Free activities Hikes

Little Wild Horse Canyon Hike

 Little Wild Horse Canyon

How adventurous are you? If you’d like a truly amazing adventure, try hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon. This hike is famous, and rightly so. After the hike, our 6 year-old proclaimed it his favorite hike ever, and our 4 year-old insisted it was his favorite part of our summer.

 

Little Wild Horse Canyon makes an 8 mile loop with Bell Canyon. Both are slot canyons, and both are extremely narrow. We couldn’t take our kids all 8 miles, so we started up Little Wild Horse (reputed to be the better of the two) and ventured between 2 and 2.5 miles into the canyon. Neither boy complained (I had the baby on my back) because they were too excited to see what was around the next bend. There is not much climbing or scrambling, but a lot of sucking in and turning sideways to get through these narrow slots. Pictures can’t really do the hike justice, but we took a lot anyway. We even tried to shoot a video to show the twists and turns of this winding canyon. In short, I agree with my son– this is probably the best hike I’ve ever been on.

The one drawback is the location of the canyons. Find the whitest spot on the map of Utah, and it’s pretty much right there. Well, mostly. It’s actually located right outside of Goblin Valley State Park between Green River and Hanksville (see directions below). If you consider yourself a serious adventurer, you really need to do this hike!

1/2 mile into the hike, you have to pick Bell Canyon or Little Wild Horse Canyon.

1/2 mile into the hike, you have to pick Bell Canyon or Little Wild Horse Canyon.

The rock formations are so interesting. These are little holes/arches. We were fascinated.

The rock formations are so interesting. These are little holes/arches. We were fascinated.

Climbing up the rocks!

Climbing up the rocks!

The canyon got pretty narrow!

The canyon got pretty narrow!

Though we did close to 5 miles (roundtrip) the boys loved every minute.

Though we did close to 5 miles (roundtrip) the boys loved every minute.

Our 3 year-old never wore out!

Our 3 year-old never wore out!

It's hard to capture the beauty of the area.

It’s hard to capture the beauty of the area.

The video shows bits and pieces of our hike back through the canyon.

To find Little Wild Horse Canyon, you need to be on Goblin Valley Road (the road that will enter the state park). There are few turnoffs on this road, but there is one cross road called Little Wild Horse Road less than a mile before you enter Goblin Valley. Turn right (west) on that road and travel 5.3 miles to the trailhead. There’s a small parking lot, bathrooms, and a sign pointing you along the trail. Happy hiking!

4 Comments

  • maps show that this is almost a three hour drive from Goblin Valley State Park. Is that accurate? Or is there a quicker way to get there?

    • No, Little Wild Horse Canyon is about 10 minutes from Goblin Valley State Park (or less). I can’t believe we haven’t included directions! We are working on that right now. Please check back in the next few hours.
      ~UAF