Mountain Parks

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide – Visitors Guide to Leprechaun Canyon Slot

This Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide contains references to products on my Amazon Store site.  I may receive a commission when you purchase these products from my store, though at no additional cost to you.   I hand-pick and recommend only the products that I am either familiar with or comfortable recommending for the Leprechaun Canyon slot.

If you like to hike and rock climb, then Southern Utah is one of the best places in North America, if not the world, to indulge in those outdoor activities. In addition to the region’s five national parks, there are numerous national monuments, state parks, and recreation areas with miles upon miles of incredible trails and challenging climbing routes to explore. Some of the most popular features in the area with outdoor enthusiasts are the many incredible slot canyons. In this Leprechaun Canyon trail guide, I am going to let you know why the Leprechaun Canyon slot is one of my favorite slot canyons in all of Southern Utah. Not only is this slot canyon incredibly beautiful, but it is also one of the lesser-known slot canyons in the area, so it is not nearly as crowded as some of the others. Best of all, the Leprechaun Canyon slot is relatively easy to get to and explore (if you aren’t doing any climbing), so it is a slot canyon that the whole family can enjoy!

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide

If this slot canyon sounds like the perfect one for your trip, then you will definitely want to keep reading this guide. To help you get started with your planning, I am going to give you all of the information you need to plan a successful trip to see the beautiful Leprechaun Canyon slot in Southern Utah. I cover the best times to visit and the best ways to get there so that you can maximize your sightseeing time on your trip. In addition, I outline some of the other top things to see and do in Southern Utah and the best places to stay during your trip. With the information in this Leprechaun Canyon trail guide in hand, you can be confident that your trip to see the Leprechaun Canyon will be one that you remember for the rest of your life.

How to Get There

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot Location Map

The Leprechaun Canyon slot is located in Southern Utah, just south of the city of Hanksville, Utah. The canyon is located in between the Capitol Reef National Park to the West and the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park to the East. If you are starting to plan your trip to Southern Utah and want to fit a stop at Leprechaun Canyon into your itinerary, I have included a table for you to review with the distances to the Leprechaun Canyon slot from various large cities and nearby attractions in my Leprechaun Canyon trail guide below.

City or ParkDistanceDriving Time
Capitol Reef NP56 miles56min
Goblin Valley SP48 miles1hr
Arches NP132 miles1hr 59min
Moab, UT136 miles2hr 04min
Canyonlands NP144 miles2hr 12min
Bryce Canyon NP183 miles3hr 23min
Monument Valley179 miles4hr 03min
Salt Lake City258 miles4hr 06min
Zion NP246 miles4hr 19min
Las Vegas, NV399 miles6hr 27min
Denver, CO428 miles6hr 32min
Albuquerque, NM440 miles7hr 55min
Phoenix, AZ479 miles8hr 34min
NP=National Park
SP = State Park
Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot Directions Map

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If you are visiting Southern Utah from outside of the state or outside of the country, you will want to fly into one of the large airports in the American Southwest. The closest airports will be in Las Vegas, Nevada or Salt Lake City, Utah. For an idea of where Leprechaun Canyon is located in relation to the large cities in the American Southwest, please review the airports map I included in my Leprechaun Canyon trail guide above.

Once you are in Southern Utah, you can use the Leprechaun Canyon slot directions map that I have included below to get to the slot canyon. I have also included sets of written directions to Leprechaun Canyon from the cities of Moab, Torrey, and Mexican Hat in my Leprechaun Canyon trail guide for you to review as well.

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Directions From Moab

  • Take US-191N for 31.5 miles.
  • Merge onto I-70W and stay on I-70W for 32.5 miles.
  • Take exit 149 for UT-24 towards Hanksville and stay on UT-24 for 47.8 miles.
  • Turn left onto UT-95S and stay on UT-95S for 28.1 miles.
  • The trailhead will be on the left-hand side of the road.

Directions From Torrey

  • Head east on UT-24 E for 48 miles.
  • Continue onto UT-95 S for 28.1 miles.
  • The trailhead will be on the left-hand side of the road.

