day hike, slot canyon utah.

2:17 a.m. on February 24, 2012 (EST)
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My friend and I plan to do an Agnel's Landing day hike and would like to visit a slot canyon (we'll have a full day).

I know nothing of slot canyons or Utah other than what I've Googled.

Wanted to come in here and get some recommendations. (Non rope work type of slot canyons please ;)).

We plan to go first week of April - weather permitting I know slot canyons can get super dangerous (floods), so wanted to get more tips/advice from the experts :)

Thanks in advance!!!

3:20 a.m. on February 24, 2012 (EST)
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There may be other people out there with more experience in the area than me (Gary?) but I'll jump as I was basically asking the same question about a year ago.

First, here is a good web site that covers a lot of the options. I think it should be pretty clear that April is not a good time to be visiting any wet slots (except if what I have been hearing about low snow in the Sierra also applies further east, maybe some of them won't be so wet this year?).

It's not clear what your travel radius from Zion will be. I think most of the worthy (Hidden Canyon was nice, but hardly a classic slot) slots in Zion are wet and cold in April, but maybe some one else can point one out. During a trip to Zion and beyond last April we had planned to visit Red Canyon just east of Zion, but then we decided to drive on to Page and try to get to Upper Waterholes, but discovered after we got to Page that  you now have to hire a guide for a hefty fee  to go there (this and many other good slots in that area are on Navajo land -- more power to 'em, but they priced us out of the picture). Antelope was tempting, but it's basically overrun -- you pay a hefty fee to basically join the line of people going through and only get about 1.5 hours inside. So we ended up spending a few satisfying hours in Middle Waterholes, right off the road.

In June we did Buckskin Gulch and the Paria above the confluence as a 20 mile day hike (too late to get permits). It was absolutely fantastic and I am eternally grateful to Gary for tipping me off on that one. I suspect April is too early to go in there, but again if it's a low-snow year maybe it will be possible -- I think Gary has been in pretty early. BTW on that trip we actually had permits for the Zion Narrows but they were still closed due to high water, I guess it was a big snow year.

Here are the trip reports with photos from April and June.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

11:12 a.m. on February 24, 2012 (EST)
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I would also recommend Buckskin Gulch. Its a bit of a drive from Zion but worth the go. Yes I have been in there in May but not April. Depending on standing water it can be cold. And the April sun won't be high enough to warm it up much.

Also actually right in west Zion is a place called the Subway:

www.zionnational-park.com/zion-national-park-subway.htm

Check out the "Subway Highlights" pictures of the slot! at the link above.


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5:22 p.m. on February 25, 2012 (EST)
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wow excellent! Thank you very much for all that info!!!

Much appreciated!!!!

8:13 p.m. on February 25, 2012 (EST)
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Subway is one I want to do this summer. You do have to get a permit for that right? And get good dry bags, you will need them no matter the time of year.

9:30 a.m. on February 26, 2012 (EST)
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Yes, go to the BCO for permits. 

5:05 p.m. on February 26, 2012 (EST)
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Depending on your time and transportation another recommended area is the Paria/Buckskin area to the SE of Zion. Go out to Mount Carmel from Zion, then south to Kanab and then on east to the Cockscomb and Paria River on 89. The Bucksin is the longest slot canyon in the US. Its 13 miles from Wirepass to the Confluence with the Paria.


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At the Cockscom go south before the highway enters thru the Cockscomb and drive t the Wirepass TH. Its down into the depths of the earth and Sandstone. Theres a small rappell (10 foot)near the confluence with the Paria, then circle around to highway 89 . About a 25 mile hike all the way. Gets permits at the Paria Ranger Station where it says Paria Contact Station above on this map. Best to have two vehicles one to leave at the Ranger Sation area or Whitehouse Campground, the other to drive to the Wirepass TH.




7:49 a.m. on February 27, 2012 (EST)
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We hired a local outfitter to give us a ride from Whitehouse to Wire Pass early in the AM -- I think it cost us $75. So you can do it without a second car and save some driving back and forth to do a car drop. But you might want to call the contact station for some beta on going in there in April. Otherwise, if you've got the 20 miles in your legs it's superb!

5:24 p.m. on February 27, 2012 (EST)
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When my friend and I did it we took two days and left our mountain bikes locked at the Whitehouse campground. The drove to the Wirepass TH and hiked down Buckskin camping about halfway down where the canyon widened and there was a high sand hill to camp on. Then we hiked the rest of the way back to Whitehouse CG and biked back to Wirepass to get the truck.

July 28, 2014
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