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Little Wildhorse Canyon

Hiking Trail or Trailhead
Douglas Tooley

Little Wildhorse is an easily accessible classic 'slot' canyon in the San Rafael Swell.

Emery County paved the access road in 2010, five miles from Goblin Valley State Park, near Hanksville, so this area is now accessible in all conditions by all vehicles, except during flash floods.

The canyon does require some easy scrambling, and, often, some wading, however the lower reaches are worthwhile and you can, should, always turn around if you feel unsafe. Desert canyons can also change after any flood so don't make firm presumptions as to the difficulty of any hike before you begin.

Canyon hiking is usually not all that difficult, but it is a step harder than a typical mountain trail and educating yourself before doing any canyon and/or desert hikes is essential. This slot is usually always cool, but the short approach hike can get very hot, especially in summer.

The hike can be done as an out and back or as part of a 'lollipop' loop with Bell Canyon.

This is becoming a popular Four Corners destination and you may encounter individuals who are not comfortable with the minor wading and scrambling associated with this hike.

Pet Friendly Notes

Some people will attempt to dissuade you from bringing dogs into any slot canyon, however a responsible pet owner can do this - without even specialized climbing slings! Canyons can be claustrophobic for dogs which can exacerbate separation anxiety so it is best to not bring a dog into a canyon where you might be tempted to leave rover behind as you scramble up obstacles. However, in most canyons it is easy to assist your animal over any obstacles. Do be careful when descending that your dog does not jump down any obstacle you yourself cannot climb back up!

Normal backcountry courtesies concerning other visitors are even more important in narrow canyons. If another visitor is disturbed by your off-leash dog, immediately and graciously put rover on leash and if waste is left in a visible area, pick it up!