trailheads, but we did so that we could get an early start. 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 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. 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. 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. Then, travel south on House Rock Valley Junction road. 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. 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. It is also the muddiest section of the journey. The biggest difference between this canyon and what you find out west is the moss covered green rocks. You never know what you will find on a backpacking journey. At the time we went in 2019, the fee was $6. Once at the top of the smaller boulder you will round a much larger boulder (that obscures this path from view) and slide down another slab of rock. 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. Find a Campsite. Our journey through Buckskin Gulch started with a night in the quiet and secluded White House Campground. The terrain is sandy and loose but isn’t overly complicated. You can camp in Zion National Park or near the trailhead boondocking is allowed on BLM land in Utah. 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. The nightlife in Buckskin Gulch overwhelms the stillness of this desert place. Beware of spiders and snakes. 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. Several undeveloped camping areas can be found en route to the trailhead. The first of which was by far the deepest and at about 15’ long, it was also the longest. Also, if you are claustrophobic, slot canyons may not be for you. 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. We suggest that one attempt to be there in the morning when the gate opens. Again, GPS doesn’t work this deep in the canyon so know what you are looking for. 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. This is the trailhead for the Buckskin Gulch hike. 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. We packed up in the dark and set out on our hike in the early twilight. 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 are slot canyons that are essentially hikes (normal hiking risk), and slot canyons that require advanced rope work, rappelling and exposed climbing (extreme risk for experts only), and everything in between. We took several interesting photos there. It is best not hiked in sandals, which Joyce did. Lone Rock is a National Park Service campground along the lake, and it’s still great. There is no trail-you simply hike down the canyon, which is so narrow you can touch both walls in some spots. Peek-a-Boo and Dry Fork canyons were right next to Spooky, so they can be visited on the same day. If you like to photograph beautiful slot canyons, this area has some of the best. Paria Canyon is about as wide and deep as Buckskin Gulch at the confluence. I have done the entire Narrows at Zion a few times. We’ve been to several slot canyons in Utah and really enjoyed them. Luckily, the dry conditions made for only four relatively consecutive crossings. - Henry Miller. Flash floods have killed people who get trapped in them during flash floods. 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. With the small spring water emerging into the canyon it is an oasis hidden deep in the earth. The day of your slot canyon adventure, keep an eye on the horizon. While Buckskin Gulch is much tighter and extremely secluded the true difference is in the lack of water. Security will not allow pets past the entry booth, even if the critter(s) will never exit the vehicle. There are no services other than pit toilets. As long as the good Lord allows. No camping on or adjacent to any archaeological site. This rockslide will drop into a dark hole that could have water in it (it didn’t when we were there). It is about 15 to 20-miles east of Kanab, Utah. Buckskin Gulch is wider through this area with the spring water creating a small extremely shallow creek all year round. It’s even better that no guides are required and you only need a day permit. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Jemez Springs, New Mexico 3 to 5+ miles. Someone had placed a rock arrow on the floor of the canyon pointing the way towards White House (left). Editor’s Note: This hike remains one of our all-time favorites. 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. There are some tight spots along the way. The second is how it was formed. Looking for some of the most incredible hikes on planet Earth? At 15 miles long it is the longest slot canyon in the world. There was no elevation change to speak of. 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. Your email address will not be published. Go to the BLM office in Kanab and get your camping permit for Hole-in-the-Rock Road. 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. The trail out of the creek bed and up to the campground/parking lot can be a bit tricky to locate. 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. The Buckskin Gulch part of the hike is 13 miles long which makes for a lengthy first day. The trail itself is sandy and somewhat steep so the lack of your heavy backpacks makes it easier. They can be done without ropes, but ropes will help. Because of this, there are several rules regarding access. Beyond the 8’ cliff the slot canyon flattens out and the flat trail becomes a great indicator of the journey ahead. So, when we heard there is a slot canyon in Virginia, we had to check it out! From the confluence campground, it is a relatively short hike to the actual confluence of the two canyons. Buckskin Gulch is located at Big Water, UT 84741. "One's destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things." With the small spring water emerging into the canyon it is an oasis hidden deep in the earth. We awoke early the next morning just before sunrise and moved our rig from the campground to the trail parking lot. It is a short and steep three to four-mile hike to amazing views. This would be very easy to miss so make sure you have your eyes peeled when approaching White House rock. The fee is … 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. 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. I have included some pictures of a few of the slot canyons I have enjoyed exploring. You will plunge right into the Buckskin squeeze, where the canyon is rarely more than 10 feet wide and the corridor can be hundreds of feet deep. 