50+ Utah Slot Canyons to Explore on Your Next SW Road Trip ⋆ We Dream of Travel Blog

50+ Utah Slot Canyons to Explore on Your Next SW Road Trip

Utah slot canyons blog post cover.  Text overlaying an image of a slot canyon in Utah.

Did you know that there are more slot canyons in Utah than anywhere else in the world? In fact, thousands exist in the small space south of the I-70 and north of the Arizona border. Much like waterfalls, these miracles of nature each come with their own distinct character and beg to be explored.

With so many hidden away in the Southwest desert, would take a lifetime trying to see them all. Since most of us don’t have that kind of time, we have created this comprehensive guide showcasing the very best Utah Slot Canyons.

The majority of those listed can be accessed without 4WD. Additionally, we have broken them down into technical and non-technical as most of you reading this will only be interested in those that they can visit without additional equipment or guides. However, we have also listed as many technical canyons as we could find for those explorers in search of a new challenge.

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Utah Slot Canyons Overview

Before getting into the locations and descriptions of all the slot canyons in Utah, it might be helpful and/or interesting to understand what a slot canyon is and how they are formed. Below are some quick facts to get your education on these geological marvels started.

A photo showcasing the colors and textures of a Utah slot canyon.
The colors and textures you will discover within the narrows walls of Utah’s slot canyons are simply otherworldly.

What is a slot canyon?

A slot canyon is a narrow channel with sheer walls that typically has a minimum of a 10:1 depth-to-width ratio.

How are slot canyons formed?

The simplest answer is that slot canyons are formed over millions of years of water erosion, specifically in regions that experience flash flooding. They are most commonly found in the more delicate rock groups such as sandstone or limestone, though they can form in any rock group (including granite or even basalt!)

Where in the world can you find slot canyons?

Southern Utah has the highest concentration of slot canyons in the entire world. There are literally thousands in the desert south of I-70 alone!

The Colorado Plateau region, consisting of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, is home to nearly all slot canyons in the US. Other worldwide destinations to explore slot canyons include the Blue Mountains of Australia, Sierra de Guara in Spain, and the Pyrenees on the border of Spain and France.

Photography showcasing the waves and colors of Wire Pass slot canyon from below.
Admiring the waves and colors of Wire Pass slot canyon from below.

Are slot canyons dangerous?

Yes, though some are more dangerous than others. The greatest risk in exploring slot canyons is in flash flooding, which can occur in a moments notice. Despite being bone dry where you stand, heavy downpours upstream can cause an onslaught of water which rapidly fill the narrow slot canyons. Due to the sheer walls, escape is usually impossible.

Additionally, these narrow channels often have large drops that require expertise in canyoneering to navigate.

As with most things in life, education and awareness are the best way to minimize risk! Check local weather systems before entering slot canyons, take your time exploring them, and be sure to have a method of rescue in place should injury occur.

Do you need equipment to explore slot canyons?

There are two classifications of slot canyon: non-technical and technical.

Non-technical canyons require no expertise or additional equipment to navigate. They typically have an entrance that eases gently into the canyon, rather than a sheer drop. Therefore, you do not need ropes or equipment to enter. Sometimes, as is the case with the famous Antelope Slot Canyons in Arizona, a ladder has been installed at the entrance and exit and no other drops are present in between.

Technical canyons have large drops or obstacles which require ropes and harnesses to bypass. Many also require repelling to access. Most technical slot canyons can still be somewhat viewed from above without additional gear. But, you need to be within the walls to truly appreciate the textures and colors.

The Subway is a challenging hike but rewarding slot canyon to discover in Zion National Park.
The Subway is a challenging hike but rewarding slot canyon to discover in Zion National Park.

Map of Utah Slot Canyons

To help you plan your Utah trip, we have put together a map of all the slot canyons in Utah that we mention within this blog post. They are divided in the same way as this blog post; our top 10 slot canyons, non-technical slot canyons, and technical slot canyons. Click here or on the image below to open an interactive Google Map in a new tab.

Map of Utah slot canyons.
Map of Utah slot canyons.

Top 10 Utah Slot Canyons

Wire Pass in Buckskin Gulch is our choice for the best Utah slot canyon due to its size, length, diversity, and ease of access.
Wire Pass in Buckskin Gulch is our choice for the best Utah slot canyon due to its size, length, diversity, and ease of access.

