Hiking The Little Wild Horse Canyon
The 35th most popular hiking trail in Utah.
Sunday 26 June 2016 05:47 GMT
Southeast of Green River and west of Goblin Valley State Park, the Little Wild Horse Canyon is an exceptional slot canyon hike through red Navajo sandstone. Some consider this one of the best slot canyon hikes in Utah. The winding route passes through many shoulder-width sections. The trail from the trailhead parking area up Little Wild Horse Canyon runs about 3 miles. About 0.75 miles from the trailhead, there is a manitory 10 foot climb in the stream bed. An alternate route is well before the rocks on the left scaling an off-camber face. At about the one mile point, there is a fork in the canyon. The left canyon is Bell Canyon. The more interesting Little Wild Horse Canyon is to the right. Overall, the first mile is not very interesting, but Little Wild Horse Canyon continues to narrow the further you continue upstream. The best section is from mile 1.5 to mile 3.0.
A popular way to do this is to combine Little Wildhorse Canyon with adjacent Bell Canyon for a nice 8 mile loop. After hiking north up Little Wild Horse Canyon for 3.2 miles, veer left heading northwest following the left hand butte. Eventually wind to the southwest heading down to Bell Canyon. At Bell Canyon, hike south back out to Little Wild Horse Canyon and south out to the parking area.
To reach the Little Wild Horse Canyon trailhead from US70, use Exit 147. Head south on SR24 for 23.5 miles. Turn right heading west on Temple Mountain Road for 5 miles. Turn left heading south on Goblin Valley Road for 5.8 miles. Turn right heading west on Wild Horse Road (CR1013) for 5.2 miles to the signed trailhead parking area.
While years ago Little Wild Horse Canyon was very remote and infrequently hiked, it has become very popular and the road to the trailhead is now paved. The main parking lot has room for about 25 vehicles and, on most Spring and Fall weekends, the parking will overflow onto the road where you'll encounter another 25-50 vehicles. If you want solitude in Little Wild Horse Canyon, make sure to arrive very early, or better yet, come during the weekday mornings.
Overall, Little Wild Horse Canyon is the 35th most popular hiking trail of all 38 hikes in Utah. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Little Wild Horse Canyon including Goblin Vallley State Park and Ding And Dang Canyons.