Waterhole Canyon Trail

EASY 98 reviews

Waterhole Canyon Trail is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near LeChee, Arizona that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
305 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

rocky

scramble

no shade

Please Note: Navajo Nation Permits are NEEDED to enter Waterhole Canyon - Price is $50 per person. Permits can be obtained at Horseshoe Bend Tours (east of HWY 89 as you are entering Page; you’ll see Maverick gas station across the road and Burger King on the same side of the road) in Page, Arizona.

trail running
1 month ago

Great hike I went when it was free a year and a half ago but it’s great not as picture perfect as antelope canyon but great none the less.

2 months ago

So here’s the deal. We went to the permit office and they told us they only sell permits to the left waterhole canyon - and that you need repelling equipment to get down (and they’d have to see it). They also sell permits for the rainbow bridge (a 18mi trail). And to just go to the trail head for a guided tour. They started this may 1st. We got there and it is $35 per person for a 1.5ish hour tour with a guide. They said they did this because there was so much garbage and vandalism happening in the canyon (so sad- the guide showed us where they had to scrub it off). So we went at 10am on a Friday - it was beautiful and we had six people in our group and one tour guide who was very nice and waited for us while we all got our pictures. No other tours happening at the same time. No rush at all and still a very cool canyon. They drive you to the end in a van and you walk back, so no in and out.

3 months ago

Stopped by to check it out today-5/5/18-and found that they are charging $35 per person for a guided tour that takes 2.5 hours. I failed to ask if they allow self guided tours but I really doubt it based on the setup they have there.

hiking
3 months ago

Be careful, the site is managed by a private company from today. It’s 50$ per person to visit the canyon with a guide. So disappointed.

3 months ago

One of the most interesting hikes I’ve had. Great fun.

hiking
3 months ago

Just a few things we encountered today;
The “Horseshoe Bend Tour” company no longer sells the passes. We had to trek to the green and white trailer behind the LeChee Health Clinic to get the passes, it was kind of a goat f*ck finding it but we finally did. BUT, the guy informed us that they would no longer be selling permits after this week as the trailhead is being taken over and managed by a private company. So beware when planning. Other than that, finding your way down into the canyon is kind of confusing, and the entire trail through the canyon is like walking through 6” of beach sand for 3 miles. So if that’s what you’re looking for, this is your hike!

3 months ago

Nice trail. I did it without a permit because the permit place was closed. I tried to call them before but they didn’t answer the phone. No one asked me for a permit.

hiking
3 months ago

We enjoyed this one. Yes easy but beautiful. I would do it again. We did it on Saturday afternoon it was lightly traveled so nice.

hiking
4 months ago

It is beautiful short hike, pretty easy. There is a problem with a ladder at one point. The ladder is to short to climb up safely. We did not completed the whole hike because of this obstacle. We met couple people from the park who are working on it, so hopefully next time we will be able to climb this safe. Overall great experience and we have amazing pictures .

hiking
4 months ago

Hiking permits are no longer available through Horseshoe Bend Tours. You must contact the Navajo Tribal Park office to obtain a permit.

hiking
4 months ago

I like it, though It is not difficult.

hiking
5 months ago

The freedom this hike has is well worth it. Not crowded at all in the morning. We only saw about 5 people. We headed away from the Colorado river. To get down into the canyon, there is a "path" made of rocks lined up. Just walk in between the rock lines and you will get to the point where you can descend into the canyon. Once you find the "ladder", you can go up if you want, but there wasn't really a good way out of the canyon at the top. We turned around and found some trail markers piled up. At that point we ascended the canyon and hiked toward the parking lot above the canyon. Just keep an out for trail markers and you will be fine.

hiking
5 months ago

My group inadvertently went west towards the river thinking that was the correct direction as indicated on google maps. While challenging, this hike still was an awesome experience. Make sure you get your permit, they are $12 per person, a ranger was there when we arrived verifying permits. The permit office is located south of page off of Indian Rte 20. The location for the permits when searching google maps is "Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, Page, AZ 86040."

There a three descent sections along this trail. The first two are immediately once you pass under the bridge where there are the compressed remains of a car that apparently went off the road at some point and time. There is a ladder in the first section that we all descended and then leap frogged forward to descend from the elevation the car was at. Once the first 5 members of our group were though we had the last guy reset the ladder and he jumped the 6 or 7 feet down.

The third descent is a rope assisted descent to two ladders that are strapped together. This is not as scary and or difficult as it looks, team building exercise time! Our group was able to get through this one at a time (3 men and 3 women) by guiding each other down, the rope descent is maybe 5 feet to the top of the ladder. though a semicircular cut in the rock edge. Coming back the person at the top just offered a hand to grab onto and pulled them up once they were at the edge.

We turned around after about one and a half miles due to an impassable s-curve that had a telephone phone with barbed wire wrapped around it suspended ~10 feet above the bottom of the canyon. This was not realistic for us to get though and the drops only increase in complexity from that point forward so we looped back.

