Friday, June 19, 2015

Little Wild Horse Canyon (Best Slot Canyon EVER!)

The Beginning of Little Wild Horse Canyon

If there is a slot canyon, I want to hike it. It just so happens that I hiked the granddaddy of the Utah slots with my youngest this last May. Now, that is not a verified fact. I still have Zion's Subway and the Narrows to hike, and maybe they are the "best" in someone else's book, but this is, hands-down, our favorite narrows hike, so far!

This would be Bridger's and my first experience hiking together when I would be the leader, without my oldest son, so I did a little poking around on the internet to get the geographical information we would need. I was so glad I took pictures of the web pages on my cell phone for future reference; there was no cell service in Goblin Valley, and we had to rely on the stored information on my phone.

There is some very good info on about Little Wild Horse Canyon (click this interactive link to go to that site). We were a little confused about the reference of having to approach one dry fall because by our estimation, there was more than one obstacle that required some physical agility and strength, but if this out-of-shape, 54-year-old mom can do it, you probably can, too. 

If you like technical information (like GPS coordinates), check out We found the information here dove-tailed nicely with the site, and we were able to stay on course between the two.

Bridger and I got in a great eight mile hike on a gorgeous, sunny day with blue skies and a hot sun. We chose to start in Little Wild Horse Canyon and then finished in Bell Canyon. Since the majority of the first four miles is done inside the slot canyon known as Little Wild Horse Canyon, we stayed nice and cool. There were many young families with little ones in tow, and babies in backpacks. We assumed they went as far as their kids' abilities allowed, and then headed back down Little Wild Horse. Since we planned to spend a good part of our day hiking, we opted to do the 8 mile loop. 

The slot canyon known as Little Wild Horse wowed us soon as we approached the narrows. The walls were tall, and the openings were narrow, but not so as to initiate feelings of claustrophobia. It is one of the most popular slot canyon hikes in Utah, and with good reason. The scenery is breathtaking, and the narrows go for MILES. 

Looking toward Bell Canyon from the end of Little Wild Horse

After hiking out of Little Wild Horse, the trail crosses an open expanse for awhile until the narrows begin again in the beautiful, but less impressive, Bell Canyon. The afternoon sun was bearing down on us at that point, and we were grateful we'd brought snacks and plenty of water. The canyon walls didn't offer as much protection from the heat in Bell Canyon, but the scenery was nothing to complain about.
Bell Canyon was more open, and the walls not as tall.

Some of my favorite photographs from the day, in no particular order:

We were fascinated by the art made by Mother Nature.

My handsome hiking partner.

Little Wild Horse Canyon follows a dry creek bed. Be aware of the weather, though.
Flash floods make this a dangerous place to be.

The narrows got pretty narrow.

See the hiker in the crevice? The shade was so welcome on this warm May day.

Always a "127 Hours" reenactment moment with my boys.

Little Wild Horse narrows

We have to touch everything. It's a familial trait.

Indian Paintbrush. One of the few plants I know by name. 

Bell Canyon

San Rafael (Goblin Valley)

We couldn't have asked for a better day.

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