Slot Canyon Regions
North Lake Powell
San Rafael Swell
Zion National Park
|Slot canyons in and around Zion National Park - formed by the Virgin River and its tributaries.
The Kolob Terrace is a high forested area at the western edge of the Colorado Plateau into which the Virgin River and many of its tributaries have carved a network of deep canyons, most of which fall within the boundary of Zion National Park. These vary in character and include true slot canyons, steep V-sided ravines with narrow sections, and huge deep valleys like Zion Canyon, the central attraction of the park. In common with all the larger canyons this has year-round flowing water - the North Fork of the Virgin River in this case - which creates many beautiful pools, waterfalls and cascades but also makes exploration more difficult. The most famous narrows hike in the Southwest is along the upper part in Zion Canyon and is only passable for a few months each year due to flash flood danger.
- ★★★★★ Clear Creek - long valley with side canyons
- ★★★★★ Echo Canyon - steep side ravine that becomes a narrow slot
- ★★★★★ Elkhart Cliffs Canyon - very short canyon a few miles from Mt Carmel Junction
- ★★★★★ Hidden Canyon - cool, shady branch of Zion Canyon
- ★★★★★ Kanarra Creek - colorful gorge with permanent stream
- ★★★★★ Keyhole Canyon - short, narrow tributary of Clear Creek
- ★★★★★ Kolob Creek - deep, challenging, difficult to reach Virgin River tributary
- ★★★★★ Mineral Gulch - just outside the park; narrow tributary to the east fork of the Virgin River
- ★★★★★ Misery Canyon - technical slot, a Parunuweap side canyon
- ★★★★★ North Creek, Left Fork - well-known canyon that includes 'The Subway'
- ★★★★★ Orderville Canyon - long and very deep gorge joining the Zion Narrows
- ★★★★★ Parunuweap Canyon - another deep watery narrow canyon
- ★★★★★ Pine Creek - short, popular narrows requiring technical climbing
- ★★★★★ Poverty Wash - hard to reach tributary of Parunuweap
- ★★★★★ Red Canyon (Peek-a-Boo Canyon) - short ravine through deep red rocks north of Kanab
- ★★★★★ Red Hollow - short slot near Orderville, east of Zion
- ★★★★★ Sand Wash (Red Cave) - colorful slot with two long branches
- ★★★★★ Spring Creek - long valley just north of the park
- ★★★★★ Spring Hollow - short slot near Orderville, east of Zion
- ★★★★★ Taylor Creek, Middle Fork - one of the Finger Canyons of the Kolob
- ★★★★★ Water Canyon - permanent stream at the edge of Canaan Mountain, forming waterfalls and short slots
- ★★★★★ Zion Canyon - the most famous narrows in the Southwest
From the Kolob region in the northwest to the far southeast entrance, there are dozens of deep, narrow canyons worth exploring in Zion - a topographical map of the park reveals a maze of densely-contoured branches and tributaries, and it is just as rewarding to select an unknown side canyon as one of the more well-known hikes. The narrower ravines tend to have sheer dryfalls and often require technical climbing with ropes - more so than the Lake Powell slot canyons further east.