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Kanarra Creek

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.

Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkKanarra 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 2nd 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.
Parking fee:
Permits: Not required since Kanarra Creek is outside the Zion National Park boundaries, however the town might charge various fees.
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. There might be a 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.

Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map 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.

Directions to Zion National Park

From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. See restrictions for RV's

Zion National Park Maps
 
Kanarra Creek Slot Canyon in Kanarraville, Utah

Kanarra Creek - slot canyon

 

Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.

 

zion National Park CanyoneeringDirections - 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 has been, off and on, a designated parking area that cost $10 to park or you can park elsewhere and walk in. There has also, off and on, been an entrance fee. They have also been closing the area at 7:00 PM in the summer and have placed porta-potties and trash cans in various locations along the trail to the creek to help keep the place clean. There is no telling what will be there when you arrive, due to the fluctuations.

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.

zion National Park CanyoneeringGPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

Parking
37°32.189 N
113°09.905 W
Elevation: 5830'

Narrows Begin
37°32.286 N
113°09.197 W
Elevation: 6100'

Trail End
37°32.690 N
113°08.571 W
Elevation: 6300'

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.

please link to meTo post trip reports, offer corrections, updates, or for more information please visit the Zion National Park Forum

Suggested Gear: A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend to hike the trails in Zion National Park. Many quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury.


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