Buckskin Gulch

Buckskin Gulch is the longest and deepest slot canyon in the Southwest, and some suppose it to be the longest in the whole world. Buckskin Gulch is believed to be the best slot canyons for canyoneering enthusiast. The canyon is narrow for 12 miles, and the cliffs become steadily higher downstream, reaching a height of 500 feet above the stream at the end. At this point, Buckskin Gulch meets Paria River.

The stony walls of the canyon are dark, and it is obviously clear that sunlight has rarely ever touched their surface. But the Gulch still has the characteristic swirls and curves worn by countless years of floods and there are innumerable photogenic rock formations that are pleasing to the lens of both eyes and the camera. These patterns can well inspire a mind to think about all kinds of distorted creatures and strange objects!

Buckskin Gulch is a tributary of the Paria River, and Paria River itself drains out at an area around the Vermilion Cliffs in Utah and joins the Paria exactly at the Utah/Arizona border. This point lies at 20 miles from the Colorado.

The access to this canyon is provided through three trailheads: Middle, Wire Pass, and Buckskin. The Middle Trail leads to the canyon about half way, but it has almost a 5 mile trip on some bad roads and a climb down the cliff walls. So, if you would like to avoid this journey, you can think about the other paths, it’s no wonder that the other two paths are more popular. These paths offer a good dirt track that leads to the South from US 89 near milepost 26, 4 miles East of the turn-off to the Paria ghost town. When you have moved ahead around 4 miles, a signpost points to the Buckskin Trailhead. This is where you will find the canyon to probably be the least interesting—it is almost unremarkable here. In conclusion, the preferred path by most of the visitors turns out to be the Wire Pass Trailhead. It lies 3.5 miles further South, and provides quicker access to the deep and scenic parts of the canyon.

The permit to this canyon is necessary, as it is hazardous in some areas. You will need to pay $5 for day use, $10 for camping. The overnight trips must be booked in advance and are limited to 20 people per day.



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