Ranger Kathryn's Arches

March 26, 2010

Little Wild Horse Canyon, almost

Little Wild Horse Canyon, near Goblin Valley State Park, UT

No rain within 50 miles. That’s the requirement for entering slot canyons, which are deeper than they are wide, and are formed by violent running water in sandstone or limestone. Little Wild Horse Canyon, 90 minutes west, was our destination.

The trailhead is disturbingly popular, with half a dozen vehicles already there. Rats; I like the illusion (since I can’t have the reality) of having a place to ourselves. We sign in at the register so that they’ll know we were there if a flash flood carries our bodies into the next county.

I won’t go into the details of the “almost” in the title, except to say that we missed a right-hand turn and ended up in left-hand Bell Canyon instead of the slot we wanted. It was miles before we figured out our error, so we backtracked a short way into Little Wild Horse with the few minutes we had remaining. It was mesmerizing, mysterious, beautiful.

Utah has more slot canyons than anywhere in the U.S., due to its climate and geology; I think there are a few discovery trips I need to go on.


  1. i absolutely, positively need to go slot canyoning while i’m out tere!!!

    Comment by john — March 26, 2010 @ 11:30 am | Reply

    • I KNEW that photo would elicit that reaction from you, John. We’re going to LWH canyon, without a doubt.

      Comment by kath56ryn — March 26, 2010 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  2. With runoff at near 100% (nothing to soak in to), it’s easy to see how such a small cross-section of canyon can fill up from even a moderate rain in its drainage area.
    Looks like loads of fun.

    Comment by leroque — March 26, 2010 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

    • You should see how high up the debris lines are. Tree trunks lodged way above our heads, etc. — NOT something to mess with in any kind of non-sunny weather!

      Comment by kath56ryn — March 26, 2010 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  3. Wow, that does look like a lot of fun! Maybe sometime we can go and meet you there too. Not this year. Too many things going on.

    Have fun sis!

    Comment by Chris — March 26, 2010 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

    • It will still be here whenever you can come!

      Comment by kath56ryn — March 26, 2010 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  4. is goblin valley on our itinerary?

    Comment by john — March 27, 2010 @ 7:17 am | Reply

    • Our itinerary is wide open. Makes sense to put GV on there since LWH is definitely a must.

      Comment by kath56ryn — March 27, 2010 @ 7:43 am | Reply

  5. This is one of those photos that I just have to PRINT, and hang on my fridge. It just is.

    Comment by Becky — March 27, 2010 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

    • For me, it is filled with everything I long for: beauty, movement, transport, mystery, groundedness. It just seems that everything about this photo grabs me, with both hands, and says THIS IS IT. I love this photo very much. One day I will frame it.

      Comment by kath56ryn — March 27, 2010 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

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