In case you missed the section above, you must understand that Southern Utah has the highest density of slot canyons found anywhere in the world. There are literally thousands of them south of Interstate 70 alone! Since most of us do not have a lifetime to spend exploring them all, we have compiled what we consider the 10 best slot canyons in Utah.

Our assessments were made based on an analysis of their ease of access, uniqueness, and overall beauty.

  1. Wire Pass / Buckskin Gulch
  2. Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon
  3. Peekaboo Slot Canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante
  4. Zebra Slot Canyon
  5. The Subway in Zion National Park
  6. Willis Creek Slot Canyon
  7. The Narrows of Zion
  8. Red Hollow Slot Canyon
  9. Pine Creek Slot Canyon in Zion
  10. Kanarraville Canyon Falls

You can find photos, detailed descriptions, and more for each of these canyons in the guide below.

Non-Technical Slot Canyons in utah

We have endeavored to find, research, and visit as many of the non-technical slot canyons in Utah as possible for the purposes of this travel guide. As stated multiple times already, there are simply too many to possibly list them all. However, below is the most comprehensive collection you will find on the internet!

These slot canyons can be explored without canyoneering equipment or any professional skillset. They can also usually be reached with standard 2WD vehicles (barring inclement weather). All can be enjoyed with nothing more than hiking boots, though some may require some clambering or varying levels of athleticism to completely navigate.

For the sake of simplicity, we have ordered this list from West to East.

St George’s Narrows aka The Crack

The Pioneer Park Mini Slot Canyon, also known as "The Crack", is a great introduction to slot canyons and is the only wheelchair accessible slot canyon in Utah.
The Pioneer Park Mini Slot Canyon, also known as “The Crack”, is a great introduction to slot canyons and is the only wheelchair accessible slot canyon in Utah.

If you have never seen one before, think of The Crack as the “free sample” of slot canyons. It is small, requires no hike, and incredibly easy to access. Of course, this also means it does not have the intricate shapes, colors, and textures that you will find in most of the others on this page.

There is no sign for the canyon, but there is a designated parking area. The easiest way to get there is to use Google Maps as this will direct you to the closest place to park and walk.

It is worth noting that we loved this entire region. If opportunity allows, we highly recommend queuing up our guide of all the best things to do in St George as The Crack is just one of many!

Jenny’s Canyon

Jenny's Canyon in Snow Canyon State Park is one of the easiest slot canyons to access in Utah.
Jenny’s Canyon in Snow Canyon State Park is one of the easiest slot canyons to access in Utah.

Jenny’s Canyon is another small but beautiful little sample in the world of slot canyons. It is not very long, but it is very sheer and impressive. The hike is minimal at only half a mile roundtrip, but it is through very soft sand.

Despite its smaller size, this was one of our favorites. It is not going to make many top 10 lists. But the ease of access, lack of crowds, sheer walls, and interesting colors and textures certainly make for a worthy stop on any road trip through Southern Utah.

While Jenny’s Canyon alone may not be enough to earn a spot on your itinerary, it is located within one of the most impressive state parks in all of Utah! We have created a guide to visiting Snow Canyon State Park that I guarantee will make you reconsider driving through St George without a short detour here.

Petroglyphs Slot Canyon

  • Location: Snow Canyon State Park / St George
  • Distance: Depends on point of entry
  • Difficulty: Depends on point of entry
Look at the right wall to see the ancient petroglyphs carved into this hidden slot canyon.
Look at the right wall to see the ancient petroglyphs carved into this hidden slot canyon.

Looking at the quick info above, you may be wondering why this is so ambiguous. The short answer is that the Petroglyphs Slot Canyon was once a semi-popular destination with easy access, but that access cuts through private land. The locals have since shut down this entrance point. Therefore, the only legal way to visit currently is via an incredibly long 8-9 mile hike through Snow Canyon State Park.

There are multiple guides available that detail the shortcut, which requires only a quick half-mile hike to visit (one mile roundtrip).

As for the slot canyon itself, we thoroughly enjoyed the unique look of it and would recommend it if it were still the quick hike it once was. However, both the petroglyphs and the canyon are quite small, making it hard to justify the expedition that visiting now entails.

Kanarra Creek Slot Canyon / Kanarra Falls

  • Location: Kanarraville, Utah
  • Distance: 1.5 – 2+ miles (one way distances with multiple end points)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Long exposure photography of Kanarra Falls in Utah.
Tucked away into the canyon is the incredibly photogenic Kanarra Falls.

