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Little Wild Horse Canyon

One of the easiest and most popular canyons in the San Rafael Swell.

Hiking Severe

12 km
383 m
383 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.7 km
Little Wild Horse Canyon Map

At 8 miles round-trip, Little Wild Horse Canyon has all the makings of an epic slot canyon outing in the Utah desert. However, don't let the noted distance dissuade you if you're not feeling like an 8-mile hike. This is an out-and-back route, meaning that you can hike as far into Little Wild Horse as you feel comfortable and then simply turn around and walk back to your car. If you want to hike a quick mile or two, that's totally acceptable!


Little Wild Horse is also one of the least-technical slot canyons in the area. The first mile and half is largely bereft of obstacles. Later on, you'll have to negotiate a few drop-offs and rock shelves, which could include drops into pools of water, depending on the season.

"The main attraction is a long stretch of 'narrows,' where the canyon walls are so close you have to turn sideways to get through," writes Utah.com. "The rock walls are sculpted and very beautiful."

While you can definitely just hike Little Wild Horse canyon on its own, you can also choose to loop it with the nearby Bell Canyon. This will create a roughly 8-mile loop, and it could prove to be a more strenuous endeavor.

Before you hike into the canyon, 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.

Sources: https://www.visitutah.com/articles/non-technical-slot-canyons-roundup https://www.utah.com/destinations/regions/the-holey-land/little-wild-horse-canyon/



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.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

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


  • Picturesque

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area