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Chasing Waterfalls in Kanarraville, Utah

The story of my recent photographic adventure chasing waterfalls on the Kanarraville Falls Trail in Kanarraville, Utah.

By: Mayson + Save to a List

Recently for my day off, my Dad and I went chasing waterfalls. Early that Tuesday morning we grabbed our daypacks along with our camera gear and set out for Kanarraville, Utah to complete the popular Kanarraville Falls hike for the first time. Our goal was, of course, to complete the renowned hike, but also to capture some stunning pictures of the falls that serve as the focal point of the trail. 

The Kanarraville Falls Trail is fantastic and a must-do adventure. It is a classic southwestern Utah hiking trail. On both sides lie rising hills, covered in trees and colored in earth-toned variations of red and orange sand and rock found across this area in Utah. Along nearly the entire trail, Kanarra Creek can be heard and in most sections seen or walked through as you progress along the route. Some areas found along the gully's edges provide fun and adventurous scrambling and hiking to stay out of the creek. On the other hand, walking through the creek provides another enjoyable, refreshing and exciting way to experience the trail. 

When we reached the main mouth of the slot canyon, I was astonished at how beautiful it was and how strongly it reminded me of one of my favorite and most memorable adventures I have been on: hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park. Kanarra Creek Canyon is very much like a mini-Narrows as the canyon walls stretch several hundred feet high and the creek flows peacefully through it, carving the canyon out to this day. 

The canyon walls are covered in brilliant earthy tones of gray, orange, red and yellow. Depending on the time of day and the weather, the light plays on the canyon walls to make them start to glow as if they are producing the light themselves. In some areas it is as if the canyon's walls are on fire. The lighting contrast and intensity is so magical. Looking at the wall as this is unfolding before your eyes creates a strong ethereal sensation and is truly something to witness. I was so in awe of how magnificent it was to observe and take in that I could not turn away. I found myself snapping shot after shot.  

By far the most incredible part of the trail and canyon is of course its focal point, the two waterfalls that can be found within the canyon itself. While both falls are remarkable to take in, the first and more popular fall is hands down the most interesting. While not large, this section of the canyon and waterfall is truly gorgeous. The way the water flows effortlessly, pulled down by gravity, creating a section of turmoil in the creek is wonderful. And yet, it puts off a sense of peace and beauty that is a stark and yet amazing contradiction to the falls. Moreover, the way the log latter is placed within the fall to provide a way to scale it is so unique. It seems so natural at the same time, simply adding to the allure of the scene and landscape. 

I found myself wanting to stay here and photograph for hours so I could experience all the different ways the light played in the canyon. I knew that with the passing of every hour and every minute, the light was changing within the canyon and over time would create dramatic changes in the way the canyon looked given enough time. Watching and photographing this section of the trail and its features reminded me of why I photograph. It is to capture truly grand scenes and landscapes that lie before me like this that I think are worth capturing not just to share them, but also to immortalize them in that moment forever. Because while that fall will likely be there long after me and water will most likely still flow from it, it will never exist in that exact same way, in that exact same moment and with those exact same elements of sights, sounds and light again. 

Overall hiking the Kanarra Falls Trail was a fantastic experience and I certainly plan to revisit this unique trail again in the near future in order to take in its awesomeness yet again. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good adventure and the beauty of nature. So go chase some waterfalls. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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