TOUR ESSENTIALS

Scheduled Departure:

Daily, All year-round, Flexible Departure Time

Participants: Minimum 3

Terrain: No marked trails

Round Trip Distance: 4 to 10 miles,
                                       depending on route

Duration: 7 to 9 hours (full-day tour)
                  depending on route

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (Wire Pass)

                    Moderate to Strenuous (Middle Route)

Specific BLM User Fee: 6$ per person per day

                                            (to be paid at the trailhead)

Price: $220 per person
          (half-price for children under 12)

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Incredible day of hiking into the world's longest slot canyon

  • Enchanting subterranean tour in swirling sculpted sandstone

  • Awesome photography opportunities

  • Great alternative to The Wave or South Coyote Buttes if you are unlucky in the draw for a permit. You won't be disappointed!

TOUR DESCRIPTION

There are as many metaphors to describe what locals call 'down in the Buckskin' as there are people who have been there. I choose the word 'in' because you are literally inside the walls of the world's longest slot canyon. Sound like an exaggeration? Check this then...

 

According to the Bureau of Land Management ('BLM') website, Buckskin Gulch is 16 miles long (around 26 km) from the Buckskin Trailhead to the Paria Canyon and over 500 feet (around 150m) deep at its confluence with the Paria River. There are places in the Buckskin where you are able to touch both canyon walls at the same time. It was voted one the top 10 hikes in the world by National Geographic Adventure Magazine a few years back.

 

Buckskin Gulch is a photographer's and hiker's Mecca. Every corner you turn is changing continuously; the cliffs are water-and-wind-sculpted patterns of colors, light and shadows. The canyon walls towering over you are remnants of early Jurassic petrified sand dunes of Navajo sandstone (about 175 million years old). These ancient sand dunes were once part of the largest desert ever recorded on Earth and could reach 3,000 feet (around 900m) high. You will see thousands upon thousands of thin lines stacked one on top of the other, where each line represents a wind event as the dunes were being deposited. You will also see some logs and debris dragged by frequent flash floods; some are wedged 30 to 40 feet (9-12m) above your head, one is even lodged at 100 feet (30m).

 

You may marvel and puzzle at the meanings of the rock writings (petroglyphs) from the early Archaic period (some are as old as 9,000 years). These petroglyphs were left by the ancient ones, the First People, as they walked the same canyon corridors.

 

If you have done some research, Buckskin is considered as an easy hike by some or one of 'America's 10 most dangerous hikes' by others (Backpacker Magazine - Oct 2008). The degree of difficulty depends on various dynamic factors in particular the weather conditions, the route taken and one's physical abilities and limitations. All the more reason to hike down in the Buckskin with an experienced and trained guide!

 

For further practical information on our tours, please check our Planning Tips.

 

The Faces of Buckskin Gulch
The Faces of Buckskin Gulch

Log in Buckskin Gulch
Log in Buckskin Gulch

In the Buckskin
In the Buckskin

The Faces of Buckskin Gulch
The Faces of Buckskin Gulch

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BUCKSKIN GULCH
Slot Canyon Tour

Slot Canyon, Hiking Tour
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(435) 689 2182