Slot Canyons Traverse

St. George, UT
4.9 (30 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Incredible Slot Canyons
  • Arches & Amphitheaters
  • Towering Canyon Walls
  • Cultural Sites
  • Desert Solitude
  • Wonderful Solitude & Scenery
  • Guides Choice Trip

Description

Our Slot Canyons Traverse backpacking trip is a 5-day, 4-night thru-hike a stunning slot canyon to where it enters the Colorado River east of the Grand Canyon. With water-polished, sandstone walls towering thousands of feet above us, these canyons are very similar to Zion Canyon but with more solitude! This trip is for folks interested in adventure, solitude, fantastically unique landscapes, and a generally secluded experience. We trek a 30-mile length of the canyon above its confluence with the Colorado; we explore an offshoot of the main canyon, which is the longest slot canyon in the world; we enjoy stunning and peaceful campsites; we visit arches, oases and have opportunities to see desert wildlife; and we hike heartily each day with mileages of 6-10 miles daily through a maze of Canyon Country landscapes.

Please Note: This area can be subject to very dangerous flash flooding. We schedule the trip dates for the driest times of the year that are still warm enough to enjoy the slot canyons. If moderate to significant rain turns up in the forecast, the trip may be rerouted to the spectacular Boulder Mail Trail backpacking trip, also in Southern Utah.


Need to Know: Human Waste

The public agencies that oversee this region require that everyone pack out all solid waste, including human waste. We provide resources and training to make this manageable and efficient. However, if you’d rather embark on a trip in this region where that isn’t required, we recommending checking out the Boulder Mail Trail in Southern Utah.

Read more …
From
$1770 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-8 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 38MI / 61KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
Significant mileage each day, often wading in ankle to calf deep water and stepping over boulders. The terrain is relatively flat and in some sections, your group will be able to move quickly on the packed sand. Other sections are slower and involve navigating small slippery boulders. There is one short (~4 strides-long) section of extreme exposure, where you must either walk along a narrow (~3 foot wide) section with a steep drop off on one side, or take an alternative off-trail bypass with some loose rock.

Hiking Distances:

6-10 mi

Backpack Weight:

35-45 lbs

Terrain:

Significantly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

<250 ft

Heights Exposure:

Extreme

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking with a 35-45 lb backpack for 6-10 hours
  • Hiking in ankle-deep to calf-deep water for long sections
  • Maintaining footing and balance on variable terrain including sand, water, and rocky/bouldery terrain
  • One very short section of extreme exposure (approximately 4 strides, but can be avoided if necessary)
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Paria hike a solitude 3. You can expect hours of solitude at a time.

This Utah trip originates in St. George, Utah where you’ll meet your guide and group. St. George has a small airport served by Delta Connection and United Express. From the St. George Airport one can take a taxi into town or some hotels offer a complimentary airport shuttle. The more popular method of travel though is to fly into Las Vegas, NV and take a shuttle (www.stgshuttle.com) to St. George. This is often your cheapest option. It is a 2-hour drive from Las Vegas to St. George on good roads.

Utah is the only state we are based in that charges sales tax to outfitters and guides. The sales tax is based on the St. George, UT municipality rates, which are adjusted occasionally but are in the 6-7% range. For all of our hiking and backpacking tours that originate from our St. George, Utah base (Utah trips, Death Valley trips, Kanab Creek, and Wonders of the Grand Canyon), the sales tax will be applied automatically to your payments. Feel free to call us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Shuttle to the Trailhead: 3-hour drive from St. George
  • Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Loss: minimal

This amazing Utah backpacking trip begins in St. George, Utah where we get an early start and drive to the remote trailhead. From the trailhead, we hike a short distance before entering the main drainage. The day’s hike continues downstream and gradually the wash begins to resemble a canyon as the Navajo Sandstone walls rise on either side. We pass by an amazing sandstone arch before we arrive at the confluence of a side canyon and our camp for the night.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 6-10 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: minimal

Today we have the chance to explore 1.5 miles up one of the world’s longest and deepest slot canyons. At its deepest point near the confluence with the main drainage its canyon walls stretch 500 feet above the canyon floor. As we progress, the day’s changing light plays on the canyon’s walls in a brilliant show of reds, yellows, and browns. Another option is to explore down the main drainage through stands of cottonwood and boxelder inside an enclosure of rich red, towering sandstone walls. We’ll then break camp and continue downstream to a serene spring-side camp, where we’ll enjoy a hearty dinner and laughter beneath a star-lit sky.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6-10 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: minimal

This morning we’ll enjoy a big breakfast, then continue down the river that carved the miraculous canyon walls that soar above us. The canyon grows deeper and presents an ever-changing mix of massive overhangs, refreshing springs, exquisite lighting and a myriad of colors. We see evidence of historic development along the river. In the afternoon, we’ll have the option of hiking up another side canyon to a wonderful arch, in fact one of the most remote arches in the world. We’ll once again set up camp near one of the springs.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 8-10 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: minimal

As we encounter the much softer Chinle Formation, the canyon begins to widen quickly. Today we will leave the creekbed and begin hiking on the high water route. This is a long day consisting of 8-10 miles of rugged canyon hiking and will likely take most of the day to complete. We’ll see Petroglyphs today and encounter a historic ranch.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 3-5 miles
  • Elevation Loss/Gain: minimal
  • Shuttle to St. George: 3-hour drive from the South Rim

After a relaxing morning, we will finish our journey today. We will have a chance to explore several historical sites along the way, including a 19th century, very picturesque ranch. We’ll meet our shuttle driver and enjoy a relaxing and scenic drive back to St. George.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, Utah to the trailhead and back
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

You will rendezvous with the guide and group in St. George, Utah for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip starts to specify the orientation location. The guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Utah Tours your guide can meet you at your hotel in St. George or Cedar City, Utah at an agreed upon time.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 4 and 7 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Southern Utah

The weather in Southern Utah varies seasonally. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures in the Paria Canyon area:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
hi
low
April
68°
43°
May
80°
52°
June
90°
63°
October
70°
45°
November
55°
35°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 4.9 (30 reviews)
Katherine T
5.0

Epic adventure!

1 month ago

Paria slot canyon traverse was spectacular! We are experienced backpackers and this was a truly unique adventure - really happy we went with Wildland Trekking and our excellent guide, Adam.

Sunita G
5.0

AMAZING!

1 month ago

This was my 8th WLT backpacking adventure and Paria Canyon by far was my most favorite of all the trips I’ve attended even though I’ve enjoyed all the trips:) I absolutely loved the scenery, solitude, the challenge, the pace the people in the group and overall it was a fabulous trip. But having Adam as our guide made the trip even more AMAZING! He was by far the best guide I’ve ever had:)) He was personable, caring, super calming demeanor, he made some the best excellent meals… backcountry food never tasted soo delicious!! I’m hoping that Adam leads more trips and I’ve already signed up for Boulder Wind River summer of 2023 and I’m hoping he will lead the trip! Scale 1-10. I’d rate this at 10!!

Antoine J
5.0

Outstanding Experience

5 months ago

This was my first trip with Wildland and I have to say that I was very pleased with the entire experience. From initial help in sourcing the appropriate trip for my needs, to the pre-trip preparation all the way through to the actual trek and amazing guide (Fletcher Holst)... it was an outstanding experience that I will likely do again.

See All Guest Reviews!

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