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Quick Guide to Trails in the Falls Creek Area in Durango, Colorado

We’ve outlined some of our favorite hiking trails in the Falls Creek area to make it easier for you to pick a trail that’s right for you!

Hiking In Sedona: What You Should Know

To get you prepped for your hike in Sedona, we’ve compiled advice into a detailed guide on what to expect when going for a hike in Sedona.

Snowshoeing in Durango: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Durango, Colorado this season? Here’s a few of our favorite snowshoeing trails for your next Microadventure in Durango!

Our 10 Favorite Places to Hike in Tucson, AZ

As you’re planning you Tucson, Arizona trip, here are our 10 favorite places to hike with trails around Tucson.

Snowshoeing in Boulder: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Boulder, CO this Winter? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite snowshoeing trails to explore in and around the Boulder area.

5 Best Portable Induction Cookers For RVs and Vans

To aid you in your next Microdventure, we have compiled a list of the 5 best portable Induction Cookers for your RV or van.

Our 10 Favorite Family-Friendly Hikes in the Grand Canyon

If you’re considering hiking with your family in the Grand Canyon, here are our 10 favorite family-friendly hiking trails.

What is Car Camping?

Trying to figure out what car camping is and why so many people are doing it? Here we define car camping for you in a simple way.

Car Camping Packing List for Your Microadventure

To aid in getting you set for your next car camping trip, here’s a list of essential and luxury things to pack.

Payson, AZ Free Dispersed Camping Areas

In order to help you narrow down where to camp, here’s a list of our favorite free, dispersed camping spots and areas around Payson, Arizona.

Flagstaff Free Dispersed Camping Map

To help make a decision on where to camp around Flagstaff, AZ, here’s a map of our favorite free, dispersed camping areas and spots.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Flagstaff

Looking to go hiking in Flagstaff? Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes and hiking trails in Flagstaff, Arizona.

A Guide to Camping in Sedona

The famous Red Rock Country city that is Sedona, Arizona. For those who haven’t visited, Sedona is a mecca for Microadventures. With miles of hiking and biking trails, climbing, and towering red sandstone views, you could spend a lifetime exploring Sedona and not see...

Sedona Free Dispersed Camping and Campgrounds Map

Trying to figure out where to camp around Sedona, AZ? We built a map of our favorite established campgrounds and dispersed camping areas.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Sedona

With over 200 miles of trails, there’s a lot to choose from in Sedona, Arizona! Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes in Sedona.

Our Favorite Slot Canyons in Arizona

Throughout Arizona are a series of slot canyons prime for hiking, backpacking, and canyoneering. With the number of slot canyons, it’s easy to experience decision paralysis when trying to figure out what slot canyon to visit- there’s only so many you can explore in a given season!

Slot canyon season can be a short one thanks to Arizona’s famous monsoons that can cause flash floods. Outside of monsoon season, the summer months can be brutal as the sun beats down on the rock. Assuming that you’re going to be safe and not explore during a dangerous time of year, there are so many slot canyons in Arizona it’s absurd.

To get you prepped for your next hiking or backpacking Microadventure in Arizona, here are our 10 favorite slot canyons to explore in Arizona:



#10 Apache Trail Canyon

Apache-Trail-Slot-Canyon-Hiking

East of Phoenix, Arizona

Apache Trail Canyon is located in the Superstition Mountains just east of Phoenix and has a mixture of narrow passageways, vertical cliffs, and a mixture of deep and shallow bodies of water. It has great views and a variety of foliage and vegetation along the hike. Apache Trail Canyon has flat sections and challenging parts of the hike making it a great mix of adventure and leisure. It is easiest accessed by parking along the Apache Trail 3.1 miles east of Tortilla Flat near the end of the paved trail.




#9 Jackass Canyon

Jackass-Canyon-Slot-Canyon-Hiking

South of Lee’s Ferry

This trail is a great half-day hike for you and your family that winds you down to the Colorado River. Located on Navajo Reservation close to Lee’s Ferry and the Vermillion Cliffs, you will need a hiking permit from the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation department. Jackass Canyon is serene and isolated, giving you a unique experience with nature. Beautiful natural elements such as cactus and desert vegetation are speckled throughout the trail as well as the iconic orange rocks known throughout Arizona that make up so many of the canyons around. Jackass Canyon is an intense but doable hike with lots of narrow slots, rope passageways, and boulders to bring you to your ultimate destination of the crisp, cool and clear Colorado River.

Technically, when you reach the Colorado River, you’ll be in the Grand Canyon National Park which is an added bonus!

#8 Tanner Wash

Off the Grand Canyon’s North Rim

Tanner Wash is located on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This long and usually dry, section of the Colorado River has cut beautiful sections through the ancient rocks allowing all sorts of fun obstacles to overcome such as small passageways and then wider open flatbed sections. While the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is not as touristy as the South Rim, that means you are able to have a very authentic and quiet hiking experience through Tanner Wash and experience the tranquility and adventure the canyon provides.




#7 Hermit Creek Narrows

Hermit Creek trail off the Grand Canyon’s South Rim

Hermit Creek tail is an intermediate-advanced trail located on the Southside of the Grand Canyon, also known as the South Rim. The trail is 9-miles each way and will have a 4,000 elevation change by the end of the trail. Hermit Creek is definitely one for the adventurous and seasoned hiker. Although the trail is challenging, it is quite rewarding with the views along the way such as the beautiful and mainly untouched thin-layered sandstone, the scattered boulders and the jutting rocks throughout the trail.

