Friday, November 13, 2015

Little Wild Horse Canyon

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Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
Little Wild Horse Canyon is the perfect introduction to slot canyons in Utah - it was actually my first slot canyon in April 2014. This slot canyon is easy to navigate, the trail is well marked, it's usually free of standing water, the canyon walls are just wide enough for you to fit through, you can drive to the trail head in a small, compact car (most slot canyon entrances require a 4X4 car to get to the TH), you can hike this within 2 hours, and it's like a fun maze for kids and dogs. You can make this hike longer by completing it as a loop with Bell Canyon, however most people just hike in as far as they want up Little Wild Horse, then return they way they came.

Most people that visit here combine their visit with Goblin Valley State Park, since it is only about 5 miles away. There is plenty of areas to camp for free, since this is on BLM land, or you can make a reservation at the Goblin Valley SP Campground. The best times to visit this area are in Spring or late Fall, when the temperatures are too hot. If you can hike here on a weekday, you will see maybe 2-3 other cars. Come on a weekend though, and everything will be packed.

**Warning: You do not want to enter this canyon if rain is in the forecast. Slot Canyons are prone to flash floods, and can be highly dangerous**

Head south on I-15 towards Spanish Fork, UT. Take exit 257 towards Price, UT and drive through Spanish Fork Canyon, Price, and Wellington until you reach I-70. Head West on I-70 towards Salina. Drive for 8 miles then take exit 149 for Goblin Valley. Follow the signs for another 36 miles. Just after the Goblin Valley SP sign, turn right onto the next road, with the sign pointing to Little Wild Horse and Muddy Creek. Drive 5.3 miles, and just after the 3rd "dip", the TH will be on your right with a large parking lot and restroom.

Distance: varies, but most people hike about a total of 3 miles.
Elevation gain: none
Time: varies, 1 hour - 8 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes

Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
Here is the TH for LWH. There is one restroom. Be sure to sign the visitor log in case anything happens to you.
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
You will immediately drop down to the dry wash. 
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
The sun was going down quickly on us, so we had to walk faster than normal. When you get to this spot, look for the small sign and cairn on your left, and head up the rock the dogs are on.
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
Work your way around the ledge, then drop down. You'll see this sign for LWH and Bell Canyon. Go right at the split for LWH.
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
The canyon entrance.
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
Charlie poses for me in the canyon. 
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
Charlie and his buddy Bonnie LOVED playing and running in this canyon! The walls are just wide enough for them to walk through. I would suggest only bringing dogs that are under 70 lbs., otherwise they won't fit or be able to turn around.
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
This is my favorite photo from this trip. It's so funny to me how Charlie is poking his head up over this rock. He actually had a little trouble getting over this rock, and needed help. So he sat there and waited for me to come back to him.
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
The canyon walls get taller, and even narrower. I suggest not wearing very good clothes in this canyon because they will get scraped up from the walls. Also, don't use a huge pack - a pack of less than 30 liters will fit just fine. Anything over that you'll need to take off, and hand up to someone so you can fit through. I don't recommend dogs to wear their pack either. The first time I came here in 2014, Charlie had his dog pack on and had trouble getting through the canyon.
Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
We were a little short on time, and decided to stop at this large opening with this boulder. The canyon keep going from here, and looks about the same as what you have already seen. If you have time, I recommend to go a little further. This is a great spot for a snack break.
Little Wild Horse canyon map
Here are two maps angles to show the show the route you will follow. You really can't get lost here with how popular it is.
Little Wild Horse canyon map



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Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah


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