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James Pickren reviewed White House Trail to Lees Ferry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!MuddyOver grown

A true adventure to behold! This is definitely a hike that requires some planning. I recommend this hike for more experienced adventurers as having prior backpacking experience is certainly a plus. Permits must be booked months in advance and you must arrange a ride to get from Lee’s Ferry parking lot to the White House trailhead. This is a very long and strenuous hike but the scenery is absolutely stunning. We did this in 4 days, 3 nights and averaged about 10 miles per day. As others have mentioned, water management is one of the most difficult aspects of this hike. The springs can be difficult to find and pinpointing your location at any given time is also quite difficult. We stayed the first night at Big Spring which had an awesome camping area tucked away in the trees across from the spring.. The second night we stayed at shower spring which also had a great camping area across the river. This spring would be very difficult to find were it not for a rock cairn and arrow drawn in the sand where someone had pointed the way through the tall reeds. We were grateful for the gesture! The third day is rather slow and difficult due to a lot of large boulders and heavier rapids in the river.. We went as far as we could and just camped at a random clearing along the river.. The final day is relatively straightforward as the trail begins crossing the river at the bends and then continuing higher up on the banks. All in all, this is a true adventure and definitely worth the effort.. A pit stop at the marble canyon inn restaurant was quite nice after days of dehydrated meals! I highly recommend you leave your hiking boots at home on this one since you will be in water for most of the time. I also highly recommend you resist the temptation of wearing sandals as the small rocks and sand will destroy your feet. We wore 3mm neoprene socks with Columbia Drainmaker shoes and it was a perfect choice. Just make sure to clean out and air dry your shoes and socks at the end of each day! Also, hiking poles are very useful on this one.. Just be prepared to be well and truly out in the middle of nowhere and make sure you pack enough food and supplies. Self reliance is essential here.. Enjoy!

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Corey Archuleta reviewed Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 12, 2020
Backpacking

This trip will hurt you. But well worth the pain. Use trail runners with water proof socks. Will be walking on rocks and sand at times. Assume you will get muddy and wet. Try to stay as light as possible with your pack. Your first day on this trip will be around 16 miles. Buckskin gulch had very little water to walk or wade through. Three or four mud pits. Rope was present at bolder jam on left.GPS from Wire Pass to Lees Ferry says 65 miles. Per BLM map and Nat Geo map, around 55. Springs were running fine in Paria Canyon, but still take water filter. Make sure your ride/pick up is on same time zone. For part of the year, you start in Mountain Time and end in Pacific, due to AZ not observing daylight savings

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
Hiking

Long hike. Need to be in good shape and take plenty of water. Couple of tough places to navigate and the cesspools will suck off water shoes so wear boots or trail runners. Beautiful!

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Collin Webster reviewed Buckskin Gulch to White House Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020
Hiking

@Erin — don’t let your dog drink water around here. https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2020/07/10/prc-dangerous-toxins-from-algal-bloom-found-in-the-virgin-river-in-zion-national-park/

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

Most spectacular trek ever. Loved the solitude and wildness. We hiked much of it barefoot as the mud was sucking our chacos off. Our mileage ended up being longer due to crisis-crossing the river searching for easier terrain. A thunderstorm blew through while we were camping in the narrows— terrifying and awesome. Also had no problem filtering water from the river after the last spring.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2020
Hiking

Hey all - Looking for some feedback here - my husband and I are coming up on our one year anniversary and given COVID we looking for a backpacking trip to celebrate (~ mid October). We plan on taking our dogs on whichever trail we choose. So looking for something ~3 days - has SOME water for dogs - obviously will be strict with leave no trace protocols! Has anyone done this trail with dogs (I didn't seen any mention of any in the reviews)? Additionally, any recommendations on getting back to your car? Are there a decent number of people that someone could give us a ride back? Appreciate any insights! Erin

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 28, 2020
Hiking

9-25-20 Wire Pass to White House. Camped at the confluence. Cesspool area in deep mud and has 4-5 pools. The mud went to our knees and very sticky, so make sure your shoes are tied on good or they can be lost. The rabbit hole is pretty easy at he rock jam obstacle, you just have to remove your pack and lower it to someone below. Water is available to purify at the confluence, it is also a good place to clean off all the mud from the cesspool. Our packs weighed between 35-40 pounds for most of us and that is heavy after this many miles. Paria River is completely dry and the last several miles is exposed to the sun, so a lot of walking on sand in the sun, be prepared for that. Very scenic and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020

It was an awesome hike, slot was beautiful. However the way out was much longer than it shows in AllTrails through pariah River. More like 24 miles total.

