Our family's longest hike in full time RV travel: Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch

The longest hike our full time RV family of 5 has done in 2.5 years of travel was the Wirepass trailhead to Buckskin Gulch in Kanab, Utah. 

We did this hike after we did the kayak and hike to Antelope Canyon. Dare I say we enjoyed these slot canyons better/

Getting to the trailheadFollow 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 dirt road is rough, but passable to cars and steadily ascends for 2.5 miles to a saddle separating The Cockscomb and Buckskin Mountain. Ignore the right fork to Five mile Mountain at the saddle, then descend to a crossing of the Buckskin Gulch wash after 4.4 miles, where the road is subject to flood damage. 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. There are a few pit toilets are in place at both Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass Trailheads. 

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 and drop it in the drop box. 

Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch Hike

Buckskin Gulch is an AMAZING and one of the longest slot canyons in the U.S but the Wirepass Trail is a short, more direct way to reach it without as much walking in the hot sun. Overall, this is an easy, family-friendly day hike where you can see some magnificent slot canyons and Native American petroglyphs.

The initial hike to Wire Pass slot canyon 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 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. 

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.