This once-hidden gem has become a tourist sensation! As a result, they have limited visitation to only 150 people per day and permits are required.

Portions of the walk require some sure-footedness, but the sections that would otherwise require climbing gear now feature ladders, ropes, and handholds. With that said, the ladder to the bottom of the main falls was washed out in a summer flash flood and as of October 2021, has not been replaced!

Kanarra Falls is one of the most famous and popular slot canyons in Utah because it is absolutely gorgeous and (mostly) easy to access. Most importantly, it is one of very few that feature a perennial waterfall.

If you plan to visit Kannara Creek, ensure you book your ticket online in advance on the Kanarra Falls website.

Zion Narrows

  • Location: Zion National Park
  • Distance: 2 – 16 miles total
  • Difficulty: Easy to Very Difficult
The most famous of the Utah slot canyons is The Narrows in Zion National Park, though its status as a slot canyon is debated.
The most famous of the Utah slot canyons is The Narrows in Zion National Park, though its status as a slot canyon is debated.

By definition, The Narrows of Zion National Park fit into the 10:1 depth-to-width ratio required to be considered a slot canyon. However, they are much wider than what most think of when looking for slot canyons to explore and also were shaped by a massive river rather than a small, often dry creek.

Regardless of definitions, they are one of the most popular places to visit in all of Utah. The overwhelming majority of visitors will access The Narrows through Zion National Park’s main visitor entrance and either drive or shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava parking area. From there, explorers must walk 1-mile along a path tracing the Virgin River to where The Narrows begin.

No technical equipment is needed, though you must understand that you will be wading upstream through the Virgin River. Accordingly, it can be incredibly cold outside the summer months and a drysuit may be necessary. In addition, you will definitely want a long walking stick that can be used for balance and to check the depth of the water as you plunge ahead. Local adventure retailers will rent these items, but sticks will be found readily at the entrance point.

The truly adventurous have the option of a top-down hike which requires permits, some gear, and 16 miles of hiking. If this is something you want to consider, be sure to research the hike more in depth prior to attempting.

Pine Creek Slot Canyons

  • Location: Carmel Highway, Zion National Park
  • Distance: Varies
  • Difficulty: Easy
Not to be confused with the official "Pine Creek Gorge", there are a handful of other slot canyons that exist along the Pine Creek wash in Zion National Park, Utah.
Not to be confused with the official “Pine Creek Gorge”, there are a handful of other slot canyons that exist along the Pine Creek wash in Zion National Park, Utah.

To be clear, there are many small slot canyons forged by Pine Creek running through Zion NP. There is also an official Pine Creek Slot Canyon which is a technical canyon and therefore requires additional permits and equipment. We discuss the technical canyon more in the appropriate section of this Utah Slot Canyons guide. However, most visitors do not realize how many there are to be found in Eastern Zion along the Carmel Highway!

In order to find them, the best thing to do is to simply look for pull-offs and unmarked parking areas as you drive into or out of Zion and wander through the dry creek bed. In a half-day of exploration, we discovered several slot canyons with no signs or indicators.

DISCOVER MORE: Zion to Bryce Canyon

Many Pools Slot Canyon

  • Location: Carmel Highway, Zion National Park
  • Distance: Less than one mile roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy
Posing on a fallen log at the Many Pools slot canyon in Zion NP.
Posing on a fallen log at the Many Pools slot canyon.

Many Pools is not on the official Zion National Park map, nor does it have any official signage. But it is on Google Maps and is also indicated by a large parking area with vault toilets. Accordingly, the easiest way to find it is to set your GPS and, once in the parking area, simply look at the canyons walls and walk toward the large crack.

There is one official slot canyon which you will find by walking the wash toward a large visible crack in the canyon wall. In addition, there is a very narrow section that is highly photogenic and slot canyon-esque, though it is likely not sheer enough to officially be considered as such.

Elkheart Cliffs / Diana’s Throne / Huntress Slot Canyon

  • Location: South of Carmel Junction
  • Distance: About 2-3 miles roundtrip (for non-technical section)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Elkheart Slot Canyon aka Huntress Slot Canyon is a mostly technical slot canyon in Southwest Utah.
The Elkheart Cliffs slot canyons goes by many names, but they all spell beautiful.