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Martina Susann reviewed Buckskin Gulch Trail to Lees Ferry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2020
HikingGreat!

We started at Wire-trail and it was definitely not an easy climb down but we made it, coming up was actually much harder because you have to come from under the rock, but again, we made it. Once down in the gulch we were amazed by the beauty. We did about 5-6 miles into the gulch and the turned around. Definitely recommend this!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2020
Hiking

This was my second time on this hike (Wire Pass to White House). It takes about 5 years for me to forget how difficult it is and decide to do it again. It was as amazing as I remembered and a difficult hike for two reasons. First, this is a long hike. Even split into to days, you will hike 13 miles the first day with a pack on. Second, you have to watch each footstep because of the number of rocks that you have to step on, around, or over. We did it during a heatwave in Southern Utah. Temps over 100 degrees in Kanab (nearest city). We were worried about the heat but found that, as soon as we were in the slots, the temp was comfortably 20 degrees cooler so it wasn't an issue until the final 3 or 4 miles of the hike which were pretty exposed. I had called the ranger station and they told me that there is no water ("it is dry, dry, dry") so we were advised to carry all of our water in with us -- recommended 1 gallon/day/person. That was a lot of weight for our group. I carried 3.5 gallons so my 13-year-old daughter didn't have to carry so much. It worked out perfectly on the water. We finished with probably 1/2 gallon to spare between the 4 of us. NOTE: if it is hot, you will go through just as much water the second day (7 miles) as you will the first day (13 miles). There were several pools that we had to wade through (the deepest was up to the pockets of my pants (I'm 6'2"). We had to carry the packs overhead for the shorter members of our group. We were advised by the locals to not take a tent because there was no chance or rain so we left the tent in the car and brought a tarp to sleep on. That was the right decision for us. Saved the weight and it was way too warm to sleep in a tent anyway. We were on the tarps, on top of bags, shirts off, still a bit too warm to sleep. Bugs weren't really an issue at the campsite (near the confluence) probably because of there being so many bats. There were probably 12 flying around munching the mosquitoes. They left us completely alone. Contrary to what we read, you can miss the finish at White House CG. 3 of the 3 sub-groups of people in our bigger group either missed it and hiked too far and had to backtrack or nearly missed it and saw it just by chance noticing a car or something from the river bottom. GEM: use your google maps. GPS still works there and it is very good to show you where you are and how far you have to go. The hike is well worth it but be prepared by knowing how difficult it is at that distance.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

Permit from BLM required. We backpacked this the end of May. It was the best! We were careful of the heat, hiked in the morning & were done by early afternoon. There was a 1/2 day section that is a bit harder due to getting over large boulders in the river. There is also a great campsite with a tree that’s not on the BLM map, it’s about a mile after the last primitive campsite on the map. Saw 2 herds of big horn sheep & a gorgeous blue heron. Luckily didn’t see any rattlesnacks.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail with the mud pools never going higher than my knee. (I’m 6ft) Took me ten hours from wire pass to the camp site. Bring extra water and there is a small stream of water to filter at the camp site. (Wire pass to whitehouse)

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Nicole Boardman reviewed Buckskin Gulch to White House Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

