Are you looking for the coolest slot canyons in Utah? You’ve come to the right place!
Utah is known for its picturesque hikes, and beautiful mountain views. After strapping on your hiking boots, it’s time to plan where your adventure will lead.
One of the must-sees while visiting Utah is the canyons. With your camera in tow, it is any adventurer’s dream backdrop. This guide will help you discover the coolest slot canyons in Utah for your next trip!
The slot canyons provide visitors with an experience they truly can’t find anywhere else. From tunnels of water you can wade through, to dog friendly hikes, the slot canyons provide a perfect day trip for anyone that loves to take a walk and experience the great outdoors.
If you’re looking for a place to explore that is unlike anywhere else, the slot canyons in Utah are the perfect place to start.
9 Coolest Slot Canyons In Utah
Peek-a-boo and Spooky Gulches
If the name wasn’t enough to convince you, this is one of the ideal slot canyons in Utah to begin your road trip!
Like many slot canyons in Utah, this slot canyon is located in the beautiful Grand Staircase-Escalante. Grab your boots, and don’t forget your camera!
As “spooky” as the name sounds, this slot canyon has no reason to scare you away. It can be a little unnerving walking into a new canyon without any knowledge, or previous hiking experience. That’s okay!
Peek-a-boo and Spooky Gulches are known for being easy for beginners. There is no experience necessary to have the best time on this Utah slot canyon!
This canyon is especially perfect if you’re on a tight schedule to fit in all that Utah has to offer. The total experience takes about 3 to 4 hours, and is around 3.5 miles for a round trip.
Not sure when you’re coming to Utah, but want to visit Peek-a-boo and Spooky Gulches? No problem! This is one of the best slot canyons in Utah to visit any time of year. If you plan on visiting in the summer, make sure to bring extra water bottles!
Tunnel Slot is one of the coolest slot canyons in Utah because it is a long narrow tunnel and is easily accessible for families!
This 200 foot long tunnel is part of Zebra Canyon, and is typically full of water. Generally, this Utah slot canyon is visited by people after they have experienced and made their way through Zebra Slot, though some people come here just for the water!
After hiking on a hot day under the sun, the first thing you’ll want to do is hop into some water! The water here ranges from ankle deep to chest deep, so make sure to prepare to get wet! The water level will depend on the amount of rainfall in the area.
Tunnel Slot is known for its narrowness, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying the stripped sandstone that lines the tunnel. The tight squeeze is worth the experience!
Tunnel Slot is an ideal place to wade through the water and cool off as you work your way through Zebra Canyon.
Zebra Slot is another one of the slot canyons in Utah located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and is usually tackled before Tunnel Slot.
This Utah canyon is just over 5 miles for a round trip, and takes about 4 hours to complete. This hike is another preferred experience for those visiting on a time crunch!
Zebra Slot is known for being a little tricky. Hikers tend to lose their way a little when the Zebra Slot trail and Harris Wash trail almost merge together. But fear not! With a little research beforehand, staying on the trail is easy!
Similar to Tunnel Slot, this Utah canyon can become extremely narrow, and also usually remains full of water. This water can be extremely cold at times, so it might be a good idea to pack an extra pair of socks!
Because of the narrowness in this Utah canyon, you might have to navigate while facing side ways in order to move your way though the tightest areas of Zebra Slot.
After working your way through the tight fit, the pink and white zebra stripped walls from which the canyon receives its name will finally be visible!
Buckskin Gulch is one of the longest and deepest slot canyons in Utah. It is worth every step you’ll take on this 20 mile trail!
A 20 mile hike might seem like too much to take on in one day. Don’t worry, there’s a fix for that! Overnight permits are available so that you can make the hike over the course of a couple of days. Or if you’re feeling like breaking in your boots, you can also take the hike in one day!
What makes Buckskin Gulch one of the coolest slot canyons in Utah are the 3 separate trails that make up the experience! These trails are Buckskin Gulch, Wire Pass, and Middle Route.
This slot canyon ranges from easy to moderate, so you can bring the family, but at some point around Middle Route, it might be a little rough for the littles ones.
If you are looking for a shorter route that the kids will enjoy as well, hikers recommend taking the Wire Pass trail and then turning around after that. While that experience might appear short in comparison, the experience and views will be nearly the same, with a less strenuous approach!
One cool feature of this slot canyon is the way the sunlight shines through the cracks in the narrowest parts of the canyon. The sun is known for twisting around corners and giving off the perfect lighting for the sandstone walls to illuminate throughout the canyon.
This canyon involves occasional rock jams, the chance to wade through water, and even quicksand! If you’re looking for an adventure, Buckskin Gulch should be one of the first Utah slot canyons on your list to see!
One of the most popular slot canyons in Utah is the Zion Narrows. This slot canyon is located in Zion National Park, and is about a 16 mile round trip experience.