These slot canyons go by many names and are extremely confusing to research as a result. Essentially, there is a dry sand wash that can explored for miles with numerous slot canyons along the way. However, there is no official sign or name. While you will often hear it referred to as Diana’s Throne, that is technically a feature within the Huntress aka Elkheart Cliffs Slot Canyons.

A few slot canyons can be accessed with nothing more than hiking boots and some sure-footedness, but most visitors elect to hire a local guide with ropes and equipment. You will not need any real canyoneering experience, but ropes and a guide will allow you to explore much more of the canyon.

For those who wish to do a self-guided, non-technical tour, Google Maps will get you the large dirt parking area where the trail begins. Walk the dirt 4×4 road until it reaches the power lines and forks left and right. Make your way straight ahead rather than following the road any further via any of the primitive paths previous visitors have left. Eventually, you will run into the dry wash which you can follow in either direction.

Red Hollow Slot Canyon

  • Location: Orderville
  • Distance: 2 mile roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy
Red Hollow is one of the top 10 Utah slot canyons.
Hidden gem treasure hunters will want to add Red Hollow Slot Canyon to their Utah itinerary.

Red Hollow Slot Canyon was one of our personal favorites slot canyons in all of Utah! This small, hidden gem is located just outside the small town of Orderville. It can be a bit difficult to find, particularly as construction is currently creating a detour, but the trail is short, easy to follow, and family friendly. Most importantly, the canyon itself is incredible!

Google Maps will take you most of the way to Red Hollow, but will say you have arrived a bit prematurely. Look for handmade “detour” signs at the construction area with arrows pointing onto a dirt road. Standard vehicles can easily handle the short stretch from where the pavement ends to where you will park by a large water facility. From here, it is a short 1 mile walk along the dry creek bed to the canyon. If you are ever unsure which way to get, the answer is ALWAYS left.

While you are in the area, if may be worth looking at our Zion to Bryce Canyon guide for other non-slot canyon things to do nearby.

Peek-a-Boo Slot Canyon aka Red Canyon

  • Location: Hwy 89 between Carmel Junction and Kanab
  • Distance: Less than 1 mile roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy
There are two Utah slot canyons named Peek-a-boo, but this one is also known as Red Canyon and is located near Kanab.
There are two Utah slot canyons named Peek-a-boo, but this one is also known as Red Canyon and is located near Kanab.

There are a couple of things to note first and foremost before discussing Peek-a-Boo Slot Canyon (aka Red Canyon).

The first is that this is not the same as Peek-a-Boo Gulch (also frequently called Peekaboo Slot Canyon), which is another popular slot canyon located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante region. This is an important distinction to make when planning your visit.

The second is that Peek-A-Boo is an easy walk if you have (or hire) an ATV or well-equipped 4WD vehicle. If you do not, this becomes a much longer 6+ mile roundtrip hike!

There are plenty of local adventure companies that will arrange trips to Red Canyon should you be lacking an appropriate vehicle and do not wish to walk more than six miles through the desert. You can also book a tour online in advance to avoid missing out:

Once you have arrived, you will discover one of the top 10 slot canyons in all of Utah, perhaps all of the American Southwest! The colors, shapes, and intricate textures rival any you will find.

Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch

  • Location: House Rock Road (East of Kanab)
  • Distance: Up to 15 miles!
  • Difficulty: Easy-Difficult depending on length of hike
Buckskin Gulch slot canyon in Utah is the longest known slot canyon in the entire world!
Buckskin Gulch slot canyon in Utah is the longest known slot canyon in the entire world!

At 15 miles in length, Buckskin Gulch is the longest (and deepest) known slot canyon in the world! It is possible to explore it in its entirety, but most visitors settle for a short walk in the Wire Pass section.

There are various obstacles that may present an insurmountable challenge to some visitors. However, most can easily enjoy a 1-2 mile (2-4 roundtrip) walk through the most interesting section.

There are numerous entry and exit points along the Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon, but most enter at the Wire Pass trailhead on House Rock Road. From there, follow signs (and crowds) to easily discover this desert treasure.

If you find yourself in the area, you are not far from The Wave, Toadstool Hoodoos, and many incredible destinations. Discover the plethora of things to do near Page, Arizona where you could easily spend a month and still not see it all!

Willis Creek Slot Canyon

  • Location: Near Cannonville, south of Bryce Canyon NP
  • Distance: Up to 5 mile roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate depending on distance
Photography of one of the true hidden gems known as Willis Creek Slot Canyon in Utah.
One of the true hidden gems for slot-seekers is the incredible Willis Creek Slot Canyon.

