Thinking of hiking, backpacking, or visiting Buckskin Gulch this season?
Buckskin Gulch is one of the best slot canyons in both Utah and Arizona and deserves a visit in your lifetime. Being the longest slot canyon in the world, Buckskin Gulch is full of twists and turns, hazards like “the Cesspools,” making it one of the best places to have a Microadventure in the southwest.
For those traveling to nearby Kanab, Utah, here’s a quick guide on getting to the trailheads of Buckskin Gulch and what to expect during your hike:
Getting to Buckskin Gulch from Kanab, Utah
The approach to Buckskin Gulch from nearby Kanab, Utah is pretty straight-forward. This approach is going to be the main route if you’re going to be coming from any location that’s east of Kanab including Nevada, California, or western Utah. If you’re traveling to Buckskin Gulch from Arizona, eastern Utah, or Colorado, you’ll be approaching Buckskin Gulch by driving through Page, Arizona first.
It is worth noting that the hike into Buckskin Gulch is done from the western portion of the slot canyon. As a result, these directions are to the Wire Pass trailhead– the most commonly used hiking trail into Buckskin Gulch.
Here’s a snapshot of how to get to Buckskin Gulch (Wire Pass trailhead) from Kanab, Utah:
- From Kanab, Utah, take highway US-89 east towards Big Water, Utah and Page, Arizona
- Drive for just over 38 miles
- If you hit Big Water, Utah, you’ve gone too far
- Before you drive around a big curve that curves towards the left, you’ll see a tiny road that off-shoots to the right- that is House Rock Valley Road – it’s easy to miss so pay attention when you are hitting 37 miles from Kanab, Utah
- Make the right onto House Rock Valley Road
- Travel south (carefully) down House Rock Valley Road for just over eight miles
- The Wire Pass trailhead will begin at a large dirt parking lot on the right-hand side of the road
- Expect an hour door-to-door from Kanab, Utah
You’ll begin your hike into Buckskin Gulch across the road from the parking lot. For specific hiking directions into Buckskin Gulch, please refer to this blog post.
What to expect hiking Buckskin Gulch
Hiking Buckskin Gulch is an incredible experience. Being the longest slot canyon in the world, it contains more than 46 miles of twists, turns, and narrow passageways. If you are looking for a the ultimate slot canyon experience– Buckskin Gulch is it. It is a prime location for individuals wanting to day hike, backpack, test out new backpacking gear, or get some scenic photos of this curving slot canyon.
Some of our favorite aspects of Buckskin Gulch
- Miles and miles of spooky, remote, and colorful slot canyon
- Warmer temperatures mean that Buckskin Gulch can be a fall or early winter hiking or backpacking destination
- Only 20 permits for backpacking are issued per day– expect to have the place to yourself after the initial first few miles
- Relatively easy terrain (with the exception of the “Cesspools” and rock-jam)
- Lots of opportunities of dynamic and striking photos
Buckskin Gulch is an easy trek out from Kanab, Utah. Taking just over an hour to reach the trailhead, Buckskin Gulch makes a great day trip for those staying and visiting Kanab, southern Utah, and even northern Arizona. Regardless of what you do at Buckskin Gulch, hiking, backpacking, or photography, we highly recommend taking a trip from Kanab to visit this incredible slot canyon in the desert.
Resources for Buckskin Gulch
- Hiking and backpacking guide to Buckskin Gulch
- Introduction to Buckskin Gulch’s “Cesspools”
- Photo gallery of Buckskin Gulch
- Photo gallery of the “Cesspools”
- Camping and permit guide to Buckskin Gulch
Nick is the owner and regular content writer for Southwest Microadventures. When he’s not writing, you can find him rock climbing, peak bagging, mountain biking, backpacking, or drinking strong coffee.