Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab

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Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
Mary Jane Slot Canyon is one of Moab's hidden gems - the "trail" is a creek the entire way, which leads to a 30 ft waterfall. This is a great trail to do when Moab is too hot, and you, the dogs, or kids need to cool off. The canyon walls get higher as you hike further into the canyon, and eventually will reach upwards of 100 ft! There are several side canyons that allow for exploring tighter slot canyons. I first hiked this trail in March 2015, and really loved it. I just had to get back to show my friends what it was like! You can check out my original article on KSL here.


One warning for Mary Jane Slot Canyon is that, like with any other slot canyon, you do NOT want to hike here during or right after a rainstorm due to the possibility of a flash flood.

You'll want to wear water shoes for this hike - 90% of the "trail" is hiking through the creek.

Use this map if you are driving from Moab.

Use this map if you are driving from Fruita, CO.

Distance: 9 miles RT
Elevation gain: 540 ft
Time: 4-6 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, but it may be too long for younger kids
Fees/Permits? None
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 The drive in. As soon as you turn onto the dirt road you should see a sign "Ranch Road - Dead End" but keep driving and follow the directions. You can see the LaSals peaking out from behind the mesas, and you should be able to see the famous "Priest & Nuns" rock formation to the SW.

We had a Tacoma, but small cars can make it. Our friend was in a Camry and made it just fine, but slowly.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 The trail starts in the SE corner of the parking lot - do NOT follow the trail head sign for Professor/Sylvester Creek. That is another nice trail, but has no shade nor water. It leads to a pass along a mesa. I hiked that one about 3 years ago, so I don't have a blog post for that trail.

Make sure you drop down the little gully (by the no camping sign), then up and over to the other side, following the dirt path. You should see the creek within 5 minutes, and be hiking in a generally SE direction.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 The entire time the trail will go in and out of the creek. So you could start hiking right away in the creek, or just follow the dry trail for another few hundred feet, and eventually it will force you to hike in the creek. Both ways work and meet up.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 We followed the dry trail for about 10 minutes.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 Here is where you are forced to start hiking in the creek, but hey I'm not complaining, that's what we were here for!
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 It was only 70F in Moab, but the dogs were already hot. This is a great trail to do year-round since the creek always flows and cools you off.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 The first mile of the trail is very open, and you can see all of the surrounding mesas and buttes. About 1/2 mile in, make sure you turn left, following the creek.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 You'll definitely want to wear water/hiking shoes. A few people wore Chacos, Keens, and I wore my Merrell's. There are a lot of pebbles and rocks in the creek, so it's better if you have fully closed water shoes, like the Merrell's, so you don't have to stop to get the rocks out of your shoes.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 As you continue further up the canyon the walls will get higher and higher.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 Super happy to be in the creek on a warm day!
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 Boulders in the creek.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 The creek was never more than calf deep.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 Puppy kisses!
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 We decided to explore a little side canyon, and it was so cool! The colors were amazing.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
 Finally, we reached the Mary Jane slot canyon waterfall! It takes most hikers about 2.5 hours to reach the waterfall. This waterfall is a double-tongued waterfall halted by a chockstone, about 30 feet high.
This photo was from the first time I hiked here, back in March 2015. The water level was much lower since we had a dry winter.
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
Jax was afraid of the waterfall - he didn't even want to get close to his mom!
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
Girls Gone Hiking!
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
King of the canyon!
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
Victory! Charlie is pooped.
Mary Jane Slot Canyon trail map


Save me for later!
Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab
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2 comments:

  1. We loved this hike!! We did it in April 2016 and the water level was similar to your 2015 photo. We did have water all the way but the falls and water level at them was similar to 2015. We were able to keep dry all the way to the falls by going back and forth on rocks. John came out dry, however, I was crossing as we left the falls area and as I made my last step I slipped and down I went! Thanks goodness for quick drying fabric:) Now that my boots were wet (I wore my water hiking boots) hiking out was easier for me:) Charlie is certainly the King:)

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  2. Love that hike, especially when it is hot out! Glad you all enjoyed your time outside :) - Heather @ ExploreWithHeather.com

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