We visited Willis Creek Slot Canyon with low expectations, but instead discovered one of our favorites places in the state. While the drive is a bit of a detour and somewhat rugged, we were able to make it up easily in an oversized 2WD van.

Where most slot canyons you will discover in Utah exist in the desert, this hidden gem is located up a long mountain road. From the parking area, you will simply walk into the creek bed and immediately find a small “waterfall” (though using that label is a bit of a stretch). Within a few hundred yards, the first of many slot canyons along Willis Creek presents itself.

Technically you can walk the creek bed as far as you like, but the slot canyons end after about 2.5 miles. Throughout the journey, expect to find a variety of unique slotted sections that range in terms of color, scale, and impressiveness.

Bull Valley Gorge Slot Canyon

  • Location: Near Cannonville, south of Bryce Canyon NP
  • Distance: 1.5 mile total trip
  • Difficulty: Short but challenging
A photo showing a truck wedged between the narrow walls of Bull Valley Gorge Slot Canyon.
Can you see the truck wedged between the narrow walls of Bull Valley Gorge Slot Canyon above?

In regards to verticality and narrowness, Bull Valley Gorge Slot Canyon is tough to beat. It’s also nice that it is not technically a technical canyon, meaning the entire mile slot length is traversable. However, either ropes or some teamwork/athleticism may be required to get out of the slot canyon from the way you enter, and absolutely do not attempt this one if any rain is forecast.

You will find the entrance by routing to Bull Valley Gorge in Google Maps and parking in one of the small, unmarked pull-offs. While there are no clear indicators that this is the slot canyon, you will readily see it running below the bridge at which you’ll park. Follow an obvious trail to the right half a mile until you reach a short drop into the canyon.

Within the walls, you will get a good sense of what a true slot canyon feels like. If a flash flood came through at any minute, there is literally no chance of escape, so be sure you have checked the weather. In addition, many obstacles will obstruct progress so expect a lot of clambering to reach the other side.

The most notable feature of the canyon is a truck that went off the road and is permanently gripped by the narrow walls. Sadly, the vehicle went off the road a long time ago, killing all three passengers.

Zebra Slot Canyon & Tunnel Slot Canyon

  • Location: Hole in the Rock Road, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • Distance: 5.2 mile roundtrip for Zebra, 7.2 miles approximately to add Tunnel Slot Canyon
  • Difficulty: Moderate to difficult depending on recent rainfall
Zebra slot canyon wins our award for the most photogenic slot canyon in Utah.
Zebra slot canyon wins our award for the most photogenic slot canyon in Utah.

Zebra Slot Canyon is perhaps the most beautiful slot canyon in all of Utah. The difficulty of access dropped it a few spots on our Top 10 list, but it would likely hold the number 1 spot on a list of the most photogenic slot canyons.

This is one of many slot canyons you will discover along the Hole in the Rock Road. While Zebra is the main feature, hikers have the option to continue about 20 minutes beyond the exit of the canyon to also include Tunnel Slot Canyon in their itinerary, though it pales in comparison.

The canyon is named for its zebra-like stripes that are carved intricately into the sandstone. These stripes and colors combine for a stunning display of nature’s infinite artistry.

Peek-a-boo / Spooky Gulch / Brimstone Gulch / Dry Fork Narrows Loop

  • Location: Hole in the Rock Road, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • Distance: 3.5 mile loop for Peekaboo & Spooky, 5.7 mile loop to add Dry Fork Narrows, 8 miles for entire loop
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
This photo shows the Peekaboo Gulch slot canyon in Grand Staircase Escalante, which is usually visited in conjunction with Spooky Gulch and occasionally Brimstone Gulch slot canyon as well.
This photo shows the Peekaboo Gulch slot canyon in Grand Staircase Escalante, which is usually visited in conjunction with Spooky Gulch and occasionally Brimstone Gulch slot canyon as well.

All of these slot canyons can be seen as part of a loop trail which begins at the Dry Fork Trailhead. Though most would agree that Peek-a-boo and Spooky Gulch are the main attractions.

Keep in mind that, as previously mentioned, there are two slot canyons named “Peek-a-Boo”. This one is sometimes called Peekaboo Gulch and is located on Hole in the Rock Road. As a reminder, the other Peekaboo Slot Canyon is much further west, located between Carmel Junction and Kanab.

