Buckskin Gulch: A Hidden Must See

Updated: Jul 24



Prior to my trip to Utah, I had never even heard of Buckskin Gulch, but boy am I glad I stumbled across it! We had originally planned to go to Antelope Canyon in AZ for the day, but unfortunately our tour was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Since we had to re-plan our day pretty last minute, we tried to find somewhere close to where we were staying in Kanab. Before the trip, I had come across Vermillion Cliffs which was huge, so I kept that in the back of my head as sort of a back up. Upon further research, we stumbled across a place called Buckskin Gulch, located within Vermillion Cliffs, very close to where we were staying in Kanab, UT and we decided to give it a try. While the full hike through Buckskin Gulch takes about 12-13 hours, we only did a small part of it and decided to really spend some time in the massive slot canyons.



When hiking Buckskin Gulch, we personally decided to hike the Wire Pass Trail which led us right into some of the canyons. This is a 3.7-mile trail out and back moderate trail, however, I highly suggest if you are going to do this hike to not choose a day where it is almost 100 degrees outside like we did! The trail starts off as a sandy dirt trail for a majority of the path, and then eventually leads you into some of the smaller slot canyons as pictured below. All of the safety precautions and the $6 entrance donation are listed on a sign at the trail head.



We heard about a little rope ladder that led you down into the actual canyons, so we set out to find that. Upon finding it, we discovered that it was broken, and although my cousins braved it, I decided to find the alternate route down, which consisted of back tracking out of the beginning of the canyon a little bit, and following the trail up the rocks, and then back down on the other side. (When following the Wirepass Trail, this trail to the alternate entrance will be on your right a few hundred feet before the entrance to the canyons) It's hard to fully explain how to get to this alternate entrance, however, typically there are other people around who can guide you to where it is! This entrance was pretty steep, and appropriate shoes are definitely necessary for descending down the giant rock! Once we finally got down into the actual canyon, the views were absolutely stunning. I had never gotten the chance to experience slot canyons before, and these were a good substitute for Antelope Canyon in my opinion. Instead of trying to describe what the canyon was like inside, I'll just show you with some pictures I took :)





We hung out in the canyon for a little bit, and ventured a little further down in the canyons- however, it was extremely wet and muddy, and we didn't want to risk getting stuck, so eventually we turned around and headed back to the entrance. A word of advice if you come to Buckskin Gulch- do not risk coming here if there is rain in the forecast! The canyons flood very easily, and you do not want to get stuck in the canyon when it is flooding! Overall, I am so glad we ended up finding Buckskin Gulch, and I would definitely like to try and get back at some point, and maybe even try and hike the entire thing. Personally, when we went it wasn't super busy either, which I enjoyed, because it allowed us to actually stop, take pictures, and truly enjoy the scenery without being rushed. Thanks for reading, and remember, there's always more to be explored!

-nicole elizabeth

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