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Wire Pass Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kanab, Utah that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 216 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

river

views

wildlife

no shade

Wire Pass is a short drainage that joins the much longer Buckskin Gulch slot canyon, and provides a convenient entrance point, enabling hikers to bypass the upper 4 miles of the gulch which are shallow and less interesting than the 12 miles downstream. From the trailhead, the streamway is 1.75 miles. For the first mile from the trailhead, the walk is along a wide, meandering streambed between low reddish cliffs, over soft sand that makes progress rather difficult. Signs discourage hikers from taking short cuts across the grassy banks inside the bends of the stream, since this can cause erosion. There is not much to see at first, except various lizards - the drainage is home to quite a few examples of the large desert spiny lizard, a species more interesting than most with colorful patches of orange, black and blue. The surrounding cliffs become gradually higher and closer together, and the last half mile has two good deep stretches of narrows. At the end of the second slot the cliffs open out suddenly at the confluence with Buckskin Gulch; downstream is a deep and enclosed one mile section before the gulch becomes quite wide for a while and so this would be a good target for a half day hike, for those who want just an introduction to the Buckskin canyon system. 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing trail. The new ladder made all the difference. The trail was practically dry today (10/14) and we had no problems completing it. Almost missed the petroglyphs, distracted by the graffiti.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 day ago

Great slot canyons! The path is mostly rocky and sandy and quite easy other than the ~8ft ladder about 1.5 miles in (fine for me, not the best for my dog). If you back up and go up and to the right you can avoid the ladder by going above the slot canyon. I met a nice woman in the parking lot at the trailhead who had just completed the hike and she carried her dog down the ladder but then coming back used the path over the top. I took her suggestion and with the help of nice passerby’s carried my 35lb dog down the ladder just fine.

hiking
9 days ago

Oct 6 2019 someone had placed an aluminum laddar in place. I’m not a laddar fan but did fine. Petroglyphs at the confluence of Buckskin Gulch. If you go right, there are lots of rocks If you go left, it is sandy. Loved the trail. Antelope canyon gets $100 for that experience. This was a great ride, hike without a rushed charter type experience.

hiking
17 days ago

Interesting slot canyon once you get down the wash. We turned right into buckskin gulch for a mile or two. If ladder is not up bypass the 10 ft drop off by cutting around to the right.

hiking
19 days ago

Washboard gravel road for 8mi until trailhead, might get difficult in wet. Maintenance at trailhead said slick like ice. Saw some sedans, they were going pretty slow and no way the shaking of that road is good for them. Some areas with exposed stone poking out of road. Hike starts with gentle downhill into the slot along a streambed. Didn't go too far into the slot, but there is an aluminium ladder placed now where previously it sounds like a fairly precarious climb on a rope ladder or tree. Family past us with young kids had no issues. Only 4 stars since we had to back out due to rainclouds coming in as we got close to the slot - I'd go back again if back in the area. Please keep an eye on the weather and forecast- you will not see the sky from the slot and there is no getting out quickly

hiking
25 days ago

The first mile or so is uneventful, but once you get to the slot it is incredible. We continued another 3 miles into Buckskin Gulch and it was worth every step

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful hike but turn off to gravel road not well marked and 8 miles of washboards Just a heads up. Don’t bring your sedan.

hiking
26 days ago

Stunning. Such a cool walk through narrows. Not too strenuous. We walked to the right after petroglyphs, found a nice open area for lunch. They’ve replaced the broken tree branch with a ladder. Happy about that as we didn’t want to turn around that quickly.

hiking
1 month ago

The chockstone is worth it! Walked to first camping area down stream. Beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

Great little trail. Most people don’t crawl down the tree limb at the rock slide, a little tricky getting back up. If you go either way at the gulch, it’s beautiful but the same mile after mile. This is a Feinstein’s must do hike if you in the area. Rough washboard road for 8 lies to get to trailhead.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