We saw some wildlife while hiking including what we think was a dessert hopping mouse jumping around and a large white owl came soaring through at one point. There is a very dead dried out cow at one point but it appears to have been there for some time and the smell is minimal. There are some minor animal remains scattered about but they were in similar condition, mostly bones and some feather of birds that were apparently eaten.

The views were great, the canyon alternates between narrow spaces a body width wide to larger openings up to 30 feet wide. The lighting at solar noon when the sun was directly above was very cool to see. Dogs probably would not be able to do this section due to the drops unless you were comfortable carrying and lifting them up and down 10 foot drops.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike with moderate use in the front but very few people as you went further in.

hiking
5 months ago

I was hoping to go to antelope canyon, but did not want to pay for an expensive tour. This was a great substitute!
- There is a $12 per person permit that you need to get by the Navajo chapter group in the area
- has the slot canyon feel with some narrow areas
- not many people
- about a 4 min drive from horseshoe bend
- the ladder depicted in some of the pictures is still there, my group used it and we were fine... but we were vary cautious.
Overall, it was awesome!

5 months ago

Amazing canyon that is not crowded like Antelope is! You will need a permit as it is on tribal land ($12 from Horseshoe Bend Tours, or the Navajo Tribal Park Office).
You’ll walk a short distance along the top and the follow the rock cairns down into the canyon (slightly steep descent to climb down, and the sandstone can be slippery when wet) and as you hike up the canyon the walls get narrower and it’s incredible!

6 months ago

Great hike! Almost no one on the trail. Descend into the canyon right as you enter the gate, but after you start to go down, keep a little to the left. I tried to go down the middle and ended up at a rock ledge with nowhere to go. I would also say don’t do this alone.

hiking
6 months ago

Great fun at this spot. Make sure to get a permit from the LeChee

hiking
6 months ago

Not a lot of people

hiking
7 months ago

Definetly worth your time, getting down into the canyon maybe difficult for beginners or children.

hiking
7 months ago

This short hike was a great surprise. Once you follow the cairns to the edge of the ravine, they lead you right into a beautiful sandstone slot canyon. It starts out quite open but it turns into beautiful sculpted walls with some ladder climbing. This is Navajo land so be sure to get a permit from the local office before you park on weekdays.

8 months ago

Did it with our five kids 5-15 and they all loved it. Two of us went to upper antelope canyon but this hike helped provided the slot canyon experience for the others without the big price tag.

hiking
8 months ago

Wonderful and uncrowded canyon for a leisurely hike away from all the crowds! There are no trail markers here so we followed these makeshift rock stacks that lead towards the canyon and was able to find our way down with our two large dogs. Not recommended for senior dogs or dogs with mobility issues because there were sections where it was a bit slippery and technical to get down and up. We went west towards highway 89 and reached under the bridge where somebody had left a note that there was a dead cow if we continued west so we turned around and headed east. The canyon opened up and we were in full sun for a bit but it was a beautiful fall day and very nice. I would love to come back again without dogs so we can explore further as we were not able to go up/down ladders with 2 x 80lb dogs 

hiking
8 months ago

You will need some agility and upper body strength if descending into the canyon on the east side of the highway. There are several ladders to use when changing levels once in the canyon base. Best to not be alone. Backcountry permit required. The trail is maintained by the Navaho Parks and Recreation agency and we bought permit from Adventure Tours, Horseshoe Bend located behind Burger King. Cost is $12/person and placed on your dash. You need exact amount in cash. Some tight spots and narrow so best time would be mid day.

8 months ago

Permit can be obtained at 290 Cowboy Ray Rd. Costs $12 per person. Please carry cash - they won’t accept card. Office is open only on weekdays. You are only allowed to go up to the power lines. Only one very wobbly ladder to climb.

hiking
9 months ago

Dropped down into the slot canyon near US89 then headed toward the Colorado River. Came upon an unlucky deer that was quite ripe and foul so immediately turned around. Continued upstream for 2.0 miles or so where the canyon opens up. On the return opted to pop out half way back and take the Waterhole Canyon high trail which was a pleasant option. Highly recommended (when there is no rain in the forecast!).

9 months ago

very cool slot canyon. a little vague on getting in. You must have a permit. Got ours at LeChee office. go behind the building in the middle. it's a little white trailer. To get down into canyon follow the stone piles and pick your entrance. I ended up sliding on my bottom to our entrance. The canyon is awesome. For us the end was tricky. They told us there were 3 ladders and most people walk out from the top. we only got to 2 ladders. first pretty scary looking but doable. second is a T post leaning against a tiny squeeze up.!! Hardly a ladder!! My husband had to pull me up! never saw 3rd ladder. and according to my map the end is at great Wall. If we had known. we would have stopped there. But, all in all great trail. We had gone to antelope earlier, this was just as awesome. Red, and very brown rocks

hiking
10 months ago

If you don’t wanna pay $50 something for the antelope canyon do this hike instead . You will need a permit to do this hike which you can get at the Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tour for $12

10 months ago

Hidden gem not talked about in the tour guides. Easy hike once you climb down the entrance.

10 months ago

It wasn't worth getting and paying the permit for. The canyon wasn't very impressive or interesting.

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