This review is for Wire Pass Trailhead to White House Campground (21-22 miles). We hiked it on June 20, 2020, and it took 12.5 hours in total. Wow! The scenery on this is incredible. Like nothing I have seen before and don't expect to see again for quite a while. We began our journey at 7:15 am and returned to camp at 7:40 pm. The timing includes waiting for our group at each major obstacle, stopping for lunch ~45 minutes, and several shorter stops throughout the hike. There are several obstacles on this trail. Overall, it is mostly very rocky, otherwise, it can be muddy or sandy. Enjoy the sections of hard-packed dirt when they appear! Obstacle 1: Around 1 mile in, there is a large drop down into the canyon, described in various reviews between 8 and 12 feet. Apparently there is a way around this as described elsewhere, but our group of 10 all climbed down. From the top, you cannot see the rocks stacked up that form a bit of a ladder, but it is there. Go slowly but know that there is footing to get down. Obstacle 2: The next obstacle I can recall is the first muddy pool, which is deep. There are rocks arranged that our whole group was able to step across in order to bypass wading in mud; however, I manage to fall in. I toweled off, but we soon discovered we had to go through several more pools so if you fall here, don't worry about cleaning up. Obstacle 3: Following the mud pool with nicely arrange rocks, there are several mud pools that do require wading through. We used our water shoes, and I highly recommend a pair that stays tight on your feet so they don't get stuck in the mud. I can't recall exactly how many pools, maybe 3-4. I would recommend keeping your water shoes on between these pools if they have enough cushion and support for your feet to go over the rocks. The muddy water made it to the lower third of my thighs in the deepest pool. I am 5'6" for reference. The bottom of these pools is a mix of rocky and muddy. Move carefully and use your arms for extra security where you can. Keep your feet moving in the muddy parts to avoid sinking in. The water is cold but it felt refreshing. Once the mud dries on you, it will take a good amount of scrubbing and water to remove. After we sensed we were free from mud pools for a while, we stopped for lunch in a wider portion of the canyon a little after 1 pm allowing our towels, socks, and shoes to dry out in the sun while we rested in the shade. Obstacle 4: Boulder jam/log jam. I'm glad we ate lunch before we attempted this. The path we chose was straight through the middle, which I believe is called the Rabbit Hole. This path required jumping rock to rock in one place with the danger of a drop onto rocks and mud beneath you. It seemed a bit easier for the taller members of our group, but we all made it across successfully. There is an alternate path to the left with a climbing rope and steps carved out of the rock, but having no climbing or bouldering experience, the Rabbit Hole was a much safer choice. I don't know that I could really describe any of the options as totally safe. The log jam was the final true obstacle. A few miles past that, we made it to the confluence. Ahead of the confluence is a beautiful area with more green than on most of the hike. After this, there was clearer water running, but nothing significantly deep. We saw some other hikers who had taken the opposite route as us. They warned us this was the last chance for filterable water. Really, this was the only chance for filterable water on the whole hike. Watch out for the mud in this section. If you find yourself in mud....just keep moving to avoid sinking in! Also, even in the dried-up areas, there is often squishy mud underneath that caused several shoes to get covered in thick mud. The final stretch of 3-4 miles is just a wash and honestly felt quite grueling after the full day through the slot canyon. Keep in mind I am not an experienced hiker or backpacker and my hips and ankles weren't prepared for this much impact in a day. It can be sunny and hot here, plus it is inevitable to have to walk through tons of sand on the way back to camp. We started the last stretch a little before 5. I was really hurting at this point and it was not enjoyable for me. I was incredibly happy when we finished. I logged 22 miles and ~50,000 steps for this day hike. We brought 5L of water each, but would advise 6. Halfway through, I wanted to come back to repeat this hike with more training under my belt; however, by the end, we decided this was a once in a lifetime adventure for us. Maybe we'll give it a few years and reconsider.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 8, 2020
Hiking

Not sure where they recorded to get the mileage in the description, we recorded about 31 miles from Buckskin trailhead to White House. Water got as high as about thigh high heading to the campgrounds, water currently flowing through most of the way to Whitehouse (about knee high) so be prepared to possibly wade through water and the mud. Rating was for the incorrect mileage info listed.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 30, 2020
Hiking

This was a 25th anniversary reunion for four of us – having gone from Wire Pass to Lee’s Ferry in May 1995. Plus two more now: a brother and an 11-year-old son – total of six. The night before, Friday, we camped nearby at Stateline Campground. It has eight sites, but only three were used. Free; first-come, first serve. The trailhead was fairly active Saturday (5/30) with day-hikers. We set out at 8:00; got to the campsites just ahead of the Confluence at 4:30. As I’m much the older guy, the team could have done it faster. The extended Cesspool area ahead of the Middle Escape had a depth up to my thigh in a couple of places (I’m 5’10”), as had recently been reported by Isaac Christensen. His report was a key resource: that the Rockfall could be passed through the Rabbit Hole, and that we could filter water at the campsite. The latter was non-trivial, as the stream is thin and shallow, but quite doable. A party had already taking the right campsite, so we took the left; another party was on a higher bench above us. Oh, regarding that 12-ft “stepdown” in the Wire Pass slot. I reconned it the day before, and the log with “steps” was gone. So the next day we readily bypassed it via the cairned route on the right. We then walked back up to it and found a roped ladder with wooden steps. Go figure – perhaps set there for the day by a guide. Sunday we headed out about 6:50, all making it to White House by 10:30. It pays to start early, as the last three miles are pretty unshady and hot. We had good weather, notwithstanding some rolling thunder just below the Rockfall, and a brief sprinkle at camp. We were unsuccessful in applying for a Wave permit for Monday. However, we landed a permit for the adjacent Coyote Buttes South (arguably as good or better than the Wave). We had a blast going in on ATVs with Kanab Tour Company. Most of the day was hiking amid awesome formations. All in all – a grand reunion indeed with fine and gnarly buds.

