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A Guide to Exploring Utah's Incredible Slot Canyons

Explore the depths of Southern Utah.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

There is something magical and sobering about exploring slot canyons in Southern Utah. Hiking, swimming and sometimes squeezing through high sandstone walls carved by the elements over thousands of hundreds of thousands of years (you read that right) makes you keenly aware of how powerful the natural world around us is. Don't worry though, if the thought of squeezing through a 10-inch crevice 100 miles from civilization inspires panic like that time your brother zipped you into your sleeping bag while he watched Saturday morning cartoons (not cool, bro), there are plenty of incredible slot canyons like the Zion Narrows that don't require any squeezing. For the thrill seekers out there, there are several options to bring your rope and harness for some canyoneering. Whatever your speed is, a day spent exploring the cool, winding depths of any of these Utah slot canyons is one you won't regret. (Unless you’re Aron Ralston. But he got to meet James Franco, so he probably came out ahead, too.)

1. Explore the Subway Top-Down

Photo: Scott Kranz

2. Explore Arches’ Fiery Furnace

Photo: Devin K

3. Hike Kanarraville Slot Canyon

Photo: Karyna Wilkerson

4. Canyoneering Keyhole Canyon

Photo: Kathie Green

5. Hike Buckskin Gulch Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness

Photo: Tobin Akehurst

6. Canyoneering the San Rafael Swell

Photo: George Bruce Wilson

7. Hike Little Wild Horse Canyon & Bell Canyon Loop

Photo: Aaron Roth

8. Explore Paria Canyon

Photo: Brandon Silver

9. Explore the Zion Narrows

Photo: Stephen Marshall

10. Hike Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Canyons

Photo: Rebecca Jones

11. Hike through the Red Caves Sand Wash

Photo: Thomas Burton

12. Hike through Wire Pass Slot Canyon

Photo: Nick Oman

13. Hike the Red Cliffs Recreation Nature Trail

Photo: Thomas Burton

14. Explore Lebrechaun Canyon’s Middle Fork

Photo: Michael Whitman

15. Explore Kanab’s Peek-a-Boo Canyon

Photo: Prajit Ravindran

16. Hike Willis Creek Slot Canyon

Photo: Prajit Ravindran

Find more information on Utah's slot canyons and more at Utah.com.

Cover photo: Scott Kranz

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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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