Paria Canyon: White House Trailhead to Buckskin Gulch is a 14.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Paria, Utah that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

14.9 miles
905 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly






wild flowers


This is an out-and-back hike from the White House Trailhead of the Paria Canyon Trail. This is the northern-most trailhead. Most people do a several day backpacking trip ending at the Lees Ferry Trailhead, but this out-and-back route shown here provides a nice alternative. Also, this way you don't need to have someone pick you up at the end. Overnight stays in the canyon require a permit from the BLM, day hiking does not. Please visit this site for permits: If you're bringing a dog for an overnight stay, the dog also needs a permit. Paria Canyon is the longest slot canyon in the world and has four main points of entry: White House Trailhead, Wire Pass Trailhead, Middle Passage, and Lee's Ferry Trailhead. There are several clusters of campsites throughout the canyon. From the White House Trailhead, follow the Paria River south. You will have to cross the river several times, so wear appropriate shoes. Soon, you will find yourself in an open canyon. There is little shade, and it can get very hot. Four miles from the trailhead, the canyon walls narrow and ascend, and you enter the Paria Narrows. Three miles from the entrance to the Narrows, you'll reach the intersection with Buckskin Gulch. There is a great campsite here (permit required). Hikers through hiking the trail would take a left here, and continue along the Paria Canyon to Lees Ferry. But if you're just heading back to White House Trailhead, just turn back the way you came from. Beware, there are rattlesnakes in this area. Other potential wildlife includes canyon wrens, peregrine falcons, condors, and great horned owls. It gets very hot in the canyon, so it is not recommended to do this hike in the middle of summer.

1 month ago

Disclaimer: The trail does not begin where it says it does on the All Trails app, so be sure to take the road that says trail information for the White House Trailhead, and you can follow that all the way back to the White House Campground where the trail ACTUALLY begins.

Once you arrive at the White House Campground you can follow the trail down to the river. It might be easiest just to go directly down to the river and follow that through the canyon rather than try and follow the trail as it shown on the app, as we got somewhat off-track before connecting with the river ourselves.

We did this trek on 10/15 around midday and went as far as we could into the canyon before having to turn around and head back so that we could catch sunset at the Wahweap Overlook (highly recommended).

We didn't see a single other human on the trail, which made this a perfect day out in the wilderness. We attempted to go as far as we could with our hiking boots before having to revert to sandals, but after a small spill into the water, it was time to put them on.

This is a truly incredibly hike that I would love to snag a permit for next go-around so that we could camp overnight and make it all the way through to the end of the trail.

Water levels were decently low, and we didn't cross a single spot that went above our knees. It was also pretty muddy in some areas, but not too bad overall.

Can't wait to return to do the entire thing!

1 month ago

Beautiful trail. We went after it had rained a week prior and the water level was still high, with the rest of the canyon bed incredibly muddy. Be prepared to get your feet wet.

1 month ago

We hiked Paria on 9/23/18 and did not get our feet wet. The canyon was very dry. This was our second hike into the canyon from the White House trail-head. We turned around just before the confluence with Buckskin. Last time, a few years ago, LOTS of water. Chest deep.and turned around rather than swim. Was glad to see the dry river bed but the neoprene socks and canyoneering shoes were a big mistake - hiking boots would have been much better. At he Contact Station we were told to expect a lot of water. This is a fantastic hike. The canyon is narrow, deep and incredibly beautiful. I would not call it a real slot but love it just the same. For real slots there are Buckskin & Wire Pass nearby. Agree with a previous review that after you leave the narrows it is a hump back to the trail-head.

6 months ago

Hiked this with a bunch friends via wire pass trailhead. It was quite muddy & stinky but still a beautiful slot canyon. Little bit of scramble & down climb in spots. Got wet up to our knees & thighs in a couple spots. Did this as an out and back and tracked it about 12 .5 Miles or so. Check the weather before you enter, flash floods can occur. Next time we’ll drop a car at Paria whitehouse and hike the whole thing

6 months ago

This was a trip I made because Buckskin had flash flooded. We didn’t want to waste the time. The camp site was awesome for a regular site but we had no clue what was in store for us. It was incredibly beautiful- I cannot even describe how amazing these narrows and aquatic masterpieces were. Neither me or my non hiking friend were prepared.

