Looking for a great trail in Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area, Arizona? AllTrails has 14 great hiking trails, views trails, wildlife trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 7 hard trails in Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area ranging from 5.6 to 45.6 miles and from 4,314 to 5,052 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

views

wildlife

dog friendly

wild flowers

river

backpacking

camping

hiking
closed
4 days ago

I was short on time and this quick little hike was directly on my route. I was sad to walk for 5 mins and realize the trail was closed. There were a bunch of pallets strung up and something told me not to cross them. Bummer!

hiking
muddy
snow
4 days ago

This trail is awesome! Slot canyons to the max and very little elevation change! I would highly recommend it.

hiking
muddy
snow
4 days ago

Definitely need 4 wheel drive on house rock road and the road up to Paw Hole. Great rock formations and views all around.

25 days ago

What a great hike! Great slot canyon, beautiful scenery. Great access to the Paria. A must-do hike. Same trail head as the Wave, do them both!

1 month ago

Easy walk in the wash, lots to explore.

hiking
1 month ago

The road to the trailhead is unpaved but our Mazda3 made it just fine. Bring cash for the permit ($6 per person and per dog). The start of the hike is through an exposed flat area, and then opens up to some beautiful slot canyons. In the first slot canyon there is drop of about 8 feet where you have to make an interesting climb down some questionably wedged branches. If you’re short you may need some help on the climb up. We saw a 12ish year old boy at the end with his parents, so kids can make the climb with help! This hike is definitely worth the drive and we’ll definitely be returning.

A great alternative to Buckskin Gulch! Neat petroglyphs where Wire Pass intersects with Buckskin Gulch. I went last February and the weather was absolutely perfect during the day but very chilly when the sun set, dress in layers. There was one spot that was a little tricky getting up and down, where the tree, is but it is definitely doable. For $6, its definitely a must do.

Hiked this in December with 4 kids, aged 9-13. Great hike enjoyed by all. Had to climb doing a section using a makeshift ladder (trees) that was a bit challenging. A kind couple showed us how to get down and the it wasn’t a problem. Another young couple helped us get the kids out afterwards as it was a little high for the youngest ones to lift their legs up. Amazing views that just got more amazing as it merged with Buckskin Gulch.

I first hiked this canyon in 1999 and plan on returning in 2019 to do it again. Can’t wait.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this trail in Dec after a recent rain, so there were muddy puddles in several places along Buckskin Gulch. We were only able to go about a mile into Buckskin before having to turn around due to the puddles (without warm waterproof shoes in December, getting your feet wet would not be fun!). Aside from this limiting factor, the hike was amazing! Easy hike, clearly marked, narrow slot canyon makes for great pictures. Look for hieroglyph carvings in the sandstone right before entering Buckskin! They are very clearly seen at eye level. Great hike for all ability levels. As always with any slot canyon, watch the weather and don't enter any slot with a chance of rain that day.

hiking
2 months ago

nice walk with very cool canyons, it was a windy day when we went there, so lots of sand dusting, other than that it's really a cool place to hike.

Was beautiful one hard spot to get down and climb back up.

on Wire Pass Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing walk with an awesome slot canyon and definitely worth it for $6 especially considering the price of other canyons nearby that you must do a tour to see and cost around $50 per person. Easy walk and pretty much flat the whole way (all trails gradient is abit wrong on this walk). Big car park which did get pretty busy around lunch. Toliets at trailhead but none along the walk. The road to get to wire pass trailhead is a gravel track and very bumpy so bare that in mind as does take abit longer to get there. Also do not go down the track if it’s been raining.

on Paw Hole

hiking
2 months ago

I was able to get a permit on-line in advance. I parked at Lone Tree, right off of House Rock Rd, and walked up the sandy road to Paw Hole. I probably could have made it in my RAV4. Once you get up to Paw Hole, it's up to you where to go. There is a fenced in area, but I have no idea why or what the distinction is between what is inside and outside the fencing. There are some trails here and there, but basically you just wander around the amazing scenery, trying not to fall off any cliffs. I wandered far enough to need the AllTrails GPS tracking to find my way back to the road down to my car.

on Wire Pass Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice. The drive and the hiking were facilitated by it being pretty dry and uncrowded. I did not clamber down the funky log contraption at the infamous drop and instead took the bypass that heads up over the rocks to the right immediately before you enter the slot canyon. Getting back down into, and out of, the slot at the other side is not exactly easy, but it was a safer bet than the risk of falling 8 feet.

