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Buckskin Gulch

Buckskin Gulch is renowned as one of the longest slot canyon hikes in Utah.

Hiking Severe

34 km
1.3 km
1.4 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.5 km
Buckskin Gulch Map

Buckskin Gulch is renowned as "one of the longest and deepest slot canyons in the Southwest, with its iconic and dramatic Navajo sandstone striations and towering walls," according to VisitUtah.com. There are several different ways that you can access the canyons. You could choose to drop into Buckskin Gulch from the Buckskin Gulch trailhead, the Wire Pass trailhead, or the Middle Route trailhead.


The route shown here is the big MacDaddy, the entire 21-mile epic beginning from the Wire Pass Trailhead and exiting at the White House Campground via the Paria River Trail. If you choose to take on this extremely remote 21-mile expedition, you'll need to come prepared with everything that you need to survive for—quite likely—several days. While it's possible that an ultrarunner could traverse this entire slot canyon series in one day, the wisest course of action is to break this route into a multi-day trip. Exactly how many days you'll require is up to you. Some sources recommend four days, but some hikers will easily be able to accomplish this route in two. Perhaps three is the magic number?

Once you're into the Gulch, you're pretty committed to the adventure. Before you drop in, be sure to check the weather to see if there's any indication that there might be any rain in the area. One of the most severe dangers in a slot canyon is the very real possibility of flash floods, with no way to escape. VisitUtah.com recommends that you "always check the weather before visiting any slot canyon. Even light, distant rainfall can render slot canyons extremely dangerous" due to flash floods. Always treat this wilderness landscape with the utmost respect.

Along your epic hike through Buckskin Gulch, you'll enjoy towering sandstone walls soaring up to 200 feet above your head! At times, the bottom of the Gulch is wide and spacious, and at others, it's narrow enough that you can touch both walls at the same time.

In addition to the length and the isolation, you'll have to overcome numerous other obstacles. You'll spend most of your time hiking through loose sand and loose rocks, but you'll also have to down climb a 10-foot knotted rope. Depending on the time of year, you might also need to wade through standing water, mud, or quicksand. These water pools can be very cold at certain times of the year, especially since very little sunlight can filter down to the canyon floor. Therefore, this hike isn't recommended during the dead of winter.

If you can brave Buckskin Gulch's challenges, you'll come out the other side with an incredible story to tell of a life-changing adventure!

Sources: https://www.visitutah.com/articles/non-technical-slot-canyons-roundup https://www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/slot-canyons/buckskin-gulch



Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

in March, April, May, June, September, October and November


  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area