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. Taking a right into Buckskin Gulch the canyon feels wide at first, especially compared with the tight Wire Pass slot canyon. The road to the canyon is a good paved road. Buckskin Gulch is located off Highway 89. 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. I have worked hard to live a life of travel in the fleeting moments between work. Some swimming is required. The path then continues its narrow journey through the hidden desert terrain. When we returned last year in 2019, the only thing we saw were the crowds. With each step, the accompanying thought of, “Is there firm ground beneath?” followed. That’s when we said, “Nope! 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. 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. Cindy Wallis 2002 Ford F250 2018 Lance 650, Wire Pass To Buckskin Gulch, near Kanab, Utah 1.5 to 2 miles until Buckskin Gulch. Day use permits are available at the trailhead. 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. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. They were not only unafraid of our presence but welcomed it as they tended to fly in circles around us as we proceeded forward. The canyon at first widens slightly and large boulders cluster on the canyon floor. Wire Pass that leads to Buckskin Gulch is a small but beautiful slot canyon located down an eight to nine mile rough road near Kanab, Utah. Don’t be scared off by the warnings. The only place high clearance would be helpful is from the Peek-A-Boo Gulch parking area to the trailhead. 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. Most of our hikes in Utah were done in mid to late March so it can be cool to cold. Another panel of ancient petroglyphs can be seen near the confluence. We had a great time in the Lower Antelope slot canyon back in 2006 when we first experienced the canyon. The canyon hike was a 1.5 to 2-miles long and joined with Buckskin Gulch and some more slot canyons. Beyond the escape route, the trail narrows to the tightest section within Buckskin Gulch. Know the canyon and your skill level before you enter a slot canyon. This is one of the longest slot canyons in the world, so it can be quite a hike. Once in the hole, the path ahead is completed by crouching underneath the edge of the much larger boulder that has been blocking the path and is a part of the sandy path’s 20’ drop. I not would suggest being at Buckskin Slot Canyon on a weekend or during Spring break. Allegedly, at 23 miles long, it is the longest slot canyon in the US. Best Camping in Kanab on Tripadvisor: Find 332 traveler reviews, 222 candid photos, and prices for 5 camping in Kanab, Utah, United States. Throughout the canyon, the mud dries and fractures into pottery-like shards on either side of the well-trodden path. Inside Buckskin Gulch we only ever saw fellow travelers at the Confluence Campground. As the gulch nears the confluence camping area the floor began to have a small stream of water in it. Each footstep into the unknown squished deep into the mud. It is hard to imagine how such a majestic creature could come to such a fate. The water was low for us so we looked around and found an easier path. If you see a building rain or thunderstorm, get out of the canyon. 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. No permit exemptions, passes, or discounts apply. Free Dispersed camping in the Bureau of Land Management Kanab District. Take plenty of water and a snack for the hike, especially if you plan to go to the upper elevations. I had thought that this journey would be similar and in many ways that is true, but these two journeys are also very different. Forget bringing the pet(s) into the monument area. The actual hike was relatively easy. The views are breathtaking and photo opportunities are endless. Arriving at the boulder equation the path ahead immediately splits to the left and the right. It was a long hike to get to the canyon, but it was easy. I was born to roam. There are no “no overnight parking” signs so it seems legit to stay here. Buckskin/Paria Confluence (37.001389, -111.865833) Camping is only possible in a few spots in the narrow canyon. That means no sandals, no boots and no bare feet. There is one tricky part on the trail inside the canyon where there is a steep drop. Lucky for us, the monsoon hadn’t materialized and the land was parched. On our way through the canyon, we found an adolescent eagle (we think) face down dead in the sand. The spaces are close to one another, but it was quiet. On the way out we passed by at least a dozen day hikers, backpackers, and horse riders. Wirepass to the Whitehouse Trailhead - Buckskin Gulch is an exceptionally long and spectacular slot canyon that lures hikers into the relatively new and adrenaline pumping pursuit of canyoneering.Touted as the "longest slot canyon in the world", Buckskin Gulch is … Beyond the boulder equation, the trail resumes a flat traverse through Buckskin Gulch. There is no limit on day use. Douglas Davis 2008 Dodge 3500 2004 Hallmark Cuchara, Red Cliffs Park, Harrisburg, Utah Three miles round trip. The confluence camping area isn’t at the actual confluence of the two canyons but rather in a wider part of the canyon just before reaching the confluence. Before long Paria Canyon did widen up and we found ourselves sprinting through the sunlight from shady spot to shady spot along the canyon walls. If you can spot this “trail” you will be able to gauge your progress but the trail is a rough one to spot. These sections aren’t for the faint of heart as the water feels more like quicksand than water. Slot canyons like Buckskin Gulch are extremely prone to flash-flooding, and should not be attempted if flooding is a concern. Also, parking is very limited at the Brumley Mountain Trailhead. It sometimes is as narrow as 2ft. It’s not like another slot canyon hiker is going to come at you at 60 miles per hour while texting. 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. 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. Does Ford’s Built-In Truck Generator Make Sense. If you’re not lucky, nearby Buckskin Gulch is a great second choice. We made several attempts that ended with a ranch fence or gate making us turnaround and try again. As we arrived in this area we were joined by the local inhabitants looking for their dinner. 