Butterfly Canyon

Butterfly Canyon is a small and less visited canyon among other ones. It cuts across the Northern edge of the Kaibab Plateau—south of the Navajo Creek arm of Lake Powell—in Navajo land. It has few roads, and sparse habitation. The canyon is one of the most difficult slot canyons to explore. It offers great adventure to those who are willing and able to expend vigorous exertion. You must be well versed with route-finding and rock-climbing skills to make it all the way down the canyon. And, ropes are a necessity.

The Butterfly Canyon has two sections—first, an upper half-mile stretch with short narrows, though less deep but pretty. And second, below a 200 foot steeply vertical drop, you’ll find another 2 miles of wonderful passages with muddy pools, huge rocks and boulders, and other dry-falls.

In the upper portion of the slot canyon there are places where there are vertical rock walls up to 30 feet high, and other places where you will find an easy route down. Towards the higher part of the stream, you will find some gently curving narrows and places where water pools following a rainfall. There are some shaded pathways where gluey mud lasts for some time after a flood. The canyon ends quickly, right below the bend of the Carmel rim—a sandstone bed that is a bit sturdier than the underlying Navajo formation.

On downstream, the canyon becomes depthless and broad; the steep rocks at either side drop away and the watercourse stretches out over a horizontal rock bed. Then, after about 50 yards, the land very suddenly drops about 200 feet—a truly sensational drop! Immediately underneath the dry-falls, there are many deep, smooth basins, disk-like potholes, and more skewed formations. Here you’ll find some of nature’s most beautiful work.

To climb down at this point is impractical; however, 20 minutes of subsequent rim marching on the East side will provide a route down to the streambed. Remember, hiking next is no way straightforward, particularly after recent rains when numerous pools and long patches of sleek mud hinder the path.

Most parts of the Upper Kaibito Creek are not open for visitors, because the habitants demand that the beauty and the culture of the region should not be affected by the outside world, and Butterfly Canyon is not an exception—officially closed. However, special permission can grant you the opportunity to visit and enjoy the beauty of the canyon.



Outdoor Products
Outdoor Products

Climbing Videos

Altrec Climbing Shop - Save on Name Brands

 Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon