Taking a right into Buckskin Gulch the canyon feels wide at first, especially compared with the tight Wire Pass slot canyon. That doesn’t last long. 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. About Buckskin Gulch. Both mounds of sand have some established camping areas on top of them but there is no signage. At the time we went in 2019, the fee was $6. The Wire Pass part of the trail is a short 1.7 miles, most of which is a wide-open wash. 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. You never know what you will find on a backpacking journey. We camped overnight at a the Cochiti Rec Area in the Buffalo Grove Loop. Truck Camper Magazine readers share their favorite slot canyons and the recommended truck camping locations near by. After acquiring our site we hiked the Toadstool Trail located about 3 miles away. Our second day was forecasted to be a hot one. You can camp in Zion National Park or near the trailhead boondocking is allowed on BLM land in Utah. Paria Canyon is about as wide and deep as Buckskin Gulch at the confluence. That’s what we did, and we absolutely loved Buckskin Gulch. Bill and Kira Jones 2017 Ford F-350 2018 Northern Lite 9-6Q SE. Take it slow, use common sense, and have fun. There was no elevation change to speak of. Buckskin Gulch is popular, potentially hazardous and part of the Paria Canyon - Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, so there are several rules regarding access. The campground has 7 free, first come, first served sites with picnic tables, fire pits, and a pit toilet. 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. Years before we took on backpacking Buckskin Gulch we had backpacked The Narrows in Zion National Park. We like to take our time and take loads of photographs. And a ton of fun. This oasis campsite was a surprisingly stark contrast to the rest of Buckskin Gulch. That means no sandals, no boots and no bare feet. 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. After a nice informative drive that added much to our future to-do list, we disembarked from the shuttle, stretched out, and put on our extremely heavy packs. It is a short and steep three to four-mile hike to amazing views. Before you go into a slot canyon, tell friends and/or family about your plan, the trailhead location and the date and time of your trip. 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. 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. I have done the entire Narrows at Zion a few times. There is the Vermillion Cliffs and Paria Canyon Wilderness trailhead there. It is about 15 to 20-miles east of Kanab, Utah. Also, parking is very limited at the Brumley Mountain Trailhead. It is a steep winding road to get to Hayters Gap. Just go prepared with snacks and water, pay attention to the weather and surroundings, and know your limitations. Nearing the 12 mile mark the last true obstacle begins. Best Camping in Kanab on Tripadvisor: Find 332 traveler reviews, 222 candid photos, and prices for 5 camping in Kanab, Utah, United States. Luckily, the dry conditions made for only four relatively consecutive crossings. To add to the heat the terrain becomes very sandy making the progress much slower. We hiked in with all our gear about three miles to the entrance of the canyon. It is about 15 to 20-miles east of Kanab, Utah. If you want more details about the logistics for planning your own trip check out our Guide to Buckskin Gulch. Now, my wife and I travel as a way of life. 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 nightlife might have also been in The Narrows but the flow of the Virgin River drowns it out. We stayed at Bluffview RV Park in Farmington, New Mexico. Cellular service is non-existent along most of the trail. It sometimes is as narrow as 2ft. The endpoint for the Buckskin Gulch trail is typically the White House Trailhead & Campground. Our journey through Buckskin Gulch started with a night in the quiet and secluded White House Campground. It’s also critical to be aware of the weather report for the area ahead of your hike or backpack trip. Access is seriously controlled and limited in both time of day and number of people allowed on site for any given period. 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. Free Dispersed camping in the Bureau of Land Management Kanab District. Having someone with you (or a group) to help in an emergency could be critical. It’s not like another slot canyon hiker is going to come at you at 60 miles per hour while texting. Over the years we have been to several slot canyons. Buckskin Gulch is a narrow continuous slot canyon for 14 miles. Both of these hikes are difficult and ropes would help if you intend on doing Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot canyons. The vertical cliffsides of the canyon rise up on both sides of the gulch. Each footstep into the unknown squished deep into the mud. Forget bringing the pet(s) into the monument area. Many are very beautiful and there is a lot to explore. It was in this section while immersed in the beauty we were shocked back into the reality of the danger that lurks here. Two of the best campsites are located just above the confluence of Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon. 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. 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. It’s about nine miles from the campground to the canyon. If you like to photograph beautiful slot canyons, this area has some of the best. Gloves to protect your hands from the rock handholds and a small pack to carry your water and belongings is recommended for the hike. Combined with the adjoining Paria Canyon, the entire hike is about 20 miles long. You just need high clearance. And if you hear a sound like a jet engine (rushing water), get to high ground as fast as possible. Founded in 2007, TCM is the RV community's number one source for news, reviews, guides, newbie advice, destination ideas, maintenance recommendations, modifications, and more. These sections aren’t for the faint of heart as the water feels more like quicksand than water. Throughout the rest of Paria Canyon, there are regular, but not constant, options. The narrow stretch of land deep in the earth continued to reveal astonishing and beautiful rock walls. It is also the muddiest section of the journey. 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. 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. Usually a rope is in place to help with the downclimb. Before long the Wire Pass canyon widens and intersects with Buckskin Gulch. Once you are in some of the slot canyons there is no turning back. The actual hike was relatively easy. Because of this, there are several rules regarding access. Before proceeding, there are six very important rules to follow before you walk into a slot canyon. The terrain is sandy and loose but isn’t overly complicated. 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. It’s a fantastic and almost surreal place, well worth taking time to see in a mindful manner. We had a great time in the Lower Antelope slot canyon back in 2006 when we first experienced the canyon. When we returned last year in 2019, the only thing we saw were the crowds. With the small spring water emerging into the canyon it is an oasis hidden deep in the earth. Hiking Buckskin Gulch Guide – The World’s Longest Slot Canyon, Havasu Falls Reservation Review – Updated for 2020, Craters of the Moon Trails – The 6 Best Hikes, Click Here to Start Planning Your Journey to Buckskin Gulch. They say you can’t camp at the trailheads, but we did so that we could get an early start. I have explored many slot canyons over the years, mostly using my truck camper as a base camp because many of the roads to get to them are dirt and difficult to navigate in a large motorhome or travel trailer. No permit exemptions, passes, or discounts apply. Several undeveloped camping areas can be found en route to the trailhead. This is a BLM site and camping is very reasonably priced . There are few technical areas, but they are easily navigated. Arriving at the boulder equation the path ahead immediately splits to the left and the right. The next morning we awoke early before the sun rose to get a start on the journey to the White House Trailhead. Don’t go here if you’re claustrophobic at all. Always be conscious of the weather when entering a slot canyon. 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. Permits for day hiking in Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch can be obtained at the self-pay stations at each trailhead. The sand bar on the left side of the creek bed is really the best indicator of the trail. Some are more memorable than others, and some have become overrun. Easy walk in sand to Class three rock scramble. 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. I talked my friend Manny into going and we set a date. There are a limited number of nice smallish sites available. There is dispersed boondocking camping all along the Hole-In-The-Rock Road. There are a few side trails along the way leading off into the desert. While Buckskin Gulch is much tighter and extremely secluded the true difference is in the lack of water. Buckskin Gulch . The Buckskin Gulch part of the hike is 13 miles long which makes for a lengthy first day. 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. Lucky for us, the monsoon hadn’t materialized and the land was parched. Address. A couple are about a hundred feet. The canyons range from easy to walk through to requiring canyoneering and repelling skills. 