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Are you looking for a unique and exciting family adventure hike in Utah? Look no further than Wire Pass trailhead to Buckskin Gulch slot canyon day hike. Located in the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness of Northern Arizona, this stunning slot canyon hike is one of the most remarkable slot canyon hikes in the world and a family-friendly activity in Utah. It’s a great way to explore a fascinating part of nature while spending quality time with your family outdoors. Let’s take a closer look at what you and your family need to do to prepare for this Utah family adventure hike and what makes exploring Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon so special.
Getting to the Wire Pass trailhead: Buckskin Gulch is located in Northern Arizona, just south of the Utah border along US 89. This slot canyon trail is located about an hour drive from Kanab, Utah and two hours from Page, Arizona. Follow U.S. 89 to an unsigned southbound dirt road that branches off the highway at the west end of a 50 mph right-angle curve just west of The Cockscomb. Find the turnoff 0.8 mile west of mile-post 25 and 34 miles northwest of Page, Arizona, or 0.2 mile south of mile-post 26 and 37.5 miles east of Kanab, Utah.
The road for this family adventure is not well marked and a dirt road that has some washboard sections called House Rock Valley Road. Follow House Rock Valley Road for approximately 8 miles until you reach the trailhead. Here there is a large dirt parking lot and pit toilets.
The road for this family adventure is a dirt road. It is a rough road, but passable to cars. Continue on the dirt road until you reach the spacious Wire Pass Trailhead dirt parking lot. The Wire Pass parking lot is located on the west side of the road, 8.4 miles south of US 89. There are a few pit toilets in place for the family to use before setting off on your Utah slot canyon adventure.
Yes, you will need a permit before making your exploring Wire Pass trailhead to Buckskin Gulch. The hike is extremely popular and permits are required in order to keep the area safe and well preserved. You can get these permits from various ranger stations around the area or from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab, UT if you plan on camping overnight during your hike. I recommend getting online before traveling here to get your pass because service is not great here. Or if you have cash you can fill out the pass/envelope that is at the trailhead with name, vehicle plate information and the number of people in your party.
Drop the envelope and fee which is $7 per person back in the locked box and place the other portion in your vehicle dash. Also make sure to fill out the day use hiker sheet with information on the number of people in your party.
Buckskin Gulch is one of the longest slot canyons in the U.S. The initial hike to explore Wire Pass trailhead is easy. From the trailhead across the road and drop down into Coyote Wash, then follow this wide, flat, sandy wash in a northeast direction until you reach the entrance to the slot.
Along the way, you can stay in the wash. This first part of the Wire Pass trail, approximately 1.4 miles, is all exposed to the sun so bring water and a hat!
Once you get into the slots, which requires a slight scramble on rocks and one wooden ladder to climb down, it is shady and cool! The kids required a bit of help on the ladder but nothing too difficult as there were people of ALL ages going up and down the ladder.
The Wire Pass slot canyon is narrow from the start, and the colors are amazing. The floor of the slot is flat sand and easy to navigate. Definitely pay attention as you walk as there is periodically some rocks and a few obstacles along the way.
When you reach the end of Wirepass trail, you’re dumped into a wide canyon area with steep orange walls.
There is an arch-like cave at the intersection with Buckskin Gulch, which is the longest slot canyon in the U.S. After some photos in this arched cave area, you can either turn around or continue on the hike exploring the Buckskin Gulch.
This trail was not very busy at all, but once we passed this point there was only two other people we passed. We hiked out 3 miles total into the gulch and then turned around making it a 8.5- mile round trip hike. I would highly recommend continuing on for a bit because the slots and canyons are spectacular!
The day hike from Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch is one of Utah’s great trails, and the main highlight is the beautiful Wire Pass slot canyon, with its nice colorful rock walls. We actually like this slot better than Antelope Canyon!
Even though this was one of the longest hikes we have done, there is so much to see, and each turn is so unique that the kids were able to easily do this hike.
Unfortunately, there are no roads that lead directly into Buckskin Gulch so you will have to hike or use other forms of transportation such as ATV’s or horses if available. However, there are some nearby access points where you can park your car before starting your hike such as House Rock Valley Road or White House Trailhead which are both within close proximity to the canyon entrance at Wire Pass Trailhead.
Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch is an outstanding family adventure that offers plenty of beauty and excitement for everyone involved! With its stunning views and diverse terrain, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience for all who take it on. Be sure not forget your permit when embarking on this amazing journey! With that said, happy hiking! Overall, this is an easy, family-friendly day hike where you can see some magnificent slot canyons and Native American petroglyphs.