DISTANCE
22.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,601 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

views

wildlife

no dogs

hiking
Sunday, December 11, 2016

I went there with a small group the beginning first September. We drove south from Capitol Reef NP. We had a 4runner, but road could have easily been done with something smaller. Bumpy, but otherwise drivable. The last .5 miles to the TH got a little crazy. If you have a smaller car, you may have to walk that. Back country permits were required but free at the visitor's center.
They will give you a topo map of the trail. If you're good at reading maps, it is a valuable reference for where you are because once we dropped into the canyon we had no service and no GPS.
The creek was completely dry for the first 5 or 6 miles. If you're going late summer, make sure you bring plenty of water. It is really hot and dry.
At about 6-mile we stated seeing small puddles of water pop up. The water pump came in really handy at this point.
We followed the creek bed going in. It probably made the hike longer, but it was easier to navigate. There are tons of trails winding down the canyon so if you decide to stick to the trail, don't be discouraged if you lose it. You'll find another one.
There are no signs marking the trial down there. You pretty much follow the canyon the whole way.
We camped just before the slots the first night. We decided to leave our camp set up the next day and just hike the slots with day packs. This worked pretty well and made we it back to camp just before sunset.
We started seeing more water in the slots. Bring your water shoes because you will get wet. There was only one point that the water was deep enough to have to swim through. The rest of the creek wasn't any higher than the calf.
Once you leave the slots on the south side, the trail cuts back north across the desert. This trail may be easy to miss at first but as long as you're moving in the right direction, you'll find it. Use the canyon walls as reference.
It is a really fun hike. I would recommend going earlier in the year if you want to find more water and cooler temperatures. We only saw one other group while we were down there.
TBH, I've been through better slot canyons, but it was awesome overall.