Slot Canyon Hikes
Visiting Bryce Canyon presents outdoor lovers with nearly limitless opportunities to explore unique parts of nature. The most popular thing about Bryce Canyon is the landscape itself. Between the canyons and the hoodoos, the geological wonders of the area of Bryce Canyon are some of the most impressive in the entire world.
While many people come to Bryce Canyon to hike along the trails and see the hoodoos, there are some other formations that deserve to be hiked, as well. These areas are called slot canyons. Though slot canyons can be found around the world, Bryce Canyon and the southwestern part of the United States have a very high concentration of these natural masterpieces.
A slot canyon is formed by a small flowing stream. The impressive fact that they are created by such a small body of water is the reason they are so narrow. This narrowness is one of the main things that makes slot canyons so exciting to hike. Hikers will have to squeeze, shimmy, and slide through tight spaces, using every part of their body to complete the hike. For those who are ready to take hiking to the next level, slot canyons are the perfect way to start.
Those looking for slot canyons can’t do much better than the Bryce Canyon area. Bryce is home to many slot canyons, all with their own unique features. Some are wide enough to comfortably walk through, some require some serious effort, and others are too narrow to even attempt to traverse. The following list includes some of the most popular slot canyons to explore while in the Bryce Canyon area. This vast array of choices gives hikers a great chance to pick the slot canyon they are comfortable with and literally immerse themselves into the landscape.
This is one of the wider slot canyons that can be found in Bryce Canyon. It provides incredible views on the way out and in, so the canyon itself isn’t the only impressive portion of the hike. This slot canyon is suitable for beginner hikers and can be hiked through most of the year. Wall Street isn’t usually crowded, especially during non-peak times of the year. Surrounded by two massive and beautiful rock walls, hikers will forget all their worries and enjoy the fact that they are able to get so close to nature’s beauty.
This impressive slot canyon can be found in the Grand Staircase-Escalante, not far from Bryce Canyon. At eleven and a half miles round trip, this hike is a long and strenuous one. In addition to being a long hike, there are many technical challenges along the way, as well. Throughout the slot canyon, hikers will encounter climbs, very tight spaces, and high drops. The strenuous and technical nature of this slot canyon means beginning hikers shouldn’t attempt this hike. The reward for this strenuous trip is a variety of amazing sites to see. Hikers will see Steven’s Arch, Jacob Hamblin Arch, the Coyote Natural Bridge, Anasazi pictographs, waterfalls, and the famous Crack-in-the-Rock. For experienced hikers, this is one of the most impressive slot canyons to hike in the area.
Zebra Slot Canyon
This slot canyon is one of the best slot canyons to explore and photograph. The beautifully striped walls of the canyon, which is where it earns the name Zebra, provide an otherworldly experience. The hike to the slot canyon is a bit lengthy and will take most hikers a few hours to reach. This long hike is worth it to see such an amazing slot canyon. This hike will take the entire day, so it’s a good idea to plan the hike carefully to avoid being out after dark and to also avoid the very hot sun. Planning the trip so that the bulk of the midday sun is spent inside the cool, shady canyon will provide the best experience. The first portion of the canyon usually has quite a bit of water, so water shoes and quick drying clothes are important to bring along. This canyon is very narrow and requires some side shuffling in many areas. The canyon is an out and back hike, which means hikers will see all of these amazing sights of the canyon twice. For a fun and relatively leisurely slot canyon experience, Zebra Slot Canyon is the place to go.
Tunnel Slot Canyon
This portion of slot canyon is usually hiked in conjunction with Zebra Slot Canyon. It is full of exciting twists and turns that leave hikers wondering what they will see around each corner. The Tunnel Slot Canyon is just a short walk from Zebra Slot Canyon and it is also suitable for the whole family. This slot canyon is a great way to extend the adventure while in the area.
Another slot canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante, Peek-A-Boo Gulch is a non-technical, slightly strenuous hike. This slot canyon begins with a moderately strenuous climb to get into the slot canyon. This climb is over twenty feet up, but the various foot holds and rock folds make it doable for athletic individuals. If the climb proves too tough, hikers can start at the other end of the slot canyon so that they only have to descend the wall. Once inside the canyon, the arches above cast shadows throughout the canyon that gives this hike a unique feel. There are some very narrow sections of this hike, some as small as a foot wide, so larger people and those who are claustrophobic should choose a different slot canyon. This hike is fun for the entire family and is one of the more popular slot canyons to hike in the area.
This slot canyon is as narrow as Peek-A-Boo Gulch in some places, with less than twelve inches of space between the two canyon walls. This slot canyon goes very deep into the ground, which makes it dark, damp, and very spooky. Finding the right path can be difficult at times, so bringing a map along for this hike is a good idea. There are various areas that will require hikers to chimney and scramble to make it through the slot canyon. Though these are slightly technical skills, the whole family should be able to make it through the hike without any issues. One of the best things about Spooky Gulch is that it doesn’t require a long hike to get to the canyon. Hikers can drive right to the parking lot and start their exciting canyon adventure.
Whether combining Brimstone Gulch with Peek-A-Boo Gulch and Spooky Gulch or hiking it on its own, this slot canyon provides an unforgettable experience. The towering walls block the sunlight making this hike dark and cool, no matter what time of year it is hiked. Most of the slot canyon is approximately three feet wide, with some narrower spots along the way. This hike is great for hikers of all experience levels and ages, so everyone can enjoy the amazing sites along the way.
Shuffle Through the Bryce Slot Canyons
Going back in time with a trip through these incredible slot canyons will be one of the most amazing experiences of the entire Bryce Canyon visit. These canyons offer a chance for hikers to explore new areas, marvel at geological wonders that are millions of years old, and expand their hiking list. Whether hikers choose to get into every slot canyon available or just want to dip their toes in, exploring one or two of the popular slot canyons, it will be an unforgettable experience.
There is one important piece of information that all hikers should know before heading into the slot canyons in Bryce Canyon and any area. While flash flooding is dangerous in all canyons, slot canyons are especially dangerous and susceptible to flash floods. Their narrow build and high walls mean that flash flooding happens incredibly fast and hikers will have no way out as the water rapidly rises. Even if skies are sunny and blue, hikers should always be on the lookout for flash flooding signs and check local weather reports before heading into the slot canyons. By minding this important piece of advice, hikers will have a safe and fun trip into these amazing geological wonders