Buckskin Gulch Trail

HARD 64 reviews

Buckskin Gulch Trail is a 16 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Kanab, Utah that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
16.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,187 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

river

views

wild flowers

muddy

rocky

scramble

Magical journey through the Southwest's longest slot canyon, Buckskin Gulch.

trail running
1 month ago

I started from the Wire Pass trailhead, which has bathrooms but no water. As a warning to those who may be driving there in a small rental car like I was, the gravel/dirt road to get there is in fairly poor condition, and I had to drive slowly and cautiously to avoid getting a flat tire. I didn't have too long to spend here, so I just did 8.5 miles. The first mile+ is in direct sun with no shade, so make sure to have enough water to survive the heat and get back to your car. It was 81 degrees when I left my car and 111 when I got back 2 hours later. The narrow canyons were pleasant and fairly cool, but the canyon does intermittently open wider and is hot in the sun, so just make sure you carry enough to drink if you go in July like I did. I don't think it had rained at all recently when I went, so I did not have to go through even a drop of water. There were a lot of sections of dried mud, so I could tell where there is typically water. It was definitely an easy trail in these mud-less and water-less conditions, though it was still not entirely runnable due to thick dune-like sand in some places and incredibly rocky uneven surfaces elsewhere. I definitely can't relate to previous reviewers who rate this as hard, but the difficulty is clearly entirely dependent on the conditions, and I obviously went when the conditions were incredibly favorable. It's a beautiful and incredibly memorable trail, and I would encourage anyone to take at least a couple hours to explore it.

1 month ago

Amazing trail but expect it to be hard, not moderate. Our route was Paria Canyon to Big Spring, back-tracked to Buckskin Gulch and exited at Wire Pass.

Wire Pass is very hot with a 7 ft boulder jam to traverse half way through.

Buckskin had calf-deep mud that will keep your shoe, ten waist deep 55 degree water holes about 20 to 50 feet long lots of sections with technical river rock hiking which can be tiring with a heavy pack.

Expect 50/50 exposed vs shade with temps ranging from 70 to 100.

Camping spot was great with lots of tent spots ready.

Amazing trail with lots of visual apeal. Very memorable and worth the effort.

hiking
2 months ago

A LOT HARDER than I read or any YouTube video showed. I went in 2015 with 2 other guys I was in the Marines with. The gulch was a hell of a lot of fun, incredibly beautiful but we did it in high heat of July and we went through over a gallon and half of water each. This section took us literally all day. Our plans were to turn right and hike all the way down to Lee’s ferry but on night 1 we were strongly considering hooking left for the shirt route out.

We took an easy day to go 5 miles and refill water so actually finished at Lee’s FERRY BUT NONE WAS AS HARD AS buckskin. It wasn’t horrific, definitely doable but ensure you have the right mindset for it. We did not understand what we headed in to and this were not quite mentally prepared.

As for the hike- stunning. Incredibly satisfying. The entire gulch is carved from heaven. It’s simply one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in 26 countries.

DO NOT DO IT IN JULY. lol. I recommend doing it in cooler weather.

3 months ago

Just amazing !!! Few people, canyonning boots were necessary in April ( water up to the knee and above). Great memories there. Don’t miss it

backpacking
3 months ago

Such an amazing place to push your limits! I did the whole Paria canyon and buckskin gulch in a five day trip in mid March, and it was incredible. Can’t wait to go back. I’m 5’ 10”, and the water level in some places were up to my chest. Weather was kinda cold but not freezing.

3 months ago

Amazing hike!! Did this in April, Started from wire pass and went right at the fork. Saw petroglyphs in many of the rocks. Didn’t see any other hikers until about 6 miles from the camp. There is tons of water anywhere from ankle to shoulder deep. The water is ice cold! Only one pool was difficult due to sticks and logs gathered at the end of it. We got to the huge boulders and didn’t have rope, we found a small hole and got through super easily. Highly recommend this hike!!!

backpacking
4 months ago

Best day hike I have done. I hiked BG in March. The first hour was dry. The second hour was in and out of a couple dozen pools that ranged from knee to waste deep (I am 5’6”). My neoprene socks and pants helped me stay warm because it was 30 degrees but my feet stayed numb throughout because I only went with 2mm. My bf had 5mm and was much more comfortable. After an hour in the pools, the canyon opens up and I warmed up a bit but quickly hit the deeper pools known as the cesspools which are chest and neck deep. One has a rock slide into the pool which if you slide down it will submerge you. If you stay to the left there are small steps down and the left side is slightly higher (stay to the right on the return). Started at 8:30AM and got back to the trailhead at 4:20PM. I didn’t use poles so my knees and ankles were sore the next day. We only saw one other couple during the hike and were mostly alone with the exception of some people at the beginning of the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous. Be prepared to run into water during the winter months. We came across knee deep water in Feb.

hiking
6 months ago

Wanted to ditch the crowds today and it worked on this trail! We didn't go too far but we had our 5 yo and it was perfect for us. Lots of beautiful scenery and plenty of exploring to do and scrambling around on the slick rock. We were here in good weather in January - I imagine it gets real hot in summer but once you get down towards more of the narrow sections it's probably a lot cooler. Just lots of exploring to do here - I look forward to coming back and making it further down the gulch.

backpacking
8 months ago

Did Buckskin to Lee's Ferry. Changed my life. After the first day of hiking, didn't see another human for 48 hours. It was unreal.

8 months ago

Gorgeous!

