Shelf Canyon Trail is a 0.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Springdale, Utah and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from April until November.

Distance: 0.7 miles Elevation Gain: 259 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

walking

rocky

scramble

off trail

no dogs

In the Southern Utah sea of slot canyons, the end of this one (the shelves that give it its name) is truly unique! Thanks to its slant, this canyon sees very little daylight and stays cool in the heat of summer. Park at the second parking area for the Canyon Overlook Trail; it is the small canyon immediately to the north. There is one small obstacle climbing around a boulder which should not be much of a challenge.

hiking
5 days ago

Coming from west park right after tunnel... otherwise from the east just get close, maybe .2 miles from trail head. No true trailhead, but just go down the right side of bridge as you face the tunnel. Stay to the left of the wash about 0.2 miles you will hit the big boulders- go past them on the left. You’ll hit the narrow slot canyon and as you get to the end it will again be blocked by boulders. Go by these on the right with a scramble. After this - pay dirt! Super cool slot canyon in pics with what looks like stair steps/ shelves On the left. Absolutely worth doing - fantastic quick diversion. Loved this hike.

recorded Shelf Canyon Trail

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
off trail
rocky
2 months ago

Best trail we went on all day. Great slot canyon right off the road, just don’t tell too many people about it. Wouldn’t want it to be crowded when I go back ;)

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Forgot to start the recording, but great scramble to a slot canyon. Our 5 year olds were able to complete it, but I’ve had them hiking and climbing for over a year. I don’t advise it if your children aren’t experienced. As others mentioned, the trailhead is tough to see, but over the first Boulder, you’ll stay right and follow the trail up. Take your time and enjoy it. We were the only ones on the trail so that was a huge plus.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail and well worth the initial climb over the boulders near the end of the wash!

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

I only went in .2 because of the bouldering that others mentioned. I am not technical when it comes to canyonering and I was alone, so I turned around. I spent a lot of time watching the goats eating breakfast. Note, finding the trail entrance is also a bit of an adventure as it's not a marked or developed trial. I suppose this is one reason I had this trail and goats all to myself. Maybe someday I can go back with more experience and people to go up into the canyon!!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
flooded
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

Fun short hike. There are no trail markings. Requires some scramble. The last third is in a narrow canyon. I had an awesome time. Beautiful views.

hiking
6 months ago

Really cool small slot canyon! Definitely some bouldering to get there but it’s a short trail and fun! Hard to figure out where it starts but once you sort that part out you can basically follow the wash all the way.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Fun little slot Canyon close to the road! Had it to myself early morning.

rocky
scramble
10 months ago

This isn’t actually a “trail”. You just scramble and rock climb the entire way! It was cool, but also sketchy. We turned around after a quarter mile. Also there is no water at this point.

hiking
11 months ago

Fun spot for exploration -- agree that this isn't for folks not willing or able to get their hands involved, as it does involve some scrambling. The slot portion is great -- the water was over a foot deep in a couple of spots and was quite cold. Adventurous types can work their way up the shelves at the back end of the canyon until they get "shelved out". You can park at the eastern-most Canyon Overlook trail parking or slightly more east than that (it's often full) along the road where there are pull-outs. The trail itself starts in the ravine and is most easily accessed from the east side.

hiking
rocky
scramble
11 months ago

This is a short and fun little hike with lots of rock scrambling. It was my first slot canyon! Saw one other group of two that seemed to have stopped and turned around at the big bolder. There are parts that take some creativity to get around and over, but it’s definitely worth it! Bring water shoes! The water was a little over ankle deep in parts and pretty cold.

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
Mon May 27 2019

Date Visited: 5/25/19 This is a pretty cool slot if you can get to it. Not really for your average hiker as it does require some slightly difficult "climbing"/scrambling. We did not need to go around the boulder with the dead tree. We were able to climb up by wedging our feet in between the rock and the log, then inched our way up. Once past that, it is generally easy to get further. Angela was correct, ankle high water in the slot. Really Really cool canyon though just not very long and not your typical slot canyon. There are a bunch of shelves (hence the name) that are really fun to climb on. Fun way to end our week of Zion!

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
Sat May 25 2019

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
scramble
Wed May 22 2019

We loved this, but it is definitely a lot of scrambling. Ankle deep water in the slot canyon so plan on getting wet. We used RG Hikers photos below to help find the trail (thanks!). At the slickrock area with the broken tree, we couldn't figure out how to climb up so went through the bushes on the right side of the trail. Sliding down it on the way out was fun though. Anyway, awesome hike if you have kids that enjoy climbing (ours were 10 and 13).

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