What both Peek-a-Boos have in common is that they are both impressive slot canyons that beckon plenty of explorers to experience their unique beauty and otherworldly landscapes.

This is one of the best ways to see a variety of slot canyons all in one full day, but also requires some planning and homework. Be sure to to prepare appropriately including additional route research and checking current weather forecasts before attempting this lengthy loop trail.

Big Horn Slot Canyon

  • Location: Hole in the Rock Road, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • Distance: Depends on point of entry
  • Difficulty: Strenuous

Big Horn is yet another slot canyon located off of Hole in the Rock Road in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. I’ll be honest; not only did I not get to this one, but my brain hurt trying to figure out how. If you are visiting the area with time to spare and/or have already seen the more impressive canyons listed above, you may as well tack this one onto the itinerary. However, I cannot provide much information as Big Horn Slot Canyon can be reached via multiple routes of varying lengths and difficulties, and as part of different loop options.

Singing Canyon (aka Long Canyon) Slot Canyon

  • Location: Burr’s Trail near Escalante
  • Distance: 0.25 mile roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy
A photo of a girl standing between the narrow walls of Singing Canyon, also known as Long Canyon.
While Singing Canyon is not the prettiest, it is among the easiest to access and has amazing acoustics!

The appeal of Singing Canyon is, unsurprisingly, the incredible acoustics. It also doesn’t hurt that the entire trail there and back is less than a quarter mile, so you may as well pop in if you are in the area!

There are no signs for Long Canyon but Google Map will deliver you to the small pull off for parking. From there, you can literally see the crack in the red canyon wall where you discover this small but impressive gem.

Sulphur Creek Narrows

  • Location: Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center
  • Distance: 6.4 miles total
  • Difficulty: Challenging
While there is only one section of slot canyon on the Sulphur Creek trail in Capitol Reef National Park, it is fun and impressive hike.
While there is only one section of slot canyon on the Sulphur Creek trail in Capitol Reef National Park, it is fun and impressive hike.

There are a few unadvertised but semi-official trails in Capitol Reef that will only be shared if directly asked about. Sulphur Creek is one such trail, and is our favorite hike in the park!

From the visitor center, you will literally walk into Sulphur Creek and continue upstream. Alternatively, many choose to park at the exit near Chimney Rock and walk downstream. The advantage of doing it this way is that you are more likely to be able to find a ride back to your vehicle, rather than having to walk 6 miles back to it!

While much of Sulphur Creek is not exactly overwhelming, there are slotted sections and small waterfalls within it that are absolutely fantastic. Bring some waterproof shoes, a small meal, and expect to need 4-5 hours to complete it. Much of the journey requires varying degrees of scrambling, wading, and for the shorter readers, perhaps even some swimming! With that said, we saw lots of families attempting this hike.

Cottonwood Wash / Burro Wash / Sheets Gulch Slot Canyons

  • Location: Capitol Reef National Park on Notom-Bullfrog Road
  • Distance: Varies
  • Difficulty: Very Difficult

All three of these slot canyons are located on the eastern edge of Capitol Reef National Park but are technically within park boundaries. As there is no officially maintained trail, the park will not advertise them on their maps or in brochures. However, they do provide information at the visitor center and on their website. Rather than copying their instructions, we recommended clicking the link above to find times, distances and descriptions.

Ding and Dang Slot Canyons

  • Location: Next to Goblin Valley State Park
  • Distance: 6 mile roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Moderate with challenging sections

Located up a 4WD road from the wildly popular Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon (read about that next) are the more modest Ding and Dang Slot Canyons. Accessing these small canyons requires a vehicle with high clearance and 4WD, which eliminates nearly all of the crowds.

To be honest, these are two of the least interesting slot canyons you will find. Ding Canyon is a white-ish grey, pale color that does little to excite viewers. Dang Canyon has a bit more color but is still only a pale yellow. Neither are particularly impressive in terms of being sand swept, vibrant, or sheer. However, they are worth knowing about if for no other reason than their proximity to the incredible Little Wild Horse Canyon and Goblin Valley State Park.

Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon (and Bells Canyon)

  • Location: Next to Goblin Valley State Park
  • Distance: 3.3 mile roundtrip for just Little Wild Horse slot canyon, 8 miles for entire Bell Canyon loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Landscape photography of Little Wild Horse slot canyon in Utah.
Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon is widely considered the best Utah slot canyon due to its incredible colors, textures, and family-friendly access.

