Check with the Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab, UT for the most up-to-date conditions before heading to any of the trailheads. If dry, the wash is very sandy to walk through with no shade. Buckskin Gulch . In the canyon itself, the temperature was very pleasant: probably 70F. Soon, it becomes obvious that we won’t make it to the first safe campsite before dark. I have worked hard to live a life of travel in the fleeting moments between work. The Lees’ Ferry Road is paved so there are no concerns getting to this trailhead if you opt for the longer multi-day backpacking journey. The trail departs on the east side of a gravel parking lot that can hold about 30 cars. Regardless of which through-hike, you decide to take you will need to either drop a vehicle at one trailhead or arrange a shuttle transport to get you from one side to the other. A log sits, wedged between the walls of Buckskin Gulch, from a previous flash flood. If you can, apply for your start date up to four months in advance using the, The closest major airports are Las Vegas and Salt Lake City; the closest regional airports are St. George, Cedar City, and Flagstaff. Paria Canyon and its tributaries average eight flash floods a year. But soon after we pass a panel of Native American petroglyphs depicting desert bighorn sheep on the canyon wall near the junction of Wire Pass and Buckskin Gulch, I hear the sound of a single thunder clap. “Take him with you wherever you go and take pictures,” Jen demands. It is the longest and deepest slot canyon in the Southwest and offers obstacles like rock jams, pools, quicksand, and the potential for flash floods. However, taking that route makes the entire journey 47.5 miles in length. After reaching Paria Canyon (probably on the second day), you will have an 8-mile hike to the White House Trailhead. Like life, hiking the Buckskin requires constant vigilance. This means that the entire month of permits for April for instance becomes available on January 1st at noon (MDT). I suppose that Utah qualifies as an adventurous and exotic place for this Flat Stanley, especially since he hasn’t left Orange County, ever. We begin looking obsessively for the enigmatic Middle Route. A flash flood while in Buckskin Gulch is deadly. Buckskin Gulch can also be taken on as a long day hike or as an out-n-back though you will have to determine when is best to turn back. !” Rich asks me, nervously. Luckily, we’ve spent ample time in both of these towns and have a few recommendations. Flat Stanley is the title character in Jeff Brown’s 1964 children’s book, which tells the story of a child who is flattened when a falling bulletin board crushes him while he’s sleeping. Next to the water-susceptible Flat Stanley, she is the most risk-adverse hiker in our group. Remember to check the National Weather Service for flash flood reports before heading out. The only place to camp inside Buckskin Gulch is at the confluence with Paria Canyon (and by permit-only). Three trailheads give access to the gulch; Middle, Wire Pass and Buckskin. Start hiking in the morning, leaving immediately at dawn. After any long-distance hike, I am always looking for the best food options around to refuel. I haven’t felt any raindrops.”. However, the summer months can be deadly hot and are not recommended. For a long time, I assumed everyone was and thought only the lucky and privileged did so. Under an extraordinarily dark and starry sky, we make macaroni and cheese for dinner. Regardless of what list you place it on, Buckskin Gulch is a geologic wonder that is actually very accessible, doable, and immensely rewarding if you prepare properly. I watch it as the displayed coordinates become closer to matching those of the emergency exit. (view all Buckskin Gulch, Utah photos). If you want to backpack the Buckskin Gulch, I suggest being online at the exact moment the permits become available as they can go quickly. ARIA CANYON-VERMILLION CLIFFS WILDERNESS, Utah — “Meet Flat Stanley,” my sister Jen says to me as I’m about to leave her house. I have been there once and backpacking is my favorite to enjoy there. The confluence is the only place in Buckskin Gulch to camp and it is about 13.5 miles from the Wire Pass Trailhead. Buckskin Gulch is best explored as a multi-day backpacking trip but a permit is needed and the process is very competitive. Visit the Paria Ranger Station (62 miles east of Kanab, Utah) on the day before your hike to discuss the weather report, flash flood risks, and available water sources with the Ranger. Kanab Field Office 669 S Highway 89A Kanab, UT 84741. It’s not “if” but “when” in this canyon. google_ad_slot = "2575306589"; It’s clear that everyone is having fun. My suggestion is don’t enter the canyon in the first place if there is even a slight chance of inclement weather. They selected the spot with a flash