Paria River to Buckskin Gulch

HARD 3 reviews

Paria River to Buckskin Gulch is a 18 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Paria, Utah that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
18.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1017 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

wild flowers

backpacking
5 months ago

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.

hiking
9 months ago

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.

trail running
30 days ago