Arguably the best non-technical slot canyon in Utah, Little Wild Horse has it all. The road to the parking area is mostly paved, parking is ample, restrooms are provided, there is no entry fee, and the hike is short enough to be easy but long enough to provide incredible sights along the way. In addition, there are several sections which vary in terms of color, patterns, narrowness, and scale, so every next step is a new adventure.

While no real athleticism is required, portions of the canyon get incredibly narrow so visitors with physical disabilities or exceptionally large girths may not be able to get to the end of the slots.

Many visitors will do the entire 8-mile loop which includes a walk through Little Wild Horse and Bells Canyon. However, Bells Canyon is not a slot canyon and, in my opinion, is really not that photogenic. I would recommend walking the 1.6 miles through LWH until it opens up for good, then backtracking. You will save a lot of time but also will discover that the scenery changes as the light does going the other direction.

Furniture Draw Slot Canyon

  • Location: Elmo, Utah
  • Distance: 2 mile roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy

You may also hear Furniture Draw Slot Canyon referred to as Buckhorn Draw, but this is actually the road it is located off of. This is an easy walk for people of all ages and fitness levels, but be warned that the term “slot canyon” may not be technically accurate. Though the walls get fairly narrow, they are never so slim that you can’t easily stroll through. Additionally, the walls are not very sheer, though they are quite pretty to look at.

Bullfrog Bay Slot Canyon

  • Location: Bullfrog Visitor Center, Lake Powell
  • Distance: 2 mile roundtrip, 3 miles to include North Fork Narrows)
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

While Bullfrog Slot Canyon is far from the prettiest you will discover, it is among the most accessible. To find this one, you will simply need to park in the mammoth lot of Bullfrog Visitor Center along Highway 276. The slot canyon is only 200 feet away.

The walls of Bullfrog Canyon never rise more than about 50 feet at its highest point, but the deep red and orange colors are quite stunning and the ease of access makes it a must-see for anyone who finds themself in the Bullfrog Bay region of Lake Powell.

Moonshine Wash

  • Location: South of Green River, Utah
  • Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Difficult

This once-hidden gem is beginning to be discovered and frequented more and more as most hikers agree that Moonshine Wash is among the best non-technical slot canyons. Though it is not a technical canyon, it still presents many obstacles that require teamwork or a high level of individual ability.

The allure of Moonshine Wash is the tonal range of colors that swirl throughout the canyon, as well as its remote and unspoiled nature.

Be aware that you will require 4WD to access the trailhead. Technically, you can get within a couple miles and walk from here but this creates an extremely long hike through very dry desert. Prepare appropriately!

A fun fact is that the name comes from a history of bootleggers using this area to distill moonshine during the prohibition.

Technical Slot Canyons in Utah

A brave explorer rappels into the depth of Pine Creek Gorge Slot Canyon in Zion National Park.
A brave explorer rappels into the depth of Pine Creek Gorge Slot Canyon in Zion National Park.

Southern Utah provides an endless supply of slot canyon treasures for those with canyoneering equipment and four-wheel drive. As is the case with so much in life, the places that are most difficult to visit often provide the greatest rewards.

Of the thousands that exist, below you will find a list of the better-known and more accessible technical slot canyons in Utah. While most of these can be viewed from above without any climbing rope or equipment, the real experience lies deep below the surface.

As these each require proper research to explore, we are presenting them in list form only and encourage you to do your homework to ensure a safe and successful visit. They have been organized from West to East.

If you want to give canyoneering a try, consider booking a tour. There are various tours in Utah that will give you an introduction to technical slot canyoneering and allow you to experience rappelling. No previous experience is needed for the following tours:

Near St George

  • Bitter Creek Canyon
  • Yankee Doodle Hollow

Within Zion National Park

The Subway is a technical slot canyon in Zion NP renown for the colors and beauty you'll discover.
The Subway is a technical slot canyon in Zion NP renown for the colors and beauty you’ll discover.
  • Keyhole Canyon
  • Pine Creek Gorge Slot Canyon
  • Orderville Canyon
  • Boundary Technical Slot Canyon
  • Echo Slot Canyon
  • The Subway

Within Capitol Reef National Park

  • Pandora’s Box Slot Canyon

Other Miscellaneous Technical Slot Canyons in Utah

  • Dunham Slot Canyon
  • Leprechaun Canyon
  • Zero Gravity Slot Canyon

Other Utah and Northern Arizona Guides

Antelope Slot Canyon in Page Arizona.
Haven’t had enough? Be sure to check out our Things to Do in Page, Arizona guide below and learn about the numerous slot canyons in Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona!

Before you go, you may want to see some of the other relevant, regional guides we have created that will likely already be on your itinerary. As you likely discovered in this guide, we do our best to cover not just the popular sights, but the hidden gems as well.

Final Thoughts on the Utah Slot Canyons

A suspended boulder is wedged in the narrow walls of Little Wild Horse canyon, one of the best Utah slot canyons.

As you have no doubt read and seen in the photos by now, slot canyons are one of those incredible natural marvels that just excite the soul. In that way, I often view them in the same way as I do waterfalls in other parts of the country! Each one is different, some more impressive than others, but they are almost always worth the journey to behold.

I hope you have found this guide useful in preparing for a trip of your own through Southern Utah. If you discover anything is incorrect or out of date, help us improve this resource by letting us know in the comments below.

Likewise, we’d also love to know if you found this helpful! Either way, we would love to hear from you.

Enjoyed this guide to the best slot canyons in Utah? Pin it! šŸ™‚

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20 Comments

  1. October 23, 2021 / 3:46 am

    Great list! I absolutely loved Buckskin and Peekaboo when I went in April. Your photos are gorgeous too šŸ™‚

    • October 23, 2021 / 4:07 am

      Thank you so much for the kind words Ella! I’m so happy to hear you also loved Buckskin and Peekaboo. The slot canyons in Utah truly are amazing!

  2. Alma
    October 23, 2021 / 10:15 am

    I’m always fascinated by rock formations and these canyons look epic! I’d love to hike through some of them.

    • October 23, 2021 / 10:40 pm

      I hope you get to! They are truly amazing, it’s incredible to think how long they took to be formed.

  3. ANUKRATI DOSI
    October 23, 2021 / 10:16 am

    I must say that the photos are incredibly breathtaking. I really appreciate how you have mentioned the level of difficulty for each slot canyon.

  4. Paula
    October 23, 2021 / 10:21 am

    The canyons look amazing! I didn’t know they existed but now I want to see them so badly!

    • October 23, 2021 / 10:52 pm

      They’re so impressive!! I’m glad we were able to introduce them to you šŸ™‚

  5. Nina Clapperton
    October 23, 2021 / 2:46 pm

    I’ve seen these canyons on Instagram and always wondered where they were. They looks so cool to visit!

    • October 23, 2021 / 11:14 pm

      They are so much fun to explore! It feels a bit like being in another world.

  6. October 23, 2021 / 3:36 pm

    I honestly had no idea how many slot canyons existed in Utah! Wow, such an incredible state. Thanks for the hiking inspiration!

    • October 23, 2021 / 11:13 pm

      It’s amazing how many slot canyons there are! Utah really is full of beauty.

  7. October 23, 2021 / 3:51 pm

    These look amazing! I want to plan a roadtrip around them!

    • October 23, 2021 / 11:14 pm

      You could absolutely do that! It would be an awesome road trip.

  8. Vanessa Shields
    October 23, 2021 / 3:58 pm

    Wow! What an incredible guide with so much great info and tips on seeing the different slot canyons! Iā€™d want to stick to the non-technical with seeing Kanarra Falls, Zion Narrows and Zebra Slot Canyon. Saving this for when I do get the opportunity to go!

    • October 23, 2021 / 11:45 pm

      Thank you so much Vanessa! I really want to go back and try out some of the technical ones as I’ve never tried canyoneering before. However, there are plenty of incredible non-technical ones to see… you’ve definitely picked some of the best!

  9. Lina
    October 23, 2021 / 4:13 pm

    Oh I’ve seen so many pictures of this place already, I would so love to go there on my own one day! This is a great guide with a lot of useful and interesting information šŸ™‚

    • October 23, 2021 / 11:45 pm

      I hope you do make it there Lina! The slot canyons in Utah are remarkable!

  10. Emilie
    October 24, 2021 / 2:16 am

    Great post. We just came back from an amazing trip and just loved Utah. We didn’t get to see the slot canyon (we did Antelope X Canyon in Page instead).

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**All photos contained in this photography-based travel blog are copyright of Adam Marland & Sophie Clapton.Ā 
They are not to be used for any purpose without the expressed, written consent of their owners.**