There is nothing quite like a good slot canyon to make a simple hike feel like a grand adventure. Wire Pass Trail, located off a bumpy dirt road 1 hour east of Kanab, UT, is the perfect day hike to escape from the pressures of everyday life and get the adventure juices flowing. Families and seasoned adventure junkies alike will enjoy exploring in the deep narrows and taking in the quiet solitude and beauty of the wavy red rock walls.
6 dollars per person. It's an envelope system, and the receipt is placed on the dashboard of your car.
From Kanab, UT take highway 89 east for 38 miles. You will turn right onto House Rock Valley Road. For 8 miles you will drive on a very scenic but also very slow and bumpy dirt road. Most cars should be able to navigate this dirt road just fine in dry conditions. From Kanab, the drive will take you about one hour. Click here for the map and exact directions from your location.
The majority of the trail you will be hiking through soft red sand, but there is no elevation gain......yay! The most difficult part of this trail is the 8-foot drop at the beginning of the first slot. There are stacked trees to help people get up and down. We had a two yr old, five yr old, and eight yr old with us, and we helped them get up and down without much trouble. For those who are nervous about the drop, there is a way to bypass this section by going up and around to the right before you enter the slot. Look to your right, and there should be cairns that will help guide you.
3.7 miles round trip. When we hiked this trail, it didn’t seem this long to me at all. I guess time flies when you are having fun!!!
For the first mile of this trail, you will walk along a wide streambed between low sandstone cliffs. It’s a bit of a boring trail in the beginning, but once you hit the slots, you are in for such a treat. Go slow and take your time through the slots. Enjoy the beauty of the light streaming in from above and the quiet solitude. You will go in and out of slots for about 1/2 mile, and then the cliffs will open up wide. This is where Wire Pass and another slot canyon hike called Buckskin Gulch intersect. Make sure to check out the petroglyphs on the wall to your right just before the corner turns. You can go up both ways and explore the Buckskin Gulch slots for a bit. There is usually water to wade through, and it can get quite deep. This is when you turn around and head back the way you came. Scroll through for tips and additional information.
It was so cool meeting some cowboys on the trail!
We ate lunch in this little alcove.
Navigating the 8 foot drop
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GOOD TO KNOW
There are bathrooms at the trailhead but no water fill stations.
TIPS & ADDITIONAL INFO
Bring a sack lunch to eat at the wide open section at the end of the trail. Such a great spot to rest and explore.
We did this hike in March with our three kiddos age 2, 5, and 8. The weather was perfect for light jackets, and the hike took us 2 1/2 hrs to complete with plenty of time to explore and eat a picnic lunch at the end.
Bring plenty of snacks, sunscreen, lots of water, and good hiking shoes.
When we were here in March the parking lot was quite full at 11:00 in the morning. I imagine that in the summer this parking area gets quite full. I recommend going earlier in the morning or later in the day in the summer for fewer crowds and to make sure you get a parking spot.
Don’t forget to bring cash to pay the per person day use fee.
Don’t forget to check out the petroglyphs on the canyon walls to your right at the wide open section at the end of the hike. I didn’t even know they were there until someone kindly pointed them out to us.
Another great family-friendly hike if you have the time is Wire Pass Trail. They are located about 40 minutes away from each other.
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