A Super Spectacular Place Right in My Backyard!
NOTE: HIKING SLOT CANYONS CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS- IF THERE IS ANY CHANCE OF RAIN WHERE YOU ARE GOING, DO NOT HIKE A SLOT CANYON!
Ever since visiting Antelope Canyon earlier this summer, I have been on this mission to hike the amazing slot canyons of the Southwest.. The most amazing ones are right here, in Las Vegas’ backyard.. Located less than 2 hours away in Southern Utah, slot canyons galore of all shapes, colors and sizes. This includes Buckskin Gulch which is listed in the top 10 most dangerous hikes in the country as well as being the longest slot canyon in the world at 13.1 miles long (with only one exit out at the 8 mile mark), as well as Blue John Canyon, the location of the major Award Winning movie and true story, 127 Hours. Those two hikes are sitting at the top of my bucket list as I speak..
There are over 1000 different slot canyons located in southern Utah and I’m on a mission to hike as many of them as I can. My meager list of ones I’ve already done includes the following:
Lower Antelope Canyon
and my favorite (thus far) and most adventurous one, Red Cave.
In my search for nearby locations to day hike, I came across info about Kanarraville falls. I have definitely fallen in love with this one as the trailhear is located less than 2 miles off of the I15 just 20 miles south of Cedar City. You pay $10 to park and you can do the entire 4 mile hike in 3 hours. Unless, you’re me, Mike Snedegar and Charity… We’re photo and social media junkies so we spent hours upon hours exploring the Slot and waterfalls in the area. After less that a mile hike in (you’re walking in the creek about 50% of the hike), you get to the 1st slot which is short but impressive and at the end of it are two waterfalls. You have to be somewhat agile to climb the log to get up the first waterfall that someone was courteous enough to install rungs on, before climbing up rocks past the 2nd. A short hike outside the slot and you come to the 3rd set of waterfalls which also has a natural waterslide that we saw tons of kids sliding down yesterday. It wasn’t long until we had gotten to the last waterfall which was a gateway to the second slot where the water was quite a bit deeper and a little more difficult to navigate. Both times I have been there I haven’t seen any of the families or kids hike this far. This is because the log to climb the waterfall is quite slippery and the leads there very precarious.. Don’t be discouraged though, I was still able to climb up it with all my camera equipment strapped to my back. We explored the final slot for the next hour or so before turning back. It probably took only an hour to get back to the car because we wre no longer stopping to take photos on the way back.
We didn’t pack a lunch in with us although we did bring bars, fruit, and tons of water. It’s such a short hike that you don’t need to although it’s so beautiful it’s definitely a great place for a picnic. In spite of it being a Sunday, we saw maybe a total of 50 people hiking throughout the day. It blows my mind to have a place such as this with so few people there… It’s definitely a go to of mine forever more!!
If you are interested in going here, from Vegas, you take i15 North to exit 42 to Kanarraville and take a right off the freeway. Take a left at the stop sign and travel a couple miles to Kanarraville where you turn right on a small street called 100 North and follow it until it dead ends in the parking lot for the falls. Don’t forget $10 cash for the parking area or you WILL BE TOWED!!! Please also make sure to be respectful and pack out everything you take in; the creek is the main source of water for the small town. Make sure you’re prepared with shoes you don’t mine getting wet- you may try to avoid the water for as long as you can but it eventually is inevitable! As a photographer, you may want to bring a tripod if you are interested in doing HDR’s because there is quite a variance in light through the slot.