Directions From Mexican Hat

  • Head east on US-163 N/Hwy 163 for 20.4 miles
  • Continue onto US-191 N for 30.1 miles
  • Turn right onto E Center St for 0.1 miles
  • Continue onto US-191 N/N Grayson Pkwy for 106 miles
  • Turn left to merge onto I-70 W and stay on I-70 W for 32.5 miles
  • Take exit 149 for UT-24 towards Hanksville and stay on UT-24 for 47.8 miles.
  • Turn left onto UT-95S and stay on UT-95S for 28.1 miles.
  • The trailhead will be on the left-hand side of the road.
Leprechaun Canyon Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot Trailhead
This is the what the trailhead for Leprechaun Canyon looks like

How to Tour the Slot Canyon

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot

One of the best things about the Leprechaun Canyon slot is that there are many different ways that you can explore the slot canyon, depending on your skill and comfort level. If you don’t have any climbing experience or don’t have the proper gear with you to rock climb safely, you can still explore this beautiful slot canyon without having to climb. The distance from the trailhead to the slot is really short, so you don’t even have to hike a long way to enjoy it. In fact, I have seen many families with small children exploring this slot canyon, so it really is a slot canyon that the whole family can enjoy. It is also a very deep canyon with a lot of challenging up and down climbs further into the canyon, so it is also a canyon that more experienced hikers and climbers will really enjoy as well.

Hiking at Leprechaun Canyon

If you don’t have a lot of rock-climbing experience or don’t have the proper climbing equipment with you to climb safely, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Leprechaun Canyon slot. In my Leprechaun Canyon trail guide below, I lay out all of the information that you will need to know to explore Leprechaun Canyon slot without having to rock climb at all.

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot

If you aren’t going to climb, you won’t be able to go as deep into the canyon as you otherwise would be able to, but that doesn’t mean the canyon isn’t worthy of visiting. In fact, the first section of the Leprechaun Canyon slot that is accessible without climbing is every bit as beautiful as some of the other slot canyons in Southern Utah such as the Zebra Slot Canyon in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. However, unlike the Zebra slot canyon, it doesn’t require miles of hiking on an unmarked trail to see.

The trail to access the Leprechaun Canyon slot is an easy 2-mile out-and-back that only has a minimal 141-feet of elevation change. Believe me, the pictures that you can take in this beautiful, tight slot canyon are worth the 1-mile hike there and back that you will have to do to get there. The only somewhat challenging obstacle that you will face on the trail is a very moderate up-step that you will need to pull yourself up onto. I have seen small kids do this, so most people will be able to navigate this challenge with little issues.

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot
This is the only challenging up-step that you will encounter on the trail

Climbing at Leprechaun Canyon

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot

Hiking in the Leprechaun Canyon slot is a lot of fun, but you can only hike so far back before it becomes necessary to climb to explore further. If you don’t have the proper climbing gear or don’t have experience rock climbing or canyoneering, then I would strongly recommend not climbing in Leprechaun Canyon on your own. If you would like to climb further back in the canyon, but don’t have the tools or experience, you can book a climbing tour of Leprechaun Canyon with North Wash Outfitters and do it safely with a guide.

For those that do have the necessary experience of rock climbing or canyoneering, then I would definitely recommend exploring further into the canyon on your own. However, you will want to make sure you are prepared. In addition to your standard hiking gear, you will want to have the following technical climbing gear that I outline in my Leprechaun Canyon trail guide below. For gear recommendations, please check out my Amazon Storefront for my preferred gear list.

  • Climbing Helmet – Make sure it fits properly. This will protect you from rock falls.
  • Climbing Rope – 9mm x 60-meter static rope and 8mm x 100-foot static rope.
  • Climbing Harness – Make sure it fits you properly and always make sure it is fastened correctly before climbing.
  • Bolt Kit – Traditional lead climbing gear (torque-controlled wedge bolts).
  • Rappel Device – Standard Tubular ATC or Self-Breaking are the most popular.
  • Carabiners – You should carry at least three locking carabiners.
  • Ascenders – Make sure you have at least one ascender with you.
  • Daisy Chain – Always useful to have with you.
  • Webbing – This is much lighter than carrying a bolt kit. I would recommend carrying at least 50-feet of webbing.
  • Slings – I recommend carrying at least two standard-length slings.