I went down to the confluence and turned right, but quickly encountered pools of water that I could not navigate without getting my feet wet. So, being a wuss and all, I went back the other way towards the "less interesting" section, which was completely dry. After a while, you emerge from the slot canyon into a very nice landscape of colorful towers and cliffs. The fencing provides a hint that you are not supposed to wander around over in that direction. I walked a couple of miles along the wash, and then turned back.

A shout-out to everyone who uses this trail, and/or the people who maintain it. I walked over 8 miles in various directions and never saw a single piece of trash anywhere.

on Wire Pass Trail

3 months ago

My wife and I did this hike November 6, 2018. We were surprised, after walking a bit to find a couple nice slot canyons. Once we arrived at the confluence, we turned left on Buckskin for approx mile. It was pretty cool with tall slots. we then turned around and walked the other way until we hit water

Highly recommend this trail. Getting isn't bad, but about 8 miles off of 89.

on The Nautilus

3 months ago

This is a hidden gem. The rock formations resemble waves and are huge. At the end is the nautilus (corkscrew) rock which Provides some good pictures. It was an easy hike and climbing on the rocks could have entertained me for hours.

hiking
3 months ago

It's a bit of a long drive for a short hike if the connecting Buckskin Gulch is full of water. Requires a $6 fee. Walk through wash to very cool slot canyon. Very easy except for an 8 foot drop which isn't the easiest to complete alone. Most people hike this Wire Pass trail which is short to get to Buckskin Gulch to hike downstream. I believe the Gulch many times requires bringing shoes good for trouncing through ankle deep, stagnant water. For more info and pics visit https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/10/21/hikes-near-kanab-utah/

I have to say, what you will read about this trail online will either be terribly inaccurate or to the T. It depends on the time of year of course. For us it was sunny and beautiful every day. However...it was wet, very wet. and the legendary "cesspool" was incredibly deep and being the tallest groupmember I had the unfortunate duty of carrying out packs across...5 times. But the buckskin is so very beautiful, and so very worth it. The water in the Paria river was filterable but I would reccomend using the springs. It's salt content was so high that each of our legs had a gnarly rash for days after. We did this trail in four days..however I Would highly reccomend making time for 5. You will be very slow throughout the hike, especially when your trying to go fast (the profile is relatively flat going downhill, but with many obstacles including a make your own way 15 foot drop at mile 11 through the gulch). Our group hiked from early morning until dark every day and our best mileage was day on 4, with only 13 miles and mostly high water routes on dry ground. If you do this hike please enjoy it as we did but be well prepared, its probably unlike anything you've ever done.

The most difficult backpacking I’ve ever done. The quicksand type mud is incredibly dangerous and not something that is forgiving. Make sure to do this with experienced and physically fit backpackers as It’s quite easy to get trapped in the quicksand mud and fall forward into chest deep water (that happened to me). It is not an easily trail. Do not take it lightly. I’ve backpacked all over (Narrows, Mt Whitney, Iceland etc) and this was by far the most dangerous one I’ve done.

a little off the beaten path... like 8 miles. But keep on going. it is worth it! Amazing hike and part of it is in a slot canyon.

A few days ago, we sucessfully backpacked buckskin gulch in utah, which is referred to as the longest slot canyon in the world and one of the most dangerous hikes in north america. We scored the last of the highly coveted overnight permits, and embarked on the most physically and psychologically demanding hike I have ever participated in.

The walls reached 400 feet above us, and at times we could touch the walls to either side of us. we waded through pools of freezing, chocolate milk colored muddy water up to our waists and chests. At one point, we had to gag our way through a seemingly endless stretch of neck deep, black, putrid, stagnant floodwaters full of dead animals and decaying plant matter. At other points, we couldnt touch the ground, and we had to swim with our packs.

There were multiple snakes and tarantulas. We also learned that quicksand is a real thing. Most of the trip felt like an episode of fear factor, but worse since once you're in, you dont have enough time or supplies to turn back.

