If you are traveling to Utah and are looking for an unusual adventure- consider Little Wild Horse Canyon. This 8-mile loop takes 4-6 hours and can be combined with a visit to nearby Goblin Valley State Park. If you are dividing your time between the two places, it may not be possible to do the entire hike. However, if you can spend a couple hours, it is definitely worth it. I have hiked in many places in the US and elsewhere, but I’ve never experienced anything like this slot canyon in Utah.
The path leading to the canyon is deceptive. It does not provide any hint of the impending experience.
At the trail head, a simple sign gives you two options- Little Wild Horse Canyon or Bell Canyon.
Within no time, hikers get a small taste of what lies ahead.
The rock formations have a variety of textures and colors that reflect the effects of mother nature.
The passageway becomes narrower and narrower. It feels like you are being consumed by a one-way maze.
We had fun scampering through the different twists and turns.
Occasionally, we came upon some open areas. We would glance up at the cloudy skies to reassure ourselves that we could move forward.
The park ranger at Goblin Valley State Park told us that rain was not in the forecast. However, he sternly warned that daily weather predictions were not an absolute guarantee. We had to remain vigilant because one could easily drown in a slot canyon during a storm.
Unfortunately our journey lasted only a couple of hours since we had spent time driving from Moab and also exploring Goblin Valley State Park. We had eaten all of our snacks and wanted to get back to Moab for dinner.
If you are in this part of Utah on a clear day, I highly recommend exploring Little Wild Horse Canyon.
Due to the narrow configuration of the canyon, extreme care needs to be taken. The Utah State Park system states in its literature that anyone entering a narrow canyon is assuming a risk. Thus, it is advisable to be aware of the weather forecasts and to watch the skies overhead. While walking through the canyon, it is imperative to plan possible escape routes in the event of storm.
Oftentimes hikers underestimate the amount of water they will need. Since you are in an isolated area, it is best to err on the conservative side. Even on a cloudy day, the passageway can become warmer than anticipated.
Just before entering Goblin Valley State Park, turn on the signed improved road for Little Wild Horse. Drive a little more than 5 miles to the trailhead, which is located on the right. From the parking lot, follow the marked trail for approximately a half of a mile. If you walk straight, you will need to climb into and out of a deep cavern. Hikers near the trailhead told us to climb up on the left side in order to avoid this area. The pathways up and down vary in the degree of difficulty.
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