The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes Zion National Park, Utah!
Stay in Mount Carmel Junction, the heart of the parks, and
visit the treasures of the Southwest.
Zion Park 12 miles
Grand Staircase 9 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Coyote Butte 57 miles
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Toroweap 90 miles
Plan your Zion National Park Vacation with our Utah Maps and
In these pages you will find insiders information on Zion National
Park lodging, adventures and hikes. This detailed guide includes road maps, park
maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history, fees, geology, flora, fauna,
campgrounds, things for kids to do and even information on Zion's hidden treasures.
Making summer memories in the Utah National Parks and National
Directions to Zion National Park From Salt Lake City: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver.
Exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take U-9 to Zion's east
entrance. From Arizona: Travel 89A through Fredonia, Arizona
and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to to Mount Carmel Junction. Take U-9 to the east
park entrance. From Las Vegas: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and
travel through Hurricane. Make a right on U-9 at the second traffic light in
LaVerkin. Continue on U-9 to the south entrance of the park. U-9 through Zion
National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway.
Kanarra Creek is a beautiful and delightful slot canyon with easy access.
GPS coordinates are only references and may or may not be accurate. Do not rely on GPS coordinates as the sole method of navigation. Always have an accurate, detailed map at hand and have the proper map reading and navigation skills before setting out on any hike. Many of the hikes listed in this guide travel into canyons where a GPS has limited capabilities. Always check your position with a detailed map before dropping into a canyon.
Beta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and www.zionnational-park.com author Tanya Milligan.
Suggested Equipment: Bring a sturdy pair of shoes to hike the narrows. Some hikers prefer hiking boots due to the support they give to the ankles and the cushion that helps to prevent bruising from hitting the rocks at the bottom of the river. 5-10 Canyoneers give the boot effect and work great in river conditions. Those that like low tops will enjoy a good quality rubber shoe like the La Sportiva Exum River shoes. Many like to use a sturdy hiking stick when in the Zion Narrows.
Kanarra Creek is great for those visiting Southern Utah in quest of a perfect multi-hued, twisting and turning slot canyon to photograph. Those without the time, skills or equipment to descend the more technical (advanced) slivers carved by wind, water and time, Kanarra Creek is the right destination. Access to Kanarra Creek, makes this hike the perfect stop for the amateur looking for professional photo opportunities. There are two obstacles within the narrows that may thwart travel upstream to those less willing navigate obstacles, but just arriving at the first obstacle will yield the recreation st and photographer plenty of eye candy and memories that won't soon be forgotten. Hikers begin in the town of Kanarraville, which makes the approach relatively short, but be ready for some uphill hiking. Since it's outside the Zion National Park boundaries, it is not protection , however a recently installed gate prevents motorized vehicles from driving all the way into the canyon . Please be respectful and don't leave behind garbage, and pack out any trash that you may find . The travel up the creek is done in and out of a pristine gentle flowing creek bed, so be prepared with shoes that are sticky and rugged, and also be sure to have warm clothing for the shaded and cool travel in the narrows.
See our vacation planning section for classic Zion National Park trails or glance at our favorite Zion National Park trails list or choose from a complete Zion National Park hiking guide.
Kanarra Creek at a Glance
Photo Album: Kanarra Creek Photos Topo Map: Kanarra Creek Map
Day Hike: Yes Distance:
3.5 Miles 1 st Waterfall, 3.7 Miles 2 nd Waterfall, 4.4 Miles Turnaround. (Round Trips) Average Hiking Time: 4 hours Equipment:
Sturdy, sticky river hiking shoes and quick dry clothing. Dry bag for equipment and food. Water, energy snacks, and first aid kit. Carabineers and a rope might be needed if the ladders are damaged.