Don’t shy away from the 16 mile trip! If you’re just looking to drop in and check out the Narrows, you can just go as far as into the Narrows as you’d like and turn around. You’ll still have the experience of a lifetime walking through the Virginia River!
This is one of the Utah slot canyons that requires you to get wet! The Narrows are covered by the Virginia River, so you will likely have to wade through the Narrows, or at the very least, walk through ankle deep water.
Because of the water, the best times of year to explore the Zion Narrows are late spring and summer. While this slot canyon is accessible year around, the water tends to be extremely cold during fall and winter.
The Zion Narrows are one of the more moderately rated slot canyons in Utah. This is because of the river covered bottom, and slick rocks. While this might be a moderate hike at times, the Zion Narrows are still family friendly and perfect for all ages to enjoy!
Willis Creek Canyon
Willis Creek Canyon is one of the shorter slot canyons in Utah. This canyon is just under a 5 mile round trip, and requires less than 3 hours of your itinerary!
This hike is leveled easy, so feel free to bring the whole family! Willis Creek Canyon is also dog friendly, so grab the leash!
This canyon is especially interesting as nature has formed beautiful waves in the exposed and eroding rock formations. These rocks contain waves that resemble a creek themselves!
Along with the wave resembling rocks, this slot canyon has walls that tower 25 feet and up to 100 feet above your head! One of the main attractions to this canyon is watching above you as the walls grow taller the further downstream you walk.
These walls will serve as the perfect backdrop for any photographer! While you have the whole family in one beautiful place, and have extra time on your hike, stop and take some family photos against the high walls of the canyon. Allow the beautiful waves in the rock behind to act as the perfect backdrop!
Unlike the other slot canyons in Utah that involve waist deep water, the water in this canyon is generally only filled with an inch or two of water. So feel free to leave the wetsuit at home!
Zero Gravity Slot Canyon
Zero Gravity Slot Canyon is one of the coolest slot canyons in Utah for many reasons. One being that the name is so enticing, it almost makes you want to visit just on curiosity alone.
Located in Emery County, Zero Gravity is actually named for the large drops that occur during its 2.8 mile hike. This hike typically takes 2-3 hours, so it won’t take up your entire day.
This is one of the slot canyons in Utah that may require some equipment and a little experience. Though not required, because of the large drop off points some hikers bring ropes in order to avoid making a jump off of the drop offs.
One of the major watch outs while visiting this slot canyon is the potholes. Potholes are known to appear suddenly, and hikers are known for either falling in and taking an unexpected dip in the water, or getting a little stuck!
Zero Gravity Slot is rated as an easy to moderate hike. Although this hike is shorter than others, this canyon requires hikers to go through a few obstacles along the way. These include swimming in standing water, areas where down climbing is necessary, and it can become very narrow in this slot canyon.
This hike is accessible year around, but is most enjoyable during spring, summer, and fall. During the summer, just be prepared for high temperatures!
Little Wild Horse
Little Wild Horse is one of the more moderate level slot canyons in Utah. This canyon is located near Goblin Valley, and averages at about an 8 mile round trip.
Despite the moderate rating, this slot canyon is still the perfect experience for kids! This hike is rated moderate due to the areas where there might be slight down climbing experience!
Little Wild Horse is the perfect place to pitch a tent and experience camping in the canyons. If you aren’t feeling like taking on the 8 miles in one go, stop half way and camp for the night!
One of the coolest parts about this Utah slot canyon is the high cliffs that are covered with a vibrant orange hue! These walls are tall enough to tower over you and create space for the perfect photo opportunity!
Like other Utah slot canyons, the walls of these cliffs can become very narrow. This narrowness sometimes causes hikers to turn their bodies sideways and slide their way through!
Those with a fear of tight spaces might find it a little difficult to make their way through the cracks, but it will be well worth the experience!
Ding and Dang Slot Canyons
As silly as the name may sound, this is one of the more difficult Utah slot canyons to hike. If you are looking for a challenge, or you are an experienced hiker looking for a new canyon to conquer, this could be your hidden treasure!
Ding and Dang Canyon is a 5 mile hike located in San Rafael Reef, and is typically taken by experienced hikers. While this slot canyon isn’t the longest hike we’ve mentioned, even the experienced hikers are known to recruit the use of a guide on their way through.
One way to tell when you have completed Ding and found your way to Dang is when you come across the Ding Dame Dome. This is a large tower of rocks that is popular among rock climbers in the area.
If you’re looking for the slot canyons in Utah that offer peace and quiet, this is your ideal place to visit. It is not one of the most popular hikes, and it is not usually congested with visitors as are some of the more popular Utah slot canyons.
Ding and Dang Canyon is open year around, but the best times of year to visit are fall and spring, before the brutal heat and the chilling cold make their way to Utah.
These are some of the coolest slot canyons in Utah. Whether you are looking for a fun family outing or an adventure on your own, any of these Utah slot canyons would provide you with an experience that you won’t forget!