I did this about 3 years ago and would do it again anytime. Just be careful- the camp site is hard to find on the way back.

9 months ago

I wasn't able to complete this hike due to crossing the river (didn't have the right gear) however I will be back!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Absolutely beautiful, and the puppy had a blast!

Monday, July 10, 2017

My brother and I did this route and continued on through Buckskin to the end of Buckskin many years ago at the very end of May. Getting down to where the canyon turns very narrow, and thus provides cool shade, was very hot at that time of year. But from then on you are crossing a tiny water way (at that time of year), and sometime deeper pools once you enter Buckskin. We took 3 days - not a death march, like so many people seem to go for. Slow down and notice the details. We found some wider spots in Buckskin to camp in, and the bats that came out at sunset were wonderful. If you can safely leave a bicycle at one end these days, it is not too long of a bike to get back to the beginning where you left your vehicle. The end of May, beginning of June is a good time, as you don't get cold in the water (I'm short and a few times it came up to my thighs), and this is the driest (as in rain) time of the year for the area. You don't want to know what a flash flood in a slot canyon is like, and you probably wouldn't live to put it on Facebook anyway.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

I did this stretch of the Paria with my son in March of 2012. I rate it as difficult due to the water flow that day. More on that later. We started at the parking area at the White House trail-head and campground. There is a BLM visitor center right when you turn off highway 89 that's worth checking out too. From the trail-head, you simply start walking down river. Going down river is the easy part. But the water in March was super cold!! We intended on going as far as Buckskin Gulch that day. That would have been far enough for me. But for whatever reason, preoccupied with the scenery, we walked right by it. The confluence of the Buckskin comes in on the right side when walking downstream. And it is not very wide. Slot canyons at their best here. At any rate, we wound up walking another mile and a half before I realized we missed it. We stopped for a well-deserved rest, and to thaw our feet out. They were freezing by now. Did I mention you will be walking in the river the entire time? Once we started heading back up river, the slog against the current was more than I bargained for. It was downright hard going. We got to the Buckskin confluence and went a short distance up this creek as that was our plan all along. Then back to the Paria for the long haul back to the truck. Another thing I had not even thought about, was the water flow by afternoon when snow melt was at its highest. The river had come up a lot since morning, and now the going was really tough. The walk out of there was painful. Literally. My feet and ankles were shot by the time we got back. It felt like you were dragging several balls and chains while walking. Was never so glad to get back to dry land. But, this canyon is incredible. The cliffs and photo opps in here are endless. Worth doing for sure, but do it when water flow is low. Or make it an all-out backpack all the way to Lees Ferry one way, which many do. The mileage posted here, is accurate too. No wonder I was so tired.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pictures from this hike were amazing. As others have said, it's further to the confluence but once you're in there you feel like you could go forever. The walk back was a bit of a grind in the open wash but I believe this is as good as it gets.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Great hike! One thing worth mentioning - we hiked closer to 14.3 miles out and back. Not the 9.3 listed above. If you want to go from White House trailhead to The Confluence and back be prepared for 14 to 15 miles.

You should also be prepared to get wet. There are times when you have no choice, but to hike in the river. We must have crossed the river 30 to 40 times that day.

A few words of caution - be very careful of flash flooding. The canyons are steep and narrow at points, there no protection from the sun for the first 4 miles or so, and some of the miles can slow (especially coming back upstream through the water.

In the end, we had a great time! N*joy!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Great backpacking spot. I'm definitely planning on returning. A few hazards to be aware of: (1) Heat. In the middle of summer, the first four miles before you hit the narrows are brutal. (2) Quicksand. You're not going to die, but if you're not careful, you might lose a shoe and have to dig around for it. (3) Rattlesnakes. I've lived in Arizona for 11 years, and this is the first time I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. Luckily, it rattled and then quickly slithered out of the way. (4) Floods. You're going to have to cross the Paria River multiple times. It was a shallow trickle this weekend, but it can swell very quickly when there's a rainstorm. Flash floods in a slot canyon are very dangerous, so check the forecast before you enter the canyon.

There is very little elevation change, but for some reason, I am quite sore today. I think it's from a combination of the sun exposure, the uneven muddy terrain, and the fact that wet shoes seem to weigh a ton after a miles of backpacking.

2 months ago

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trail running
Friday, November 17, 2017

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