Last Updated: 8/31/21 – The Ultimate Guide for the Long Canyon Slot Hike
Long Canyon slot was a remarkable slot canyon that we were able to explore while visiting the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah last week. It is just one of many slot canyons in the Grand Staircase, but it is one of the prettier ones that we were able to visit. Even though the slot isn’t too deep, the sheer height and size of the canyon were pretty cool to see.
If you are preparing a trip to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and would like to do the Long Canyon Slot hike, I provide you with all of the information that you will need in this guide. In addition to outlining how to get to the Long Canyon Slot hike trailhead, I also outline some of my other top recommendations for sights to see in Southern Utah.
Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument
The Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is a very large, and very beautiful, area in Southern Utah. It is one of the most remote areas of Southern Utah, if not North America, which makes it very attractive for outdoor adventure enthusiasts who enjoy the solitude. In the national monument, you will find a wonderful variety of quick and easy hikes like the Long Canyon Slot hike to enjoy, as well as multi-day backpacking trips to remote and beautiful locations. There is a mixture of easy and difficult hikes, which makes it a great place for hikers of all abilities to enjoy.
If you aren’t familiar with the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, there are three visitor centers that you can visit to get more information about the area. These visitor centers are located in the cities of Kanab, Cannonville, and Escalante near the national monument in Southern Utah. For a better understanding of how to get around in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, please review the map I have included in my Long Canyon Slot hike guide below.
As I mentioned, the area of the national monument is pretty large, so the things to do and see are pretty spread out. It can be pretty daunting if you attempt to do too much within one trip, so I would suggest focusing on one area at a time. This is where the separate visitor centers really come in handy.
The Long Canyon slot hike is located up near Boulder, Utah, which is pretty close to Escalante. Before we headed out to visit Long Canyon, we stopped by the visitor center in Escalante to get an update on the weather. Whenever hiking in Southern Utah, it is critically important that you keep an eye on the weather. This is especially important if you are planning on doing any hiking in a wash or a slot canyon. Rain up to 30 miles away can result in a dangerous flash flood where you are hiking.
Getting to Long Canyon Slot
Getting to the Long Canyon slot hike is pretty easy. Take highway 12 to the town of Boulder, which is just Northeast of Escalante. You are going to want to take a turn onto the Burr Trail Road and take note of your odometer. The Long Canyon slot is almost 11 miles from the point where you turn onto the Burr Trail Road. There is a small bridge that you will cross over about a mile before you get to the slot canyon, which will be on the left-hand side of the road.
It is a very short hike to the slot canyon, so the Long Canyon Slot hike is the perfect hike for inexperienced hikers. It will give you a great taste of the slot canyons in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument without the worry of having to navigate off trail in the backcountry. In addition, the short distance of the hike makes it accessible to most people. The slot canyon is located just off the road, so very little hiking is required.
Other Grand Staircase Attractions
After completing the Long Canyon Slot hike, there are a number of additional attractions within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that I would recommend. If another easy hike is what you are after, then I would strongly recommend a stop at the Devil’s Garden. Located a short distance down the Hole in the Rock Road, it features a number of beautiful rock formations that don’t require a long hike to see. I have included a guide for visiting the Devil’s Garden below if you are interested in learning more about it.
For those who are looking for a bit more of a challenge, but don’t want to tackle a hike that is too difficult, the Zebra Slot Canyon is a great choice. It is an absolutely breathtaking slot canyon that gets its name from the stripe pattern on the inside of the slot. Unlike the Long Canyon Slot hike, this hike is longer and doesn’t have a marked trail. Although unmarked, it isn’t that difficult to find if you have the right information. If you are interested in this hike, I have included a guide for you to review below that will show you how to get there.
|Guide to Zebra Slot Canyon|
|Guide to Devil’s Garden|
For those who are looking for a much more challenging hike while visiting the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, I can think of none better than a hike to Reflection Canyon. This 18-20 mile out-and-back requires an overnight and a back-country permit to see, so some additional preparation is required to do this hike. It is also an unmarked trail that requires a considerable amount of navigation skill to find, so it should only be attempted by experienced hikers. This is a hike that I plan on doing in the next year, and will hopefully have a guide published in the near future with more information.
Parks in Southern Utah
If you have more time while in Southern Utah, I would strongly recommend visiting some of the area’s national parks and recreation areas as well. In addition to the region’s five national parks and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is beautiful as well. For a better idea of where the parks, monuments, and recreation areas are in the region, I have included a map for you to review in my Long Canyon Slot hike guide below.
For those of you would are looking for some additional stops to fill out your Southern Utah travel itinerary, I have included some travel guides for the five national parks and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for you to review below.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park features over 2,000 naturally formed rock arches of various shapes and sizes for visitors to enjoy. Many of these arches are located just off the park road, so it is a great park to visit for inexperienced hikers getting their first taste of the Southern Utah landscape.
|Arches National Park Guide|
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park features many incredible canyon vistas, needle rock formations, and slot canyons for visitors to enjoy. It is a big park that is divided up into three distinct districts, so you will need multiple days in the park in order to see most of it. While the Needles and the Island in the Sky Districts are fairly easy for novice hikers to access and navigate, the more remote Maze District is located mostly in the back country and requires much more hiking and navigation experience to enjoy.
|Canyonlands National Park Guide|
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef is one of the most underrated national parks in America’s national park system. Much of the park is only accessible via dirt road and back country hiking, so you need more time and patience to see the most beautiful parts of this park. However, for those who put in the effort, the park offers huge rewards. One of my favorite parts of Capitol Reef National Park is Cathedral Valley, which is home to huge rock monoliths named the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon.
|Capitol Reef National Park Guide|
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is another park that novice hikers will really enjoy. Although the park does have a lot of back country hiking trails, there are also a number of great viewpoints off the park road for visitors to enjoy. Bryce Canyon is filled with rock spires called hoodoos, which makes it one of the most unique and beautiful canyons that you will find anywhere in the world.
|Bryce Canyon National Park Guide|
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is one of the busiest and most popular national parks in the United States for good reason. It the ultimate hiker’s park. Within the park, you will find some of the most breathtaking vistas anywhere in North America. You will also find two of the most incredible hiking trails in the world. The infamous Angel’s Landing hike is considered to be one of the most beautiful, yet dangerous, hikes anywhere in the world. For those brave enough to conquer it, you will be rewarded with jaw dropping views down the Zion Valley. While not as thrilling, the Narrows hike is one of the most unique hikes you will find anywhere in the world. It follows the Virgin River thru steep slot canyons where hikers spend most of the trail hiking in the river.
|Zion National Park Guide|
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
It may not be a national park, but the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is every bit as beautiful. If you like boating, then you will absolutely love Glen Canyon. In addition to the great beaches and campgrounds around Lake Powell, there are also beautiful landmarks like the Rainbow Bridge National Monument for visitors to enjoy. If you have the time, I would also suggest taking a tour of the incredible Antelope Canyon, which is located just South near Page, Arizona.
|Glen Canyon Recreation Area Guide|
Like most of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, the Long Canyon slot hike is pretty beautiful. Here are some of the pictures we were able to take of the slot and the surrounding area during our visit.
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