Top 25 Southwest USA Slot Canyons: Buckskin Gulch


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Buckskin Gulch Buckskin Gulch
Previous Hiker in a dark section of Buckskin Gulch

Approaching the Paria River confluence Next

By far the longest slot canyon in the Southwest, Buckskin Gulch has cut deep into a red rock plateau for 15 miles, right at the south edge of Utah, meeting the Paria River on the Arizona stateline. The river is itself enclosed in a vertical-walled gorge for many miles, only slightly wider. There are virtually no climb-out routes in the Buckskin Gulch slot, which alternates between dark passages just a few feet across, and more open though still sheer sections up to 50 feet wide; this is one of the most potentially dangerous canyons in the event of a flash flood, in part due to the large upstream drainage basin. Like nearby Coyote Buttes (The Wave), a permit is required for entry. Due to the great length, to see all the narrows usually requires at least one overnight stay, the one designated primitive camping location being a wider, elevated area close to the Paria River confluence.

Location: Accessible from three trailheads; the usual approach is via the Wire Pass tributary, 8.5 miles along House Rock Valley Road starting from US 89. Details





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