First Time Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon

Every time we are with Deb we end up doing a hike that we normally wouldn’t try.  This time since it was Deb’s birthday we decided to hike two canyons near Goblin Valley State Park.  We all love slot canyons and the only way we learned about this one was when we went into the visitors center and saw T-Shirts for it.  Turns out there was a slot canyon nearby and a second canyon as well.  The only downside was there was a 1-1/2 mile stretch of dirt ATV road between them so to do both it was a 10 mile hike.   Most of us hadn’t hiked that far before, but we were all game to try it and headed out pretty early on Sunday morning. the starting point was the parking area at the bottom of the map, and the dirt ATV road was the section of black dots between the two arrows at the top of the map. The two canyon hikes are the red dots on either side.

The map sign shows the loop we were planning on making.


The entrance was a dry creek bed


With really pretty rock formations


Gorgeous colors


And there were a couple of really cool, old trees that I just loved.


Deb chose to do Wild Horse Canyon first and in retrospect we are glad we did it that way.  Turns out there would have been more uphill if we would have done Bell Canyon first so I am glad we did it.  Also if you don’t feel up to the full 10 miles you can hike Wild Horse up and back.  That canyon is pretty special and well worth just hiking that if you don’t want to do the whole thing.

Pretty quickly we got into the slot portion of the canyon and it was spectacular,


It was really good being with a group because we could help each other over the rougher sections.


The farther we went the tighter it got, but claustrophobia didn’t bother me at all.  The ceiling was clear, which really helped and I loved the challenge of scrambling over the rocks.  It was also almost completely flat, which made a world of difference to me.  I can hike pretty far as long as there is no incline, and really enjoyed myself.

I used my foot so you can see how narrow it was in some places!



There was also some beautiful rock formations along the way.  That is what I like so much about canyons is the water has carved great shapes into the rocks.

Some really cool marks in the stones


Fossilized wood in a hole in the rock.


Loved the multiple layers of rocks


We took absolutely amazing pictures, but I did want to mention one thing.  I have seen canyon pictures that are all warm and glowing and as cool as the canyon was it did NOT look like that.  I could get that effect by selecting Vivid Warm on my Iphone and took several pictures with that setting because they look so cool.  I am going to show those here, but please keep in mind the rocks just weren’t that color.  Didn’t matter to me though because of the shape of them.

Picture as it was


Picture with Vivid Warm filter

I took so many pictures, but here some of my favorites from the canyon.

Lee had to turn sideways a bit to get his pack through. We all wore hydration packs and were glad of the extra water.


We reached the end of the canyon and decided to stop for lunch.

After lunch we headed over to Bell Canyon.  This canyon had less slot features and I found the trail much harder.  The worst part though was walking 1-1/2 miles in full sun, mostly uphill, on a road to get to it. There was a slight incline and we all were struggling with it, although the canyon itself was also nice.  If I had to choose just one though, definitely Wild Horse canyon but we all felt great about meeting the challenge of hiking both.

This one had more climbing and maybe because we were getting tired it seemed harder.


Thank heavens for this sign or we would have kept going.

There actually were a couple of cars on the road which was surprising


This particular section was the worst as we all slipped down it a bit.


Here are some of Lee’s favorite pictures from what he took, and of course there’s a video!!!

From Left in front : Tracy, Lee, Cori. From Left back row: Deb, Steve, and Greg













































It was an amazing day but we were all really glad to finally see the parking lot and be done.  It was the perfect way to celebrate Deb’s birthday and I know it is a memory we will all treasure.

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9 thoughts on “First Time Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon

  1. Two weeks ago they had to send a help to get someone out of slot canyon, A lady was stuck. The local news in covered it. No one could go forward for help, someone had to turn back and get help. Glad you guys made it. I don’t know if it was the same slot canyon, but cautioned everyone, that they needed to be fit to do it. So I guess you passed. Pictures are beautiful.

  2. Pingback: Fifth Year – The Emotional Arc – Camper Chronicles

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