Red Hollow Slot Canyon is a wonderful beginner slot canyon just outside of Zion National Park. Ever hear of Orderville? It’s a tiny town east of Zion near Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. On a recent trip to this section of the state we hiked this really cool slot canyon and it was definitely a winner with our boys.
The trailhead for this hike is at the city water facility at the end of a dirt road. To find the parking area, head east on UT-9 from Zion National Park to the Mt. Carmel Junction. Head north on US-89 for 4.6 miles until you’ll arrive in Orderville, UT. You will cross over the Virgin River on a small bridge and then take an immediate right onto 100 East. The streets are not marked well, so pay attention to when you cross the bridge and turn right. Then drive 0.2 miles and turn left (east) onto Red Shadow Drive (there was no sign when we were there). Drive another 0.3 miles and continue straight onto the dirt road which is directly in front of you. The paved road heads to the right, but you want to drive on that dirt/sandy road. Follow the dirt road for about 0.4 miles until you come to the fenced in water facility. Park here and head right (as you’re looking at the fence) toward the trail.
As you’re facing the water tanks, head down and right toward the dry wash. There is a main road that leads down to the wash, but you can take any of the trails leading down to the wash, just keep heading to the left. In fact, this hike is all about the left– just stay left!
The bottom of the wash is fairly flat and the hike is easy, though on a hot day it is really scorching, so make sure you take plenty of water and sunscreen. You’ll stay in the wash for about a third of a mile, and there is one fairly major junction that is unmarked. Remember: Just stay left.
Shortly after this junction, you enter a slot canyon. The walls are straight up and down, though not over 50 feet high or so. The canyon is also fairly narrow as you can see in the pictures below.
There are a few tricky spots in this canyon, but there was nothing that Dad couldn’t boost, lift, or carry the boys over. One particular climb had a log lying along it to help you get a foothold. The first climbing spot is the most difficult. If you can make it past this first spot, you should be able to easily make it to the end of the canyon.
Our boys love these narrow canyons, and skipped happily ahead as we brought up the rear. The canyon isn’t long, maybe just a city block of two. And we’re not sure where it comes out, because we came to an obstacle that was above our skill level. This was a large rock wall that went up about 15 feet. Someone has hung a rope here, and Dad climbed up and looked over. It looks like the canyon just continues up and out, and not much farther, so we decided not to attempt it with our young boys.
For young families, this is a great first slot canyon. You will definitely need to help young kids over the obstacles in this canyon, but with a little help they should be able to enjoy this hike. We loved that it was so short since a lot of slot canyons are really long hikes. It’s 0.5 miles to Red Hollow Slot Canyon from the parking spot, and the actual canyon isn’t very long, so the hike is just a little over 1.0 mile.
This slot canyon was simple and fun for everyone. If you’re in the area, check it out! You can also check out our list of Things to do near Zion.