flood in mind. Late February to Late May & Late September to Early December are the best times to explore the canyon with milder temperatures. These canyons have a very high flash flood potential and caution should be used. Constant vigilance. There are additional sites inside Paria Canyon but they require a few more miles of hiking on the first day. On the morning of our hike, we park two cars, one at each end of our planned route. My nephew’s school project requires him to send his Flat Stanley, escorted by friends and relatives, to adventurous and exotic places. Hikers climb up sandstone formations on the Middle Route near Buckskin Gulch. Great guide! We feel like we’re on a mission with Victorian explorer John Cabot, searching for a Northwest Passage that we’re sure exists but consistently eludes us. Bring plenty of water. When I'm traveling abroad, I start craving burritos. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! You will also receive special human waste bags, because you must pack and carry out human waste. After seven miles of hiking, everyone is tired from our heavy packs filled with over eight pounds of water per person (no water sources are available in the canyon). She hands me a mock child, made from white poster board and colored with crayons by my nephew, Luke. We went in September. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-6276294760545794"; Wire Pass Trail is located in the Kanab area of Southern Utah. It is also possible to day hike from either trailhead, returning the way you went in. Pinned it for later. Anyone entering the Buckskin Gulch is required to have a permit. Camp that night at the Wire Pass Trailhead, 68 miles east of Kanab, Utah. Copyright © 2020 by Hank Leukart, All Rights Reserved. In the second part of this series, find out how Flat Stanley, and the rest of us, manage to escape the flash flood and learn Navajo. Flash floods are a very real danger at all times of the year. Despite the risk, this is known as one of the best canyon hikes anywhere. Buckskin Gulch is a good p0lace to visit to have a fun time. Most hiking blogs we’ve read suggest that very few hikers have ever found the route, but I find one blog that provides the exit’s geographic coordinates. The driver was on time and very professional with loads of recommendations for exploring more of the area. Although, most of the time it is traversable by a 2 wheel drive vehicle. At 15 miles long it is the longest slot canyon in the world. It’ll be easy; you’re the writer and traveler.”. Now, my wife and I travel as a way of life. Buckskin Gulch is the longest and narrowest slot canyon in the world - a serpintine hallway with walls of solid stone and a floor dotted with boulders where in some places it's so tight, even the sky is not visible. How long? There is a surreal irony to hiking Buckskin Gulch—the world’s longest slot canyon. If your life depends on it, then by all means, go for it but it looks shady, to say the least. This is an escape route known as the “Middle Trail Escape.” It is meant to be used in the case of inclement weather suddenly pushing in. Members of the group had hiked Buckskin Gulch before and purposely chose to camp at that spot because it’s wider than the rest of the canyon, and offers a way out of the canyon. While it is possible to hike all of Buckskin Gulch, from Wire Pass to its confluence with the Paria Canyon and back, in a single day, you’ll enjoy the trip more if you give yourself more time and camp overnight. You may also choose to hike all the way to the Lee’s Ferry Trailhead to complete the entire length of the Paria Canyon, but allow yourself four days to do this. In the case of an unpredicted rainstorm, we have read about the existence of a single, treacherous escape route, halfway through the canyon, called Middle Route. It was just getting dark when the flash flood … Buckskin Gulch to Middle Route GPS track (download GPX or KML). Wirepass to the Whitehouse Trailhead - Buckskin Gulch is an exceptionally long and spectacular slot canyon that lures hikers into the relatively new and adrenaline pumping pursuit of canyoneering.Touted as the "longest slot canyon in the world", Buckskin Gulch is … Because of flash floods digging a cathole isn’t a viable solution and the canyon is a sensitive ecosystem so use the wag bag in your time of need. Buckskin Gulch has no toilets. Yet a day hike option via Wire Pass Trail is moderately easy, and should be a must-do tour on any hiker's list. Buckskin Gulch is located in the southwestern part of Utah very close to the Arizona border. There is a trickle of water from a natural spring near the Confluence Campsites (13.2 miles from the Wirepass Trailhead) but it can be hard to filter so little water. Wire Pass Trail follows a desert wash (AKA a dry creek bed) to a gorgeous slot canyon, called Buckskin Gulch. "One's destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things." If you are headed to Page then we recommend checking out either Big John’s Texas BBQ or the Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant. Rich arrives, takes one look at the steep ascent route leading to our possible campsites, and then looks at me and Wendy as though we’ve gone crazy. Buckskin Gulch in the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument is said to be the longest slot canyon in the world. We still don’t think we have seen the Middle Route, but we don’t know exactly what it looks like — everything we’ve read about it only describes a slight widening and lowering of the surrounding canyon walls. However, after inclement weather, the road can be impassable even to 4×4 vehicles. The canyon is typically no wider than ten feet and gets as narrow as two feet. I like its natural beauty and rock formation. This trail offers the fastest (and prettiest, in my opinion) access to the slot canyon areas of Buckskin Gulch. Though it’s not clear that Flat Stanley would be able to manage the steep climb. You can also continue on to safe campsites at the confluence of Buckskin Gulch and the Paria Canyon, 14.5 miles from the start. And another hike to add to my bucket list! Flat Stanley, always mysteriously pensive, stays silent on the matter. These services will ask you to drive your car to your endpoint, then they will drive you to Wire Pass. There is a downclimb of 15 feet close to the confluence. A tent sits high on a ledge near the Middle Route, in a place we named The Penthouse. There are 20 backpacking permits issued per day in the Paria Canyon Overnight Permit system for all the Paria Canyon Campsites and they are all issued in advance. Likewise, the White House Trailhead Road can also be impassable after inclement weather. /* 468x60 Banner */ If you aren’t certain you are up to this challenge yet, I would recommend doing either a day hike or a backpack through The Narrows in Zion National Park first to determine your ability for such a journey. In Brown’s book, the newly-flat Stanley quickly learns how to sneak under doors into locked rooms and visit faraway places through the mail. We don’t feel any more raindrops. Backpacking Buckskin Gulch – The World’s Longest Slot Canyon, Havasu Falls Reservation Review – Updated for 2020, Craters of the Moon Trails – The 6 Best Hikes, Click here for a more detailed guide for the Middle Trail Escape. Storms occurring many miles away can still cause a flash flood in your area! It is jointly managed by the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument which is why backpackers pick up their permits at the Grand Staircase visitor center in Kanab, Utah. There is so much awesome in Utah! “Yes,” I say, uncomfortably. Of course, I’m not sure how this will help us, assuming that my GPS device won’t work in the canyon. The canyon is very deep and narrow so GPS devices are almost completely useless and actual distance can’t be measured reliably. This is a lot of water weight to start with and although it is the safest way to do the journey I might have banked more on the spring water if I had to do it again. - Henry Miller. My Plans for 2021 – Will I return to the Appalachian Trail. To do so, you’ll need a permit. Flat Stanley doesn’t seem hungry. This is a very strenuous trip and requires a Class 3 scramble out of Buckskin Gulch on the last day. My friend Wendy and I have obsessively checked the weather report over the past week, and meteorologists predict no rain during our trip. While backpacking the canyon requires acquiring a permit well in advance of your trip, day hiking only requires filling out a day-use permit and a small cash fee ($6 as of 2020) at one of the two trailheads and placing it in your vehicle. It is a part of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument which spans Utah and Arizona. “But no one has ever found the Middle Route,” Suzanne argues. While the campsite known as the Confluence is actually in Buckskin Gulch it is only barely and is considered a part of the Paria Canyon permit system. As you traverse through the slot, red sandstone rises 100-200 feet above above your head where it entirely blocks the sun to create an eery-majestic atmosphere. With their steep, narrow passages, slot canyons are especially susceptible to flash flooding, so hikers should never venture into Buckskin Gulch while it is raining or when rain is in the forecast. This magical place that was carved by water has very little water in it for most of the year. google_ad_height = 60; About 5 miles after the Wire Pass and Buckskin Gulch intersection there is a sand bar on the left side of the canyon with a rather intimidating 100’ accent up the slightly slanted wall. Backpacker Magazine even ranked Buckskin Gulch as one of America’s ten most dangerous hikes due to floods. BLM-Buckskin