August 24, 2016
Garfield County is bursting with amazing hikes and incredible views. But why just hike when you can interact with the earth? Hiking through slot canyons involves both hands and feet to climb over, shimmy through and duck under beautiful red rocks. To help make your Garfield County adventures complete, we have gathered, just for you, a list of four stunning slot canyon trails in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Zebra and Tunnel Slot Canyons
The Zebra Slot Canyon lives up to its name with walls that are lined with intricate pink and white stripes. These zebra walls wave in and out hypnotizing your eyes. This family-friendly walk is 5.3 miles round trip. If time and energy permits, the Tunnel Slot Canyon is nearby with long narrow slot walls towering 200-feet above you. Increasing the cool factor, the trail is usually flooded with water, so don’t forget your aqua shoes. Overall, both trails comes out to be 7.2 miles long. Bring your camera, because these are shots you will not want to miss.
Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Gulches
Both slot canyons can be explored in one day. The red and orange rocks shine strong making these hikes a photographer’s dream. Slots vary from deep descents to hugging walls. So you might need to take off your backpack and suck in your gut a bit to get through the tight crevices. The true fun begins when the need arises for you use your hands to crawl and scramble up the many small obstacles found within. If you like to climb and maneuver to reach amazing vistas, all three slot canyons are worth a visit.
Brimstone Gulch awaits the old and the young. You may have to walk a mile to reach the canyon, but the suspense is worth the trip. For those wanting a true narrow adventure, this slot canyon is barely a meter wide for most of the hike. Sunlight is blocked by the long tapered walls, and the dark rock adds an even more ghostly feel to the gulch. The sandy floor contrasted with the wavy towering rock walls keeps your eyes occupied at all times. Brimstone is often combined with Peekaboo and Spooky slot canyons for an all-around great experience.
If you’re looking for an awesome backpacking exploration trip, the Coyote Gulch has got you covered. It includes beautiful Navajo Sandstone canyon walls, glowing crystal streams, a natural rock bridge, two exotic arches and several mind boggling waterfalls. Fascinating Fremont Indian pictographs help you experience life as the natives did long ago. You can either go in for a day hike or spend 2-4 nights squeezing out the experience’s full potential. Because of the gulch’s beauty and popularity, expect to make friends with other hikers along the way.
Local guides and outfitters in the Escalante and Boulder area are a great way to explore these popular spots. Check our list of area guides to help plan your next trip.
*Be sure to check the local visitor centers current slot canyon conditions before heading out.*