It is a must if you go to Vermillion Cliff it is a beautiful trail, have pass between very tight rocky walls. This trail is about 7.5 Km round trip.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is amazing ! Takes a hot second to get to the trail and a mile walk before it gets pretty. You’ll walk through a few slot canyons before you come to the ladder everyone talks about. I’m 5”2 and an avid hiker. I’ve been all over the world so I never thought a little ladder would be such an issue but trying to wrap my torso around to get the tree branch I put pressure on the ladder and it didn’t hold. I’m 115 pounds. Fractured my ankle. Didn’t help I proceeded to walk 15 miles down buckskin after but just be very careful with the ladder. Not safe. So if you’re short you’ll need help. There’s nothing to hold onto trying to get around the big rock and you have to just trust the person and let go. Which is scary enough to land your foot where it needs to go next. Not something just anyone can do. The people behind us all turned back around so if you’re not going to do the ladder. Not worth it. You can go into the same slot canyons at buckskin trailhead start of the trail and then go through wirepass backwards. Just take a right when you get to the big opening. There’s a sign that points to wirepass. But we did wirepass to buckskin. One of the most beautiful scenery hikes I’ve done. Be very careful and check for rain. A family had gotten caught in a flash flood. 10 min of rain and water flows too fast down into the slot canyons. Two of them didn’t make it out they were telling us when we went to page later that week. :( so look at the forecast if you’re doing slot canyons. Flash floods are no joke !

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible place, highly recommended and free, you only pay for parking, with the annual pass only half. Nothing to envy to the canyon antelopes, there is only one technical step at the beginning that if several people go it can be easier than one, or it can be avoided surrounding the mountain, it is marked with milestones and you can return to the canyon until the technical step of new. very highly recommended

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Houserock Valley Rd and the trail head are both easy to find. Trail head is clearly marked and there are pit toilets there. The road getting there is doable in a car... there were several in the parking lot when we arrived. A few spots on the road have exposed rocks poking up a bit, but nothing you can't get around. If the road was wet at all however, you may have some trouble. The stream bed is the trail. There is gravel and sand to hike through along the stream bed, which is slower going as the general description suggests. We found that if you walk along the more compacted soil where water has flowed most of the time this dirt is harder and makes for easy walking. It is 1.8 miles until you get to the narrow 'slot canyon' part of the hike. The slot canyon is way cool and quite narrow, but not a problem to get through unless you're HUGE! I would recommend not going down the rope ladder. It's attached to a rock about 16-18" in diameter that moves slightly and there are rocks below it. We did the bypass around it. You miss part of the canyon, but can go back up to see it if you want. Once you're in the canyon it's a great hike, but over rather quickly. All of the Wire Pass section was dry. It then widens and connects to Buckskin gulch. Going left takes you out again in a few miles and makes it a loop, but the trail head is several miles away from where you started and you would want to leave another vehicle there to get back. We elected to go right as that direction had a lot more canyon to offer. Both directions had standing water right away (August) and several groups turned around at that point. If you want more than just a small sample of a slot canyon I would recommend adding part of Buckskin Gulch to this hike. Be prepared to get wet. We went through several pools of water, most were about a foot deep. The highest was around 2 feet deep. Water was a bit cold, but the canyon was awesome! It was a 90 degree day, but the canyon was probably 70-72 degrees in the shaded parts. The canyon winds, so the light reflects differently all over. Some of it sunny, but most in the shade. Plenty of photo ops and great pictures. We went 5 1/2 miles in total then back out. Sand and boulders the whole way, but no drops of any kind. Highly recommended, but plan on some water.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Beautiful scenery. As everyone else says the ladder is very sketchy! A must if you are in the Kanab area.

hiking
2 months ago

The first part of the trail is nice but when you get to the slot canyon it quickly turns to awesome. About 100 yards into the slot canyon you come across a drop where you need to either go down to rope ladder or sort of shimmy down some old tree trunks that are placed on either side. Please know that the rope ladder is nothing short of precarious. It’s swings and it hangs under and it’s just no good and problem waiting to happen. However if you go down the tree trunks, especially with a little help, you’ll be fine. If you decide you’re not comfortable using the ladder or the tree trunks just go back out to the end of the canyon and immediately on your left you’ll see a cairn that will take you up and over and around and drop you back into the slot canyon on the other side of the ladder. The slot canyon is narrow and nothing short of magical. You go through one canyon then come to an opening then go through a second canyon and then you come to a tea. We took a left and went down towards buckskin Gulch and it was more canyons and more beauty. We don’t know what happens if you take a right at the tea stop but hopefully will find out tomorrow.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

What an amazing trail; I’m so glad we decided to go for it. We left Kanab for Wire Pass. Google maps will take you straight to the trailhead but GPS is glitchy in this area. Just know you have to make a right hand turn off the main highway onto a dirt road - Houserock Valley Rd. If you blink you’ll miss it. Its a good trek in a vehicle but I suggest something that was built for off-roading. I was in a minivan and had to take it slow because of the rocks/dirt. 3 miles into the drive you pass the buckskin gulch trailhead. 5 miles later you reach wire pass trailhead and parking lot. Pay the permit fee (there’s a box with envelopes and instructions) and place in your vehicle. Don’t skip the payment because rangers visit sporadically and look for your permit. You’ll be ticketed if you don’t pay. I did this hike starting at 3:30pm and was hesitant at first because it looked like rain was coming, also thought it was getting late. The ranger came by and said there was no reason to not do the hike at that time because it’s so bright out until 9:00pm. So we headed off for the trailhead. It’s a bit hard to walk in the stream bed because it’s sand and gravel. Watch out for rattle snakes and stick to the middle of the stream bed. Stay out of the bushes and carry Benadryl for emergencies. We saw a rattle snake near the edge of the stream bed and it blended in very well! The rock you get to that you have to climb down is not that easy. The first person who goes down has no idea where to step so it’s a blind drop. Watch your footing. The first person down can help others get their footing. If you’re alone and/or have no upper body strength to pull yourself up...well..you may just get stuck down there. Pictures make it look ok but it’s a bit scary. The large boulder is smooth with nothing to grab onto making it even harder. It really does need a better ladder because eventually the log will deteriorate with overuse. The rock is the only hard part. Walk until you can’t walk anymore and you know you’re there at Buckskin Gulch. Don’t miss the petroglyphs on the right wall!!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing slot canyon hike. As others mentioned it is really sunny until you get in the canyon and one big drop, but it is doable if you climb down the log. We had a 4, 6 and 8 year old that were all able to make the climb with adult assistance.

hiking
3 months ago

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hiking
3 months ago

Loved this hike! The first mile or so is through a dry river bed but there are some cool rock formations to see. The last half mile is though a wonderful little slot canyon. As other reviewers have indicated there is a 9 ft drop with a sketchy log ladder. However, there is a bypass by following a little path over the ledges before the slot canyon. There are rock piles indicating the bypass. Wire pass merges into Buckskin Gulch which is also a fabulous slot canyon!

hiking
3 months ago

Great little slot. The pour off is tricky, but there is a bypass trail, which is also tricky. So be careful.

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 months ago

Really enjoyed the scenery for this trail. There is a permit required to be submitted via envelope and put receipt in car window. The entrance to the slot canyon is a decent walk on flat, but, rocky terrain. The initial short walk into the canyon there is a tricky boulder you need to climb down (blindly) onto two unsturdy logs about 8 feet (recommend a rope or friend to help you, keep this in mind for children, it's kind of sketchy). After that, it's easy. The walk and experience is lightly trafficked and very beautiful.

hiking
3 months ago

Grand canyon 1.5 rest house, plus wire pass to buckskin gulch

3 months ago

the first time we went here was last October we didn't make it because of the rain cloud coming in, and it started raining. we didn't take that chance. This time, it was perfect weather. My hubby fix the wooden ladder, because wasn't sturdy enough. I'm sad and mad at the same time, people vandalized some of the walls. There's some markings on it. I hate when people ruin something beautiful.

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