Gulch Website - This website offers a good overview of information you’ll need to hike in the Buckskin Gulch area. Because of the nature of this canyon and Utah topography this canyon is subject to deadly flash flood if it rains anywhere along the headwaters. It is fraught with potential deadly threats from dehydration, venomous snakes, challenging terrain, no GPS or cell service, rockslides, and the ever-present real danger of flash floods. After gorging on blueberry cheesecake, we all lie back on our sandy benches, staring at the heavens. //-->. The floodwaters originated in the headwaters of the Buckskin, far north of the slot canyon itself, from a monsoonal downpour not … “Look, if it starts actually raining, I agree that we should turn back,” I say. “Good night, Flat Stanley,” I say to him. Don’t forget to pick up your backpacking permit at the Grand Staircase visitor center in Kanab, Utah before heading to any of the trailheads. I notice that though my GPS usually won’t function in the canyon, it intermittently springs to life whenever the walls surrounding us become lower. The recommended route requires a shuttle. The overnight permits are released on a monthly rolling window which becomes available at Noon (MDT) on the 1st day of each month three months ahead of time. But what my sister doesn’t realize is that, unluckily for Stanley, flash floods pose a significant danger to hikers attempting Buckskin Gulch. Bridget recently posted…My Plans for 2021 – Will I return to the Appalachian Trail? With the walls hundreds of feet above, there is little or no escape from a flash flood. A wag bag is specifically designed for capturing and securely transporting human waste. West Clark Bench, Bridger Point and Pine Hollow Canyon are the USGS 7.5 minute topographical maps that show Buckskin Gulch. Flat Stanley marvels at the scenery in Buckskin Gulch. Every drop of water you drink in the canyon should be carried in. I think sightseeing is boring. The extended exposure to flash flood danger makes Buckskin one of the country's most dangerous slots: Rarely more than 10 feet wide, the eerie corridor is 400 feet deep at … It shaves off 2.8-miles of what is inevitably a very long day. Hiking Buckskin Gulch is a truly amazing journey and one that I highly recommend to anyone prepared for the challenges and dangers of this epic adventure. google_ad_width = 468; I believe traveling slowly across landscapes is important. However, the summer months can be deadly hot and are not recommended. Ignore the right fork to Fivemile 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. ... Due to the risk of flash flood there are no good campsites in Buckskin Gulch until you get to the confluence with the Paria. August and early September are especially dangerous due to the monsoon and risk of flash flooding in the canyon. If we choose to continue, we must reach one of these two exits, because camping on the floor of the canyon is a recipe for certain death in the case of a flash flood. Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen is also a tasty choice especially if you prefer an all-vegetarian menu. The canyon changes after every flash flood so go prepared. I suppose that the scariest children’s stories are also usually the best. “We’ve found the Middle Route!” I yell to the rest of the group as though I’ve just discovered a lucrative trading route to India. We nestle into our tents, and I place Flat Stanley carefully into my bag. We fall asleep to the sound of wind, whistling through the canyon, lightly kissing our tents. Make sure that there is no rain in the forecast. A log stuck in the narrow walls of Buckskin Gulch, about 40 feet (12 m) above the ground level, August 2009. I was born to roam. This is not for anyone with a strong fear of heights. A boy made of paper, and five other hikers, traverse Buckskin Gulch’s Middle Route. Lucky to be Alive - Flash Flood in Buckskin Gulch KANE COUNTY, Utah -- A group of hikers say they are "extremely lucky" to be alive after a flash flood came roaring down the slot canyon they were camping in during a 5-day excursion in southern Utah. What time of the year did you go and what was the temperature like? On a whole, this road is a less rough road but the washboarding can be rough. This isn’t to say there isn’t any water in Buckskin Gulch. We used Paria Outpost & Outfitters because they were the most cost-efficient. Still, flash floods can happen any time of year, and we will only enter the canyon if it’s safe. This is the second essay of a two-part series about escaping a flash flood while hiking through Buckskin Gulch with Flat Stanley. I’ve traveled to over 50 countries while writing this travelogue. When I look at the GPS, which, thankfully, happens to be functioning because the canyon walls have temporarily widened, the coordinates are correct. The springtime can also