Flash floods are the real danger here, as there is only one escape route halfway in. If you can't make it in time, or already passed it, you will have a hard time trying to survive. Our trip had 0% chance of rain and was supposed to not have a single cloud in the sky, but ominous clouds hung over the gulch for part of our trip, raising tension and reminding us that the gulch had total control.

What made matters worse is that our gps was 3 miles off. Cold, wet, and exhausted towards the end of day 1, we thought we had just 1.5- 2 miles left until our campsite, but we actully had over 5, leaving us to navigate pools of water in the dark, clear a boulder jam without rope, and accidentally miss our campsite and having to hike to the next one.

We're covered in mosquito bites, our bones are bruised, we still smell terrible, and I can barely walk, but the experience was once in a lifetime. Buckskin Gulch feels neverending, twisting your mind and body in ways we never could have imagined. While the views are beautiful, Buckskin Gulch is truly relentless.

10/10

Incredible experience. We went from Wire Pass to White House, roughly 20 miles total, over two days and one night.

Do not underestimate this hike... it is extremely demanding. With packs on it took us a full twelve hours to do those 13 miles of Buckskin. We waded through over 20 pools of waist-level depth. Despite starting early, we had to use our headlamps to finish the hike due to running out of sunlight! The hike out of Paria was less taxing but still difficult.

A few things: 1) be sure to have proper footwear. Water shoes and neoprene socks are highly recommended, 2) utilize a dry bag and a separate waterproof bag for your phone, as you’ll be taking lots of pictures, 3) stock up on water before you go through. You won’t have access to any spring water until right before the confluence, 4) I don’t recommend doing this one alone. I’m typically a solo hiker, but I’d be afraid to do this one without company. The trail is as psychologically onerous as it is physically.

Great experience!

The road was not bad at all, easily done without 4wd. it is a walk from the parking area to the actual slot canyon, but once you get into it it is amazing! we had waist deep water in some parts, and a lot of mud, but nothing extreme.

Would definitely suggest entering from Wire Pass to the Buckskin intersection then exploring the slot canyon in both directions to avoid the walk along the wash.

hiking
5 months ago

The perfect experience if you don't have too much time available to spend in this beautiful area.
The drive from the Hwy 89 to the trailhead is nice but pay attention because previous rain can create some very big bump. From the parking lot, the first part of the trail is quite easy, in a large wash with some interesting view of plants and little wildlife (expecially rabbits). The only problem is the heat: the whole section has no shade and we did it around 2 pm in september, temperature was very high so hat and lot of water is reccommend. The section when the cliffs become higher is just the prelude to the wonderful final part: a great narrow slot in the shade, very fun and atmospheric. There is a drop at a certain point, lot of reviewers rated it as easy, but at the time of our visit we had some problems (we are 1,60 mt tall) because some recent flood moved the debris used to go down, so we had to go back and use the alternate way, that starts in the same point of The Wave trail but follow another direction, just check the cairns. The confluence with the Buckskin Gulch is huge and pretty good to have some rest, take some photos, look at the petroglyphs and enjoy the silence of the place. We moved toward the left for a little walk in BG, but it was a little muddy and we heard some Coyote in the distance, so after one mile we returned back. Very reccommend place, hope to come back and walk through the BG for a longer distance.

5 months ago

Learned this isn’t an official trail but was able to still locate the area to check out, definitely has some cool sights to see

5 months ago

Beautiful. Hike is very easy, the drop was too much for my dog but we were able to find the detour mentioned from other reviewers just look for the markers.

on Wire Pass Trail

hiking
5 months ago

Great pretty easy hike. It is a fee area so have some cash. $6.00/person.
easy walk along dry river bed leading to the slot. Small climb down about a 7ft drop. Then on to easy hiking. At the confluence of Buckskin and Wire Pass you can go left up Buckskin not far until it got to muddy for us. We went to the right down Buckskin and there are water crossing after water crossing. Much better than trying to cross mud.

Great hike. If in the area one should do it.

hiking
5 months ago

Loved the hike. Pretty easy trail with just one obstacle, an 8-10 for climb down. Some people did not hike past the obstacle.

Fantastic. Took a small 11 year old dog and he loved it. The pools at the end were to sticky to play in but beautiful slot canyons.

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