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Oct 22, 2010

Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon Hike

Little Wild Horse Canyon near Goblin Valley in the San Rafael Swell is one of the most popular slot canyon hikes in Southern Utah. We have always been drawn to this hike from pictures and write-ups that other people have done, but personally I was a little put off by the popularity thinking that it would be too main stream and not hold as much adventure as some of the less traveled routes. I was wrong to think that in a way, and right in a way as well. If you don't like seeing other people on the trail then don't do this hike, but you will be missing out on an amazing visual, physical, exciting adventure. The write up I read said that if you enjoyed a long walk in the park, then you could do this hike. We didn't necessarily find this to be the case, although this is the easiest of the group. There were some older folks hiking this trail that were cut and bruised before the hike even started. Knowing how to get around some of the obstacles can help avoid this, but the 8 miles that must be walked to complete the loop along with the occasional scrambling over boulders will require some time, effort, and some skill. The loop took us around 5 hours to complete with 3 young kids. It is worth it however, and it is easier to complete than the Ding and Dang loop that is nearby. Little Wild Horse is the best of the ding and dang, bell canyon/little wild horse group, although bell canyon is the least spectacular. If you are looking for a short easier hike, you can start at the head of Little Wild Horse and just hike up through the tight slot section of Little Wild Horse and back.(we've seen many doing this, and it's a great way to see the best stuff quite easily as long as you navigate around the first obstacle)
Navigation is not that difficult, but it is helpful to have a map and gps. Refer to the map and use these points and you should have no problem finding your way. To get to the trailhead, travel towards Goblin Valley State Park. Just before entering the park turn right. You'll actually pass through a corner of the park and within 20 or 30 minutes you'll see the trailhead on your right. There is a bathroom and a sign with a parking area. Both times we have been there, there have been cars in the parking area. Avoid this canyon if there is rain in the forecast!

The day we hiked it was just after flooding in the area, there was a bit of water to either wade through or shimmy over. It was possible to stay dry and the water was only a couple feet deep in the deepest spots. This canyon drains out quickly after rain and is normally fairly dry.

10 comments:

  1. I admire you guys. Very nice outdoor pictures with the Wild Canyon. NO FEAR!

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  2. That was a great hike. One I want to do again!

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  3. Looks fun! I like the pics.

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  4. Even more important than making sure you hike this when no rain is in the forecast is making sure you have your stuffed blue bunny in tow when you do! ;)

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  5. LOL! For sure..I actually ended up carrying that through a portion. Hannah was on Shelly's shoulders..the jeepers we came accross were wondering how I couldn't do without my blue bunny.Haha.

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  6. What a great hike! The photos are awesome. I really like the pics. I will definitely go hiking there.

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  7. Nice pictures! I've been through the Grand Escalante area and have always wanted to go for a longer backpacking trip. Looks like fun...

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  8. Oh I want to go there! My daughter especially loved the slot canyon in the Needles of Canyonlands. Awesome photos!

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  9. I like this photos and you have captured a wonderful moment. I really want to go there!

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  10. so we just barely became aquainted with the swell, a dirt road 25 miles from hunnington to now water, restrooms yes, and no trees etc, but we loved it anyway><<>dad to go to maoab this wweeekend

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