When to Visit

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot

Average Temperature (°F)

Southern Utah is a unique environment because most of the area, including the Leprechaun Canyon slot, is on a high desert plateau. Some parts of Southern Utah, including Cedar Breaks National Monument, are over 10,000-feet (3,048-meters) in elevation. While the Leprechaun Canyon slot isn’t quite that high, at 4,295-feet (1,309-meters) it is still much higher than sea level. This means that the area gets extremely hot during the summer months and can be quite cold during the winter.

For instance, during the summer months of June thru August, the high temperatures can reach 100’s Fahrenheit. During the winter months of December thru February, it isn’t uncommon to have low temperatures below freezing. So, if you are planning your trip to the Leprechaun Canyon slot, you will want to review the temperature chart in my Leprechaun Canyon trail guide below to know what type of temperatures to expect when you visit.

Chart by Visualizer

Average Precipitation (Inches)

While understanding the average temperatures of the area is important when planning a trip to see the Leprechaun Canyon slot, it is even more important for you to understand the average precipitation levels before planning your trip. As is true with any slot canyon, avoiding the times of the year when the area gets the most rain is critical. Rain can cause flash floods in slot canyons, which turns them into death traps. For that reason, I would strongly recommend avoiding the late summer and early autumn months of July thru October if you want to have the best chance of avoiding the rain. Instead, I would target the early spring months of April and May.

Chart by Visualizer

Other Things to See in the Area

Canyonlands National Park

There are few areas in North America that are as beautiful as the canyon-filled deserts of the American Southwest. Not only is there a seemingly endless supply of incredible landscapes to marvel at, but there is no shortage of amazing activities in the area to keep you busy as well. If you are planning an extended trip to Southern Utah and are looking for some additional stops to add to your itinerary after you have visited Leprechaun Canyon, I have included links to some guides that you might find interesting in my Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide below.

Where to Stay

Camping Southern Utah

Campgrounds

When visiting the national parks, monuments, and other areas of interest in the United States, it is a really neat experience to camp out during your visit.  Some of the best campgrounds in America can be found inside the country’s national parks, monuments, recreation areas, and surrounding areas.  This is especially true in Southern Utah. The extra dark skies in the area make it a great place to stargaze. If you are interested in camping out during your visit, I have included a map and list of some recommended campgrounds for you to review in my Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide below.

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Hotels

If camping is not your speed, you need not worry as there are a variety of good hotels for you to choose from in the area as well.  In fact, nearby cities like Hanksville, Torrey, and others have a wealth of reasonably priced hotel options for you to choose from. If you are in the process of planning your trip to Southern Utah to see the Leprechaun Canyon then you are in luck. I have included a map and list of recommended hotels at different price points for you to review in my Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide below.

Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide - Leprechaun Canyon Slot Hotels Map

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Activities in the Area

Off-Roading Southern Utah

There are a lot of beautiful and amazing things to see in Southern Utah, but there are also a lot of really fun activities that you can do during your visit as well. If you are starting to plan your trip and are looking for some fun activities to enjoy while you are in the area, I have included some suggestions for you to review in my Leprechaun Canyon Trail Guide below.

Hiking Trails
White Water Rafting
Nature and Parks
Mountain Bike Tours
4WD Tours
Climbing
Nature and Wildlife

Photo Gallery

The Leprechaun Canyon is a very beautiful and picturesque place. If you are interested in seeing more of this beautiful slot canyon, I have included some of my favorite photographs that I took during my visit in a gallery for you to review below.

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8 replies »

    • Thanks for reading Diana!! They are fun indeed! You will love this one! We had it virtually to ourselves. 😃

  1. Great stuff Josh, I hope to visit this area in the future! Very informative, and I imagine will be very useful down the road.

    • Thanks Nate!! You will love Southern Utah! Such an incredible place! Hope you are doing well buddy!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words! I always leave there with more things I want to see then when I arrived. Such an incredible place.

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