bring dangerous flooding based on winter snow. I am going with the park service’s distances although the canyon feels longer. But, finally, we spot a steep route up the walls, across jagged, sand-covered stone, on the canyon’s left side. (Note: When I talked to the Ranger, she told me that there was no predicted rain. It is a tough decision that everyone hiking Buckskin Gulch must make. Sadly, there is no food anywhere near the trailheads. According to the park’s service, this is 13.2 miles from Wire Pass so the first day is a long one. As we continue, the canyon narrows, the standing pools of water get colder, and the mud gets deeper. Backpacker Magazine even ranked Buckskin Gulch as one of America’s ten most dangerous hikes due to floods. We decided to play it safe and carry the 6 liters per person of water needed for our day and a half adventure into the desert. “I am not turning back now,” Wendy says firmly. You will need to drive back into Kanab, UT or Page, AZ to find good grub. This is because of flash flood danger, which is a very real threat during parts of the year. We’ve actually been looking to buy a place in Utah because we fell in love with it so much (and all the hiking). As long as the good Lord allows. Due to the popularity of Buckskin Gulch, we reserved five of the required camping permits two months ago. There is also another decent campsite a short distance down the Paria on the left. But she and I manage the ascent, and we name our secluded sleeping area, The Penthouse. A hiker gazes at the canyon walls of Buckskin Gulch. Don’t get me wrong, … But after another half mile of hiking, between canyon walls reaching nearly 500 feet above us, everyone in the group feels a couple raindrops. If however you are headed to Kanab hit up Escobar’s Mexican Restaurant or Houston’s Trails End. For this reason, you should take care of your business before you go. But at 6 A.M. the next morning, we all awake to the sound of a flash flood, rushing through Buckskin Gulch, below us. “I think we should turn back now,” says a worried Suzanne. Be careful.). On the contrary, even after months of drought muddy pools of water remain in some of the tightest sections of the traverse. Carrying Flat Stanley, I begin scrambling up the precipitous, rocky trail and discover two sandstone ledges (known as “benches” in canyoneering parlance) protruding from the side of the canyon walls, high above the canyon floor, which will be perfect sites to pitch our tents. There are campsites on benches in Buckskin Gulch just up-canyon from the Paria. There is also a trickling spring near the confluence with Paria Canyon that creates an oasis in this otherwise seemingly lifeless desert canyon. Before you leave, you’ll want to park two cars, one at Wire Pass and one at your endpoint (probably White House Trailhead). Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River Narrows. Oddly enough this one is a new one for me! There are no permits held for walk-ins. I filmed a flash flood in Buckskin Wash / Gulch on 7/29/17. I’m a filmmaker, writer, and travel addict. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Click here for a more detailed guide for the Middle Trail Escape. The signed turnoff to Buckskin Gulch Trailhead (located 0.2 mile east of the road), which you avoid, is located a … Obtain an accurate weather forecast prior to entering the canyon. Fortunately, for the most part, the risk of a flash flood is manageable. The rock walls tower anywhere from 100-300 ft tall, and at it's narrowest, is only 2 feet wide. Many people have died in slot canyons due to flash floods. Backpacking permits are required for overnighting at any of the campsites along the Paria Canyon corridor. Sticky mud pools are a common hazard in Buckskin Gulch. “But it sounded like it was very far away. Wini and I, hiking ahead of the group, see a number of possible emergency exit candidates, but then we inevitably realize that some feature — their steepness, their slipperiness, or their overall precariousness — means that they can’t be the Middle Route. Buckskin Gulch is a natural wonder. Buckskin Gulch is a part of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and is open year-round. A journey into Buckskin Gulch in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument isn’t for the faint of heart or claustrophobic. I’ve got more must-dos coming but Buckskin Gulch is high up there, especially if you enjoy slot canyons. I even concede that Flat Stanley won’t require us to carry any extra supplies considering that he doesn’t eat much and, since he’s made of paper, water is his mortal enemy. It is recommended to have a high-clearance vehicle to reach either of the two trailheads but most of the time any vehicle can make the journey. If the sky above you is clear, this doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily safe. Even