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Little Wild Horse (slot) Canyon

SUBMITTED BY:   San Juan Images (Barbara Lawson/Ray Turner)

GPS COORDINATES:   38.583, -110.803

ELEVATION:   4,960

DRIVING DIRECTIONS FROM DURANGO:   From Green River Utah (210 miles NW of Durango) take I-70W 11 miles to Exit 149 to Utah-24. In 24 miles take Temple Mt Rd for 5 miles to Goblin Valley Rd. In 6 miles, and before entering Goblin Valley State Park, turn right on County Road 1013 for the final 5 miles to the trailhead/parking area/pit toilet. Total one-way distance from Durango is 263 miles so plan to stay over in Green River, or for a more Spartan stay, Hanksville further down UT-24.

ROAD CONDITIONS: (mark yes if applies)

       PAVED: Yes

       GRAVEL: Yes




ACCESSIBILITY: (Mark yes if applies)

       ANY VEHICLE:  Yes


       4x4 VEHICLE:


BEST TIME OF YEAR:   April or October, but NEVER if rain is in the forecast. (Too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.)


CAMERA EQUIPMENT / SETTINGS SUGGESTIONS:     Any camera with good control of exposure and depth of field. A small, light tripod will help with group photos.

HIKING INFO:    TAKE PLENTY OF WATER. Except for rare and potentially deadly flash floods, this is really dry country. As slot canyons go this is an easy but, depending on exit choice, a potentially long hike. For those not familiar with hiking in canyon country it is probably moderate as there is some sand and boulder scrambling. No technical climbing is required.

It is 0.6 miles to the confluence with Bell Canyon entering from the left. The next 1.6 miles are the best of Little Wild Horse and is the turnaround location for an out-and-back hike totaling 4.4 miles. Continuing takes you the full 3.6 mile length of Little Wild Horse Canyon where upon you can hike to the west then south along the back of the San Rafael Reef another 2.0 miles to the top of Bell (slot) Canyon and an alternate return to the original trailhead. The total loop hike is a tiring 7.9 miles.

OTHER NOTE WORTHY INFORMATION:    There are lots of interesting slot canyons penetrating the San Rafael Reef both east and west of Little Wild Horse and Bell. Some of these are super easy and short while others are technical and quite long. The sunrises and sunsets in the San Rafael Swell are spectacular! You could spend a lifetime exploring and photographing everything in this country.

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