8 months ago

Entered Buckskin via Wire Pass trial and went right. There were 5-6 pools calf deep with a few inches of mud. Pools are very cold however not to bad. Turned around and headed back up Buckskin for about 2 hours and I might say it was well worth it. We were told not to head that way due to not much to see “wrong”. Look for the whole cow skeleton of to the left of the dry bed. #neverstopwandering

backpacking
9 months ago

The water may be 40 degrees, but at least it’s thigh deep!

10 months ago

I entered Buckskin Gulch from Wire Pass on 9/20. Wire Pass was dry. Immediately after joining Buckskin Gulch (to the right), I encountered a pool that was waist deep making it difficult to proceed with backpacks. I continued through approximately 6 more pools. Though none were quite as deep as the first, they were substantial enough to slow travel. The water was also very cold. It was still a beautiful hike, but plan on getting substantially wet and potentially cold in the current conditions!

hiking
10 months ago

Did this trail in one day. INSANE. Would not recommend. Very challenging as you can never tell how deep the water is and what's under your feet. Constantly sliding all over the place. Ended up hiking 3 hours in the paria in the pitch black river back to the road where I hitch hiked back. That's an additional 7 miles on top of the actual hike. Started at 8 didn't finish until 10pm. With that said it is very beautiful and almost nobody around.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Best trail out of Zion national park. you can definitely just keep going and going and before you know it your hungry and the sun will be goin down. Gorgeous red wash! The Rick art was amazing too.

backpacking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Spectacular!!! Hiked from Buckskin to Whitehouse and enjoyed every step. The gulch was dry until we hit the cesspools. We hiked this on July 2nd & 3rd. We saw a few day hikers for a couple miles around Wire pass after that it was just us....... until we hit the campsite. There was still plenty of room. Would do it again!

hiking
Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Fun!

hiking
Friday, June 02, 2017

We did a portion of this hike in April, Wire Pass to first rock fall, about 9miles round trip in and out. Was beautiful, will post a few pictures The drop off obstacle people mention in Wire Pass really wasn't that bad to climb down, or climb back up on the way back, a few logs and rocks placed perfectly to make it easier, we have a youtube video that shows us going down and up this. Would love to do the through hike from Wire Pass to Lees Ferry someday, but need to coordinate with other hikers in order to get a car at each end. Have started this group in facebook where hikers interested in through hikes can post and meet others interested in same hikes, to set up ride shares https://www.facebook.com/groups/1986748654889852/ if you have any interests in through hikes, please join and contribute

backpacking
Thursday, February 02, 2017

Did the 40 mile Buckskin Gulch to Paria/Colorado Confluence hike in June 2005. Camping near the cliff side springs each night was great, but we couldn't find a spring on the last night so we had to let the muddy Paria water settle in our cookware overnight before filtering. 40 miles of in-stream hiking is hard, but it was one of the biggest highlights of my late teen years.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Start at wire pass and headed south at buckskin gultch. Went until our feet were frozen. Beautiful hike. Would be perfect in the heat of summer. We went in October.

backpacking
Monday, November 14, 2016

This is such a beautiful canyon. Everything you'd expect from Utah and more! Going through the cess pools was interesting, but you'll get over it after about 20 of em ;)

hiking
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Awesome slot canyon! May be problematic after a good rain. Don't do it if rain is in the forecast! lol!

backpacking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Into buckskin at wire pass, camp at the confluence of Paria and Buckskin and out Paria! Pure Joy with lots of solitude

hiking
Monday, March 21, 2016

Just amazing. Took wire pass trail and turned right on to buckskin for another 2 miles. Wanted to go further and I plan to be back.

hiking
Monday, February 22, 2016

Hiked this from the Buckskin Trail Head to where the Wire Pass Trail joins. Exited at Wire Pass Trail head. The first part of the hike follow the river with frequent crossings so hiking sandals are a plus. After a while you start hiking in the river. Then the canyon narrows and become a slot canyon for many miles with only a couple of entrance/exits. Wire Pass is the first exit which is the one we took. Ankle deep water was so cold in February that I wished that I hadn't forgotten my neoprene booties. Want able to hitch a ride back to the car at Buckskin Gulch from some kind photographers.

hiking
Friday, August 07, 2015

Be careful! We hiked the trail from the Wire Pass trailhead to just short of the Paria River confluence where we hiked out cross-country back to the trailhead via the edge of the Wave where we hit the return trail. The round-trip route was 22 miles per Google Earth and it took us 11 hours. The mud and water in the Gulch was chest deep in many places - we hiked it in late July just after some recent rains and there were no people in sight anywhere except at the trailhead. There are very few places to get out of the Gulch safely and long stretches where there is no escape from a flash flood, so be sure you check the weather before going in. The Gulch is amazing and beautiful and a must do for anyone who thinks they have done it all. The hike cross-country on the return is mostly sage-covered sand with some slick rock - not easy.

hiking
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Definitely great for adventurous running; we had a Dutch guest stay at our B&B here in Kanab who said Buckskin/Paria were her absolute favorite running routes for training before the Grand2Grand UltraMarathon!

trail running
Sunday, May 31, 2015

Is it possible to run the trail, and can we do it at self. We come from Denmark for running trails.

hiking
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Buckskin Gulch is one of my favorites! I have never felt so small in the world being at the bottom of that tall of a slot canyon. Absolutely stunning and I highly recommend this. Hiked it in November so it was a little chill with the wind, few spots of mud but not bad.

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