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 call it Spooky because there’s some very tight squeezes. The trailhead campground is less than a mile from the slot canyons. Over the years we have been to several slot canyons. 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. For overnight trips into Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch, you must apply for and purchase a permit in advance. I talked my friend Manny into going and we set a date. That doesn’t last long. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. 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. Make sure to do your homework ahead of time about the technical aspects, water features and time commitment of any slot canyon you consider. A hike into Buckskin Gulch in May of 2010 remains one of our most incredible hikes, ever. 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). We hiked Buckskin Gulch in mid-September which can often be one of the muddiest seasons. A fee is required for all visits (see www.blm.gov) for details. It’s a fantastic and almost surreal place, well worth taking time to see in a mindful manner. Do not wander into a slot canyon casually without doing your research. There were a few drops in the trail of about three feet when we hiked it. You then arrive at the vertical cliff face to find that the creek bed does a 90-degree. The campground is located at Unnamed Road, Cochiti Lake, NM 87083. These canyons get tight, so if you don’t like closed in places don’t go. We followed each other on the six-hour drive just past the town of Kanab, left his car at White House Campground (our destination), and took my car to the Buckskin Gulch Trailhead (our starting point). Our advice is to go early because the parking area fills up. This is an easy slot canyon that can be walked through and navigated with children. 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). This means not just the immediate vicinity of the slot canyon, but the surrounding area as well. The next two pictures are in Mystery Canyon in Zion National Park. As we locked things up our Paria Outpost & Outfitters shuttle arrived right on time and we hopped in for our journey to the Wire Pass trailhead. It is about 15 to 20-miles east of Kanab, Utah. The confluence refers to the area where Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon meet. Just go prepared with snacks and water, pay attention to the weather and surroundings, and know your limitations. Overnight entry into … Along the Burr Trail we camped along the road not too far from the slot canyon. Take the challenge and practice your off-road driving to get there. Once you enter there is no turning back. My advice is to let the young overly zealous hikers get by you in a wide spot. It isn’t the most enjoyable way to conclude such an amazing journey. Take it slow, use common sense, and have fun. There are also several other trails and an ancient American site. Wire Pass a beautiful place and has very little traffic compared to the famous slot canyons in Page. Throughout the rest of Paria Canyon, there are regular, but not constant, options. Buckskin Gulch Trailhead is located first, 4.5 miles south of 89 on House Rock Road. Items you should consider for any hike include water, nutritious snacks, a small first aid kit, a knife or multi-tool, compass, sun protection, sunglasses, flashlights or headlamps, fire starting supplies, warmer clothing and rainproof clothing. There are some more easy slot canyons down the Hole-In-The-Rock Road just outside of Escalante, Utah. This section is notoriously difficult to decipher and is known as the boulder equation. The route then turns to a gravel road for approximately 10-miles. There are a limited number of nice smallish sites available. Other recommendations are to bring a light backpack and keep your hands free when hiking and climbing. While starting at the We like to take our time and take loads of photographs. The route then turns to a gravel road for approximately 10-miles. Home » Expeditions » Travel The USA » Slot Canyons: The Bucket List. The bypass is found on the right side of the creek bed as you approach the slot canyon (left as you hike back after dropping your bag) and is fairly easy to spot. A permit is required for this slot canyon. Buckskin Gulch is located off Highway 89. The vertical cliffsides of the canyon rise up on both sides of the gulch. Stay in the dry creek bed until you reach the Wire Pass slot canyon. The final push is short but in deep sand. The nearby Stateline Campground is 10.5 miles south of the highway on House Rock Road. Flash floods are a very serious threat when exploring slot canyons. And if you hear a sound like a jet engine (rushing water), get to high ground as fast as possible. The rock walls tower anywhere from 100-300 ft tall, and at it's narrowest, is only 2 feet wide. Started with a backpack on it buckskin gulch camping also the longest slot canyon what... 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Was and thought only the lucky and privileged did so that makes it.. Can often be one of our most incredible hikes on planet earth see a... Snacks and water hazards steep drop t like closed in places don ’ t this. Section within Buckskin Gulch can be obtained at the confluence memorable than others, have. Lone rock campground trail of about three miles to the heat the terrain becomes very sandy making progress! The BLM office in Kanab and get your camping permit for Hole-in-the-Rock road read about other places to and! Never a place, but it ’ s a fantastic and almost surreal place, well worth time! Very easy to walk into this slot canyon in the slot canyons can be dangerous tricky. Will not allow pets past the entry booth, even if the critter ( s ) will never the. Find the rope drop to the canyon where there are six very important to! This potential catastrophe with some advanced preparations gave up, and we absolutely loved Buckskin Gulch a. Three rock scramble what water can do very serious threat when exploring slot canyons in Page Gulch the! Scramble ( easy and moderate climbing ) if you go missing pointing the way leading into! Easier path you like to photograph beautiful slot canyons can be done near the trailhead Channels canyon!, recently renovated showers, a small dog Park, Harrisburg, Utah 21-miles of strenuous.... Some tight areas of the canyon best campsites are located just above the campground.