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. In the far south west corner of Virginia in Jefferson National Forest is a unique slot canyon. In my research for this article, every expert recommends mesh shoes that cover your toes, offers good arch support, and grippy rubber soles. Length 5.6 miElevation gain 616 ftRoute type Out & … The trailhead campground is less than a mile from the slot canyons. As long as the good Lord allows. Heavy packs on we set off on the Wire Pass trail which almost immediately entered the dry creek bed and headed east. I not would suggest being at Buckskin Slot Canyon on a weekend or during Spring break. Time to go back!” and returned to our truck camper. My advice is to let the young overly zealous hikers get by you in a wide spot. 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. Hidden Valley has no campground, but dispersed camping is allowed along the lake front parking area. It was the sound of a rattle going off in an alarming pitch echoing off the tight walls that alerted us to the danger. This is an easy slot canyon that can be walked through and navigated with children. Wire Pass Trail to Buckskin Gulch is a 5.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kanab, Utah that features a river and is good for all skill levels. Does Ford’s Built-In Truck Generator Make Sense. It took about an hour to drive those miles, and it was much easier on the way out since we knew what was ahead. There aren’t many sand bars inside of Buckskin Gulch so that makes it slightly easier. Utah / Kanab; Buckskin Gulch Trailhead; Leave a Review. A permit is needed for this canyon as well. Bats zoomed through the tight canyon walls picking off the few insects that reside in the gulch. While starting at the Editor’s Note: We have attempted to get permits for The Wave three times and failed to win the daily lottery all three times. The first picture is from Birch Hollow Slot Canyon just east of Zion National Park in southern Utah. It is short; only about half mile long. The campground seemingly fills up overnight during the hiking season. Along the Burr Trail we camped along the road not too far from the slot canyon. There are some tight spots along the way. Other recommendations are to bring a light backpack and keep your hands free when hiking and climbing. The final push is short but in deep sand. Then, travel south on House Rock Valley Junction road. But camping there the night before would give you the chance to get out on the Buckskin Gulch trail extra early. 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. There are several different ways to hike in this area. Postpone your hike until it clears. Go to the BLM office in Kanab and get your camping permit for Hole-in-the-Rock Road. The confluence refers to the area where Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon meet. They call it Spooky because there’s some very tight squeezes. 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. That makes it an e… There is no camping in Buckskin Gulch until the confluence. The rock walls tower anywhere from 100-300 ft tall, and at it's narrowest, is only 2 feet wide. Copyright © 2007-2020. 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. We turned left at the juncture and headed up the narrow canyon. The nearby Stateline Campground is 10.5 miles south of the highway on House Rock Road. Once the trail rounds the hill there is another smaller hill of sand on the right side as well. Most casual hikers are weeded out in the first few miles. The stars at night were amazing! Some say that Buckskin Gulch is the longest slot canyon in the world. Douglas Davis 2008 Dodge 3500 2004 Hallmark Cuchara, Red Cliffs Park, Harrisburg, Utah Three miles round trip. Prepare to be in a remote area and plan your route accordingly. Permits are $6 per person for day hiking and $5 per person per day for overnight backpacking. Know the canyon and your skill level before you enter a slot canyon. Then, travel south on House Rock Valley Junction road. And if you make all the way to the end of the road you can see the actual, “Hole in the Rock” (pictured below). We were surprised at how easy it was to walk into this slot canyon from the parking/camping area. Along the way you will hike through the longest, and one of the most scenic, slot canyons in the world (Buckskin Gulch). Do not wander into a slot canyon casually without doing your research. One of the country’s truly classic trails for hiking, the Buckskin Gulch meanders through a … Day hiking permits can be o… There is a downclimb of 15 feet close to the confluence. We suggest that one attempt to be there in the morning when the gate opens. You can avoid this potential catastrophe with some advanced preparations. Access the day hike from Wire Pass Trail, a short tributary to Buckskin Gulch and the most scenic and direct way into the classic narrows — it’s an ideal alternative to the multiday backpacking trip. 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. 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. 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. The next few miles are a simple journey of following the trail through the narrow slot canyon. This means not just the immediate vicinity of the slot canyon, but the surrounding area as well. 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