What on earth is a Slot Canyon, you ask? Well, a slot canyon is a long, deep and quite narrow canyon carved by fast flowing water from flash floods caused by downpours. It can be quite narrow (less than a couple feet) in certain areas, and is deep enough to not have any direct sunlight most of the day. When flash floods occur due to heavy rains in the surrounding areas, the rapid flowing water erodes the rock walls forming unique formations along its path.
What to Expect at Wire Pass
The drive from Page, Arizona is about 44 miles, but the last 8 miles is on an unpaved dirt road, so make sure you have a good 4×4 vehicle.
The hike is less frequented by regular tourists, so it is a perfect spot if you’d like to explore the slot canyons without the crowds. When we were there we only saw 3 other cars parked in the parking lot, and while hiking we pretty much had the entire canyon to ourselves!
The trailhead warns visitors of flash floods that can happen anytime of the year, so you have to be wary of the weather conditions. The entire hike is on the river bed where the flash flood flows when it pours in the surrounding areas, so you have to take this warning seriously to avoid getting stuck in the midst of a flash flood on the hike which can be very dangerous and potentially life threatening.
The 8 feet drop
The first mile and half of the hike is pretty flat dirt path after which you actually enter the canyon. It can get very narrow in the canyon at some spots, with less than 2 feet of width, but we had no major trouble.
Except for one spot that has an 8 feet drop in an area that is very narrow.
There is a rope ladder that is secured to a rock to help hikers navigate this spot, however, the ladder is pretty unsteady. If you’re not a rock climber, this spot is going to cause you some anxiety.
When we arrived there there was a hiker that was stuck at the bottom, unable to climb back out because the person who climbed before her forgot to secure the rope ladder against the rock! Luckily for her, she was stuck there only about 10 mins before we arrived at the spot to help her climb back out.
We found that the logs placed on the side are much more easier to use rather than the rope ladder. There aren’t that many hikers on this trail so getting stuck here could mean a long wait before someone arrives (and of course there is no cell reception here)!
Once through this point, the hike is an easy walk with amazing views of the carved rocks and narrow passages leading up to the end of the wire pass trail. Here it intersects with the path to Buckskin Gulch, which is one of the longest and deepest slot canyons in the world. A proper permit is required to go to Buckskin Gulch and since we did not secure one, we had to turn around. The hike is pretty remote and allows you to be in nature by yourself with very few fellow hikers
Wire Pass Slot Canyon in Pictures
Check out more posts from our visit to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Glen Canyon area.
If you have already been to Wire Pass Slot Canyon, let us know in comments what was your experience like. We would love to hear from you!
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