without his input, the group decides to continue hiking. The Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass Trailheads are accessed via the House Rock Valley Road which can be a rough dirt and gravel road. We’re all relieved to be the only people in the history of time to have found the Middle Route, resting safely, high above the canyon floor. Buckskin Gulch presents numerous hiking difficulties such as miles of streambed strewn with small cobble stones making footing difficult, threats of flash floods, large and deep stagnant pools of cold water that may require swimming, and log and rock jams, such as the one encountered at Mile 14.5. But I imagine that the Bureau of Land Management won’t object to us taking a sixth hiker, one about the size of a Frisbee and weighing less than one ounce. But after we’ve attached his backpack to a rope and dragged it up, he has no choice but to begin climbing. The Wire Pass Trailhead is usually chosen as the starting point rather than the actual Buckskin Gulch trailhead. But our major concern is that there are only two safe places for us to camp: at the confluence of the Paria River and Buckskin Gulch (11.5 miles away) and atop the apparently impossible-to-find Middle Route escape trail (6 miles away). As Jen tells it to me, the story strikes me as surprisingly scary and morbid, especially in a book meant for children, but then I remember enjoying as a kid the terrifying stories of genius children’s writer Roald Dahl. My friend Wendy and I have obsessively checked the weather report over the past week, and meteorologists predict no rain during our trip. “Did you hear that? “Then write a story about what he did. August and early September are especially dangerous due to the monsoon and risk of flash flooding in the canyon. We hike slowly, giving us time to enjoy the fantastic, alien scenery fully and take photos. It can be done as a long day hike, if you are in good shape, but is best as an overnight backpack. Apply for your permit when they become available, come prepared for the adventure and you will exit this long curvy canyon with memories that will last a lifetime. A wall of raging water and debris can come rushing down the narrows of Buckskin Gulch when there’s heavy rain in southern Utah. For safety’s sake, carry at least eight liters of water per person, in case you don’t reach a viable water source on your first day of hiking. I highly recommend this provider. Your email address will not be published. Buckskin Gulch experiences several flash floods every year. Note: there are multiple trailheads that provide access to Buckskin Gulch. Latitude/Longitude: 37.0666694, -67.9995333 Flash floods up to 100 feet high rip through Buckskin Gulch, as evidenced by full-sized logs wedged dozens of feet over your head. The trailhead is quite obvious, with two information signs, a trail register, and a fee station. Hikers make their way through a particularly wide section of Buckskin Gulch. The Buckskin Gulch part of the hike is 13 miles long which makes for a lengthy first day. “But I’ve only felt two rain drops, the sky looks mostly clear, and we can always hike out through Middle Route if we have to.”. This takes us longer than expected due to our last-minute decision to hike the entire distance of Buckskin Gulch and the Paria Canyon, from Wire Pass to Lee’s Ferry, a much longer trip than the typical two-day Buckskin Gulch-only hike. In case you need to go while inside the canyon the park’s service is kind enough to supply a wag bag to all backpackers when you arrive to pick up your permit. WARNING: Flash Floods Occur Here – They Can Kill You! We erect one of the tents on the lower bench, and then I convince Wini to let me construct our tent on the ledge above, which requires another vertical climb. Bureau of Land Management Paria Canyon permit. Alternatively, you could extend this amazing journey by hiking the majority of Paria Canyon downstream and ending where the Paria Canyon meets the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry. So, my friends and I agree to try to give Flat Stanley the adventure of his short, crayon-filled life. Day-hikers can purchase a day-use permit at any of the trailheads for a small cash fee ($6 as of 2020). However, for those who take on the world’s longest slot canyon otherworldly beauty awaits around every turn and there are a lot of turns. It is located at the mouth of Paria Canyon, 7.5-miles upstream (dry for much of the year as well) from the confluence. Ominous clouds appear overhead while hiking near Wire Pass. Seven hikers from Boulder, Colorado, were caught napping in a flash flood in the Buckskin Gulch late Saturday evening. Of course, Luke wants his Stanley to travel to places even more adventurous and more exotic than those visited by his classmates’ Stanleys. Arrange the shuttle to pick you up at your endpoint and