Paria Canyon: White House Trailhead to the Confluence is a 9.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kanab, Utah that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Paria Canyon is the longest slot canyon in the world and has four main points of entry: White House Trailhead, Wire Pass Trailhead, Middle Passage, and Lee's Ferry Trailhead. There are camping spots near a section of the canyon known as the confluence. From the White House Trailhead, follow the Paria River south. You will have to cross the river several times, so wear appropriate shoes. Soon, you will find yourself in an open canyon. There is little shade, and it can get very hot. Four miles from the trailhead, the canyon walls narrow and ascend, and you enter the Paria Narrows. Three miles from the entrance to the Narrows, you'll reach an intersection with a second river. You can turn left to continue following the Paria or turn right. If you turn it, you will soon be greeted by an excellent camping spot as the canyon widens with two large hills in either side of you. Beware, there are rattlesnakes in this area. Other potential wildlife includes canyon wrens, peregrine falcons, condors, and great horned owls.
Pictures from this hike were amazing. As others have said, it's further to the confluence but once you're in there you feel like you could go forever. The walk back was a bit of a grind in the open wash but I believe this is as good as it gets.
Great hike! One thing worth mentioning - we hiked closer to 14.3 miles out and back. Not the 9.3 listed above. If you want to go from White House trailhead to The Confluence and back be prepared for 14 to 15 miles.
You should also be prepared to get wet. There are times when you have no choice, but to hike in the river. We must have crossed the river 30 to 40 times that day.
A few words of caution - be very careful of flash flooding. The canyons are steep and narrow at points, there no protection from the sun for the first 4 miles or so, and some of the miles can slow (especially coming back upstream through the water.
In the end, we had a great time! N*joy!
Great backpacking spot. I'm definitely planning on returning. A few hazards to be aware of: (1) Heat. In the middle of summer, the first four miles before you hit the narrows are brutal. (2) Quicksand. You're not going to die, but if you're not careful, you might lose a shoe and have to dig around for it. (3) Rattlesnakes. I've lived in Arizona for 11 years, and this is the first time I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. Luckily, it rattled and then quickly slithered out of the way. (4) Floods. You're going to have to cross the Paria River multiple times. It was a shallow trickle this weekend, but it can swell very quickly when there's a rainstorm. Flash floods in a slot canyon are very dangerous, so check the forecast before you enter the canyon.
There is very little elevation change, but for some reason, I am quite sore today. I think it's from a combination of the sun exposure, the uneven muddy terrain, and the fact that wet shoes seem to weigh a ton after a miles of backpacking.