Difficulty: Moderate. River hiking and water can be chest deep or deeper and quite cold. Be prepared if hiking early in the morning or when the weather is cold. Permits: Not required since Kanarra Creek is outside the Zion National Park boundaries, however the town does charge to park there. Weather: Check the weather before heading into any slot canyon. Remember a storm far off can trigger a flash flood in the canyon you are hiking! Trailhead: Town of Kanarraville. Fee for parking. In the summer of 2011 the fee was 10 and was good from dawn to 10pm. Trailend: Same as trailhead Trail Access: Year-round. BLM access road is RS 2477, a dirt road may be impassible when wet but a short hike will take hikers to the creek. The property belongs to the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands
Administration. Off the Beaten Path: Yes Classic Zion Hike: No Best Season: Summer when the water is warmer. Elevation Gain: 700' Hazards: Kanarra Creek is a slot canyon and like any slot canyon there is a very real danger from flash flooding. Do not hike this trail if it is raining. Remember a storm far off can trigger a flash flood. Flash flood danger is high.
Kanarra Creek Trailhead
To locate the creek bed trail, exit I-15 at exit 51, 5.5 miles south of Cedar City and travel south on old Highway 91 for another 4.5 miles to the sleepy little community of Kanarraville. If traveling from the south, drive 33 miles north on I-15 from St. George and take exit 40 at Kolob Canyons then drive north on old Highway 91 to arrive at Kanarraville. In Kanarraville locate 100 North and turn east toward the water tank just above the town. Drive through two stop signs and the road turns to dirt and gravel. Park off the road at the gate. The hike begins here by passing through the hikers gate. Follow the road towards the water tank on the hillside. At the water tank the road now descends and enters Kanarra Creek Canyon. At the bottom of the hill the road will cross the flowing creek, and travels above the creek bed on the north side for another .4 miles before ending.
Put on water shoes and follow the streambed for the next half mile until the mountain stream emerges from the narrow slit in the sandstone rock carved by time. Travel now is through a narrow canyon with walls of multi-colored sandstone reflecting and glowing with the ever changing light. Small waterfalls gurgle and whisper chants as the deeper one slips into the canyon. Just a short distance up canyon the first 10' high waterfall pops into sight. There may be a log propped on the right side with 2x4's nailed to create rungs of a ladder. Be cautious as the wet log is very slippery, however a rope hand line suspended from bolts on the right sidewall might assist to keep balance while ascending to the top of the waterfall.
Once again travel upstream is wonderful as the glowing light is reflected on canyon walls. Shortly hikers are greeted with the second obstacle, another 10' waterfall. This time another ladder may be present however never a surety! The ladder upon writing of this description was a rope ladder with 2x4 wooden rungs and then a somewhat sketchy rope handle traverse along the right side wall to achieve the waterfall top. Beyond the top of the second waterfall the narrows are short lived as the walls widen and allow deciduous growth on the banks of the creek which is reminiscent of travel below the narrows. Walk up Kanarra Creek another half-mile past the last waterfall obstacle. This area has several flat areas above the creek that are nice for a picnic or rest area. Soon another drainage (slot canyon) enters from the left side. Beyond this confluence travel becomes more vegetated and difficult and is not recommended. Total walking distance to this point is 2.2 miles. Returning back downstream often provides the best photos as the sunlight filtering through the fluted canyon seems to create translucence in the rock.
There is a designated parking area that cost $10 to park or you can park elsewhere and walk in.
Now, there is also an entrance fee. The site is manned all day to collect the fees - located at the upper water tanks. The cost is $4 adult, $3 student, $2 kids. There is also a student discount.
In addition, they are closing the area at 7:00 PM in the summer. They have placed porta-potties and trash cans in various locations along the trail to the creek to help keep the place clean.
Take care of this area or loose it!
Please take care of this area. Drive slowly through town, pick up any trash you see, leave nothing but footprints and go in small groups. This creek provides drinking
water to the people of Kanarraville. Town Board members Kay Carter
and Barbara Munford came before the Iron County Coordinating Council
to ask for help in protecting their drinking water
source. The board reported that the trail is eroding from foot traffic and residents find trash in the stream. They reported large groups trampling the area. A water pipe has become exposed and bent from people
walking over it. Other problems include speeding along the road, which
goes through a residential neighborhood, and dust from the traffic.
July 2008 - Even more recent problems:
According to locals the recent closure has a lot to do with those that party and have been closing off pipelines by throwing things into the pipe. The water testing at the city tank showed deteriorating water levels and that prompted the city to gate the canyon. They will have a sign on the gate soon, requesting all hikers to park at the city office, rather than in front of the gate. They will be towing those who park in front of houses or along the street.