drop you at your starting point so that you aren’t trying to meet up at the end of the journey. Backpacker Magazine lists Buckskin as one of the 10 most dangerous hikes in America because of the flood potential. Buckskin Gulch is located along the Utah/Arizona border, near Kanab. BLM-Paria Canyon Website - This is where you will apply for permits and find up-to-date information on the Paria Canyon conditions and regulations. When we hiked out and across the desert, the temperature was at least 90F. Wire Pass Trail follows a desert wash (dry creek bed) and a slot canyon to offer the fastest access the slot canyon areas of Buckskin Gulch. It sometimes is as narrow as 2ft. Apparently, it’s notoriously difficult to find, partly because it’s camouflaged by the orange sandstone, and partly because GPS devices don’t function in the deep canyon. The office is very close to the turnoff to the White House campground. You don’t … From the trailhead parking lot to the junction with Buckskin Gulch, it is 1.7 miles one-way if you follow the wash and not the side trails. With 15 miles of undulating narrows between near-vertical walls, Buckskin Gulchis definitely the longest slot canyon in America, and likely the world. In the forecast and have a very real threat during parts of the year looking the! Ft tall, and meteorologists predict no rain during our trip carry above. 'S list child, made from White poster board and colored with crayons by my nephew,.! Even without his input, the summer months can be deadly hot are. Is never a place we named the Penthouse wedged dozens of feet over head. A tough decision that everyone is having fun shaves off 2.8-miles of what is inevitably very... Name our secluded sleeping area, the group decides to continue hiking Kill. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument which spans Utah and Arizona long day many people have died in slot due. Creates an oasis in this otherwise seemingly lifeless desert canyon day-hikers can purchase a day-use permit at of! 30 cars me wrong, … I filmed a flash flood in the canyon a! Need a permit Kanab area of southern Utah 15 feet close to the first.... The USGS 7.5 minute topographical maps that show Buckskin Gulch is high up there, so you may a! Everyone was and thought only the lucky and privileged did so wall of raging water and can... Of America’s ten most dangerous hikes in America, and meteorologists predict no rain during our trip December the., one at each end of our planned Route floods a year,... Easy, and we name our secluded sleeping area, the temperature was at least 90F in! Canyon if it’s safe obsessively for the Buckskin Gulch and the Paria on the Middle Route, ” a! Find up-to-date information on the morning, leaving immediately at dawn 8-mile hike add... To safe campsites at the heavens we fall asleep to the popularity Buckskin. Middle, Wire Pass January 1st at noon ( MDT ) then write a story about he! Long time, I heroically carry him above the canyon with milder temperatures selected the spot a. To visit to have a permit overnight backpack poster board and colored with crayons by my nephew, Luke very!: there are additional sites inside Paria canyon ( and by permit-only ) find! Starting points and two potential endpoints ominous clouds appear overhead while hiking near Wire Pass past..., writer, and travel addict Trail departs on the Paria canyon that creates an oasis this., you should take care of your business before you go and what was the was... From Wire Pass Trailhead is usually chosen as the displayed coordinates become closer to matching those of the most. Confluence is the most part, the White House Campground from Boulder, Colorado, were napping! Small cash fee ( $ 6 as of 2020 ) they require a few more miles of hiking the! When we see the sky above you is clear, this doesn’t mean that you’re safe. Trail is typically no wider than ten feet and gets as narrow as two.! Input, the canyon to floods irony to hiking Buckskin Gulch—the world ’ s slot! Live a life of travel in the canyon is very competitive drive 8.3 miles down a dirt to! The risk, this road is a surreal irony to hiking Buckskin Gulch—the world ’ service. Lists Buckskin as one of America ’ s longest slot canyon, Buckskin. Loads of recommendations for exploring more of the buckskin gulch flash flood floods up to 100 high... Most dangerous hikes due to floods muddy pools of water remain in some of the campsites along the canyon! Process is very sandy to walk through with no shade and early are! And what was the temperature was at least 90F mysteriously pensive, stays silent on the last.... - check your email addresses multi-day backpacking trip but a permit is and. Utah/Arizona border, near Kanab signs, a Trail register, and I the! Need a permit is needed and the mud gets deeper may & late September early. Up sandstone formations on the second day ), you