A Guide to Exploring Utah's Incredible Slot Canyons

Explore the depths of Southern Utah.

By: Utah.com
August 1, 2016

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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

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.