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Isaac Christensen reviewed Buckskin Gulch to White House Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 27, 2020
Hiking

Hey Bill, glad the trip report helped, the rabbit hole was clear and easy to get through. No rope was needed. You have to do a low bend over maneuver to get out of the hole which is harder with the pack on. We explored the area a bit and found a knotted, fixed rope down the Moki Steps. One of our group wanted the more challenging Moki steps way and went down it with the full backpack - he said it was awkward but not really life threatening. Also, the little log step down at the start of the hike in wire pass was not much of an issue. There are good hand holds and the log has ok steps on the branch knobs. I went down with the backpack on as I'm pretty sure footed. The rest handed their backpacks down to me. Enjoy, and looking forward to your trip report!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 26, 2020
Hiking

Awesome report, Isaac. Thank you so much. Our party of six is doing your route starting this Saturday. It's the 25th anniversary reunion of our first BG transit. I'm so happy and relieved to know that those seeps at your campsite are still running - saves a ton of water weight. Quick question - tell me about the Rockfall, which you didn't mention at all. Did you go under it (Rabbit Hole) or over the top, possibly using a rope? Thanks again. Bill Oliver - gnarlybill@hotmail.com

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking

Why is there no all trails for Wire Pass to White House and/or vice versa (which is the most common way to go)? That being said, I started at White House and finished at Wire Pass and had a car shuttle, although a mountain bike would've worked as well. I hiked this on 5/25 and there was water up to just above my knees, about 10 or so pools that were ankle deep up to the just above the knee. Buckskin is nice and it's fun to say you did it, but really it gets old after awhile, a couple miles would suffice to see what it's like. Plus walking on sand and rocks gets tiring after 21 miles.

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Regina Angstadt reviewed Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 24, 2020
HikingMuddyNo shadeRockyScramble

Would rate as strenuous due to boulder navigation mostly. FANTASTIC hike over 3.5 days end of May. Three years ago did Wire Pass to Whitehouse and this time Wire Pass to Lee’s Ferry. Completely different hike this time. No where near the water in Buckskin as the 1st time, and the mud didn’t cling to my shoes like 5 lb weights this time either. My only complaint was the lack of ANY sine age on the route. At least 1 marker to gauge our progress would have been helpful since GPS and cell phones are useless for most of the hike.

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Isaac Christensen reviewed Buckskin Gulch to White House Trail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 22, 2020
Hiking

Overnight backpacking trip started at Wire Pass on May 22, 2020 and hiked to the beautiful campsite near the confluence of Buckskin and Paria. You have to be a serious backpacker or don't go this route. It's long and we carried 7 L of water each because no one would give us information about pumping water. It turns out that there was good clean water flowing at the campsite - not deep, but easy to pump and clean up with. Encountered several muddy water holes about 1.5 miles before the middle exit. They were top of the thigh deep and no problem to pass. The water was cold but smelled fine. The slot canyon views are so amazing and there is so much variety - is it possible to have too much amazing? We scouted the middle exit and went to the top without backpacks. It requires some not too advanced rock climbing skills but anyone sure footed should be able to get up and down that with day packs. I wouldn't want a 40 lb pack on to go down without an anchor and rope (I didn't see any anchor points). It took us 8 hours to get to the campsite with minimal breaks - we're slightly faster than average hikers. The campsite really came alive at night with noise as the amphitheater walls reverberate the owls, frogs and other animals calls. The canyon was cool even throughout the hike but the campsite was warmer because it is more open. The hike out the next day to White House took 3.5 hours for the 7 miles. The first half is still pretty amazing with canyon walls and an arch. The last half is not great with sand and the heat rising but after experiencing the jaw dropping scenery for the past 24 hours its a small price to pay. Shoulders and hips were aching and a little bruised but spirits were high at the end.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 10, 2020
Hiking

Did this as a day-hike. As a 12-15 mile hike, this would have been five stars. We ran into a group that (reasonably) backed off the "log jam" with the rope and 20 ft drop off. For a non-climber, this drop off looks pretty formidable. Before the confluence with the Paria River, there is a gorgeous spot with greenery. Stop there for a break, as the last ~7 miles of walking on the dried up river were monotonous and tedious.

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