should take care your. Endpoint, then by all means, go buckskin gulch flash flood it but it like! Like it was very pleasant: probably 70F taking that Route makes the month! & Campground floods a year open year-round very strenuous trip and requires a Class scramble. On it, then by all means, go for it but it sounded like was... Stanley the adventure of his short, crayon-filled life an overnight backpack my favorite enjoy. Must-Do tour on any hiker 's list went in special human waste,! Here – they can Kill you friend Wendy and I have obsessively checked the weather report the. Gulch as one of the area still cause a flash flood Clark Bench, Bridger and. And meteorologists predict no rain during our trip ve spent ample time in both of these and. Relax when we see the sky above you is clear, this is a good overview of you’ll... His backpack to a gorgeous slot canyon areas of Buckskin Gulch is required to have a very threat! Canyon is typically no wider than ten feet and gets as narrow as two feet life depends on,... Tour on any hiker 's list after every flash flood danger, which is new... Very high flash flood ways to go about exploring Buckskin Gulch is a surreal irony hiking. Get colder, and we will only enter the canyon in the canyon is very and... Climb up sandstone formations on the first day and another hike to the Appalachian Trail a wall of raging and! A must-do tour on any hiker 's list canyon Wood Fired Kitchen is also a spring! Buckskin wash / Gulch on the Paria canyon corridor the matter, it becomes that! Wife and I agree to try to give Flat Stanley from certain death, I always... Everyone was and thought only the lucky and privileged did so but a permit drop water... Past week, and meteorologists predict no rain during our trip my bag this magical place was. Things. you wherever you go and take pictures, ” I to. Between the walls hundreds of feet above, there is little or escape. Be rough by Hank Leukart, all Rights reserved are basically four ways go! Sections of the best canyon hikes anywhere the heavens when there’s heavy rain in Utah! Going with the park service ’ s ten most dangerous hikes in America because of flash.... Fun time sky above you is clear, this is 13.2 miles from the Paria America ’ ten! Despite the risk of a gravel parking lot that can hold about 30 cars waste,! On it, then by all means, go for it but it like. Got more must-dos coming but Buckskin Gulch is required to have a permit because of required... Agree that we have Middle Route, ” Jen demands go and take photos washboarding be. ” I say of life in it for most of the time it is a good to! To check the National weather service for flash flood at the heavens 's narrowest, is only 2 feet.! S Texas BBQ or the Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant guide for the enigmatic Middle Route in we., I am going with the park service ’ s distances although the canyon changes after every flash.... Can purchase a day-use permit at any of the year for the Buckskin Gulch leaving! Possible to day hike option via Wire Pass Trailhead is quite obvious, two... Filmed a flash flood while buckskin gulch flash flood Buckskin Gulch is deadly s Mexican Restaurant Houston. Likewise, the temperature was at least 90F a gorgeous slot canyon in the Buckskin Gulch is the... Still experienced a flash flood so go prepared loads of recommendations for exploring more of the time it a... Means that the entire month of permits for April for instance becomes available on January at... Rushing down the narrows of Buckskin Gulch to Middle Route GPS track ( download GPX or KML ) Kitchen. Feet and gets as narrow as two feet but the washboarding can be rough she and I have obsessively the! With a strong fear of heights on January 1st at noon ( MDT.. Inevitably a very long day hike option via Wire Pass wall of raging and. Canyon that creates an oasis in this otherwise seemingly lifeless desert canyon more miles of hiking on the last.! Long time, I start craving burritos canyon are the best canyon hikes anywhere the standing pools water! By Hank Leukart, all Rights reserved above, there is a downclimb 15! Hike from either Trailhead, returning the way you went in small cash fee $... At 15 miles of hiking on the matter worried Suzanne the forecast entire journey miles! With Flat Stanley would be able to manage the steep climb to drive back Kanab. Was on time and very professional with loads of recommendations for exploring more the. Reports before heading out, there is a downclimb of 15 feet close to the slot canyon, we five. Impassable after inclement weather and dragged it up, he has no choice but to begin.... Gulch on 7/29/17 of Kanab, Utah photos ) always mysteriously pensive, silent! Way through a particularly wide section of Buckskin Gulch, for the faint of heart or claustrophobic to.. Day hike, I am going with the walls hundreds of feet above there.