 

Photo Gallery

 

#6 Pumphouse Wash

Outside of Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona

One of the most popular trails in Sedona, the West Fork of Oak Creek is a great trail for family or someone looking for an easier, yet still beautiful trail. A stream flows year-round through the deep forested canyon. There is a combination of wide-open trail beds, narrow passes, ancient rock formations, and fun wildlife to explore along the way. The trail is only 3 miles round trip but still provides a beautiful afternoon in nature.

#5 Rattlesnake Canyon

Near Antelope Canyon outside of Page, Arizona

Close to the very popular Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon is just as beautiful but less populated. Rattlesnake Canyon is located just a short way down from the wash on the entrance of Upper Antelope Canyon. It has the iconic orange-brown rock formations and passageways that people come to expect in this area of Arizona. Rattlesnake Canyon tends to be more quiet and isolated than other popular canyons in the area. This canyon provides great passageways, abstract sandstone formations, and fantastic views and scenery at the top and entrance of the canyon.



#4 West Fork of Oak Creek

West-Fork-Sedona-Hiking

North of Sedona, Arizona

As far as hiking in Sedona goes, the West Fork of Oak Creek trail provides some of the best trails in the area. This is a popular intermediate on the side of the easy trail for hikers. A shallow stream cuts through the rocks and vegetation of the canyon. Quiet narrow passages, soft rock formations, and thick trees make up this great trail. Along the trail, you may even encounter some wildlife like the occasional deer or elk, as well as lots of birds and squirrels. Approximately 6 miles round trip but easy in nature, this is a great hike for a beginner, the entire family, or if you’re looking to just have a leisurely hike with some incredible views.

#3 Waterhole Canyon

South of Page, Arizona

Waterhole Canyon is a 2.8-mile trail that is pretty popular and located right outside of Page, Arizona. Waterhole Canyon is a moderate trail that provides a nice reprieve for the avid hiker and a great challenge for the leisurely walker. Located on majestic Navajo land, Waterhole Canyon has the iconic soft sandstone edges, the bright and majestic orange rocks and the narrow passageways that are truly spectacular. Waterhole Canyon is only accessible via a tour company with a tour guide, but the guides are knowledgeable and provide great information and safety along the way.




#2 Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon

Antelope-Canyon-Slot-Canyon-Hiking

East of Page, Arizona

Located just minutes away from Page, Arizona, both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon are without a doubt the most famous slot canyons in Arizona– if not the whole world. While relatively short in length, both slots canyons are chock full of unique perspectives and amazing formations that dance on the tall Navajo sandstone walls.

As one of the more narrow slot canyons on our list- several of the twists and turns offer incredible opportunities for landscape photography.

Unfortunately as of early 2020, the famed photography tours of Antelope Canyon are no longer available.

Despite the small blow to landscape photographers looking to capture Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon’s beauty, regular tours of these famous slot canyons are absolutely worth it.

During your tour (required to hike or visit Antelope Canyon- no exceptions), you’ll be lead through a series of passageways with unbelievable twists and turns. Light pouring in from the top of the slot canyon causes light beams on the floor and illuminates the canyon walls, making the whole slot canyon feel alive.

While Lower Antelope Canyon compared to Upper Antelope Canyon offers a slightly different experience, both are incredible slot canyons that are worth a trip to Page, Arizona alone.

 

Permit Guide

 

#1 Buckskin Gulch

Buckskin-Gulch-Slot-Canyon-Hiking

Top of the list of our favorite slot canyons in Arizona is the spooky and spectacular Buckskin Gulch located just west of Page, Arizona on the border of Arizona and Utah. As the longest slot canyon in the world, Buckskin Gulch offers over 30 miles of twists, turns, and narrow passageways.

If you are looking for the ultimate slot canyon experience- Buckskin Gulch is it. While the first mile or so sees the most traffic from hikers, deeper than that, you’ll probably have the place to yourself.

Expect the width of the slot canyon to vary from two feet at its narrowest and 15 feet at its widest. Most of the 30 miles of this slot canyon consist of flat hiking and wading through shallow water pools with two major exceptions: the “Cesspools” and the rock jam.

The narrow sections of the hike include tall, Navajo sandstone walls just feet apart. On the flipside, Buckskin Gulch opens up in several sections to reveal blue skies where you’ll be dwarfed against the 100+ foot canyon walls.

Buckskin Gulch can be both hiked in a few hours and turned into a full-on backpacking trip. Most hikers will only hike a few miles into Buckskin Gulch before turning around for the day. If you do have an extra two days in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area or Vermillion Cliffs and are looking for the ultimate Microadventure, consider backpacking the entire slot canyon from Wire Pass to the Paria River confluence at Lee’s Ferry.

The ultimate slot canyon and Microadventure in Arizona, this spring or fall, make sure you have Buckskin Gulch near the top of your hiking list.

 

Permit Guide

 

Conclusion

Surprising to most Microadventures and hikers looking to explore the Copper State, Arizona is home to some of the best slot canyons in the US. With slot canyons that span the state south to north, there’s no shortage of places to hike or visit during your exploration of Arizona. The slot canyons on our list are accompanied with incredible hikes with twists, turns, as well as great photography opportunities.

 

During your next visit to Arizona, jump right into one of the slot canyons on our list.

Resources

Nick The Rambling Man
Nick The Rambling Man

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.

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