Kanarraville Falls, 3 and a half hours south of SLC and 2 hours north from Las Vegas, is located just outside the small town of Kanarraville, Utah. This slot canyon is a hidden gem in Southern Utah that you do not want to miss! This hike is the perfect introduction to water and slot canyon hiking, if you ever want to hike the famous Narrows in Zions National Park.
Getting to Kanarraville is fairly easy. Simply put the falls into your GPS and once you get to the town, follow the signs to the falls. You will be able to park outside the slots at one of two places. Both parking lots are $10 for the day. This is a great price considering you do not have to pay any fees to hike the slot.
Once you park and start your hike, you will climb up a hill and then begin your assent down by the river. You will not actually start to get into the slot for about 45 minutes to an hour into the hike. The whole trail is about 4.5 miles roundtrip, so you can easily hike out and back in a few hours. We really took our time on the trail to enjoy it and take photos.
Once in the slot, you will have to wait in a line to climb up the waterfall ladder to start you hike. I would suggest getting to the trail early in the day, to avoid a long line. You could wait up to an hour in the busy season just to get up the latter. I do know some people who did this hike in the fall and they said they pretty much had it to themselves. However, the water is COLD, even in the summer. So pick and choose your battles (either hot outside and long lines or cold outside and no lines).
Once you get up the latter, you will climb up some slippery boulders on a waterfall. There are ropes to help you pull yourself up, so no need to worry about slipping.
Once up the ladder you will walk up stream and see a nice sitting area with a natural water slide. Be careful when you go down the slide, it is very fast and the water is shallow! We stayed here for a bit and ate our lunch.
You can continue going up the stream and you will find another mini waterfall you can go up and continue to explore the slot. However, this is for more experienced climbers. You only have a rope and a VERY slick and thin log to climb up and down on. Going up is definitely easier but getting down can be a task. Please, please do not wrap the rope around your hand/arm to pull yourself up and down. That is VERY dangerous and we actually saw an older man do that and he fell off the rope and was dangling by his arm unable to get off because he wrapped himself up. He was ok in the end, but it took a lot of people to get him off and it was really scary to see.
And that is pretty much the hike! It really is not too hard and it is such a beautiful place in Utah to explore.
Here are some quick tips!
- Wear really good shoes that have a good grip and can stand the water for a few hours. It is slippery on the hike and if you want to climb the second ladder, you need good gripping shoes.
- Bring lots of water. You will get thirsty from climbing and going through the water, so make sure you hydrate yourself.
- Bring $10 cash for parking. When we went it was cash only. It could have changed but I would bring cash just in case.
- Bring sunblock. Once in the canyon you will be protected from the sun but a good part of the hike is outside of the slot, so make sure you protect yourself from UV rays.
- Wear a bathing suit/water clothes. You will get wet. If you go in the summer, you will most likely dry on your way back to the car..so you probably don’t need to even bring a towel.
- Do not bring your dogs. The signs say to not bring your dogs on the trail. In the slot, your dog would not want to “poo-lute” the fresh water. Also we did see some people still bring their dogs, regardless of the signs, and it was super difficult to bring their dogs up the ladders and waterfalls. Their dogs were so scared and also trembling from the freezing cold water. Just don’t bring them on this hike….k?!
Have you hiked a slot canyon before? How did you like it?
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