Did you watch the movie 127 hours and want to get out there and explore the vast network of thousands of canyons in Utah? You can experience a narrow slot canyon without having to deal with ropes, helment, and other technical skills and gears. Little Wildhorse Canyon is accessible to anyone and doesn’t require any real technical canyoneering skill to complete. There are some scrambling, easy climbing, and elevation gain involved, so this isn’t a stroll either. This canyon is popular and is considered one of the coolest non-technical canyon in Utah.
Location: The canyon is located in San Rafael Swell; it is only a 20 minutes drive from Goblin Valley State Park and an hour and a half from Capitol Reef National Park. The road is well maintained and is paved the whole way, so you shouldn’t have problem getting here.
Exact GPS coordinate of the trailhead: 38.582727,-110.802877
Total distant: 8 miles round trip including Bell Canyon
The hike: Little Wildhorse Canyon and Bell Canyon are at the same trailhead. You can do a loop by either entering Little Wildhorse and exit at Bell Canyon, or the other way around. Little wildhorse is a more narrow and more like a slot while Bell Canyon is also beautiful but less narrow and more open. Both canyons worth your time, but if you can only do one canyon, you should do Little Wildhorse.
Navigating the route: it is very very easy to navigate this canyon. A map is not really necessary but you can pick one up from the trailhead. I suggest that you keep your eyes out for the mileage post and trail signs, though, especially between Little Wildhorse and Bell Canyon, so you don’t want pass Bell Canyon entrance. You will be walking along a sandy wash that is used by off road vehicle for a couple of miles between the two canyons. The sandy wash connect the two, so this trail is exposed. Please note that while some sections are narrow, you will still be exposed to the sun for most of the time; wear sunscreen and treat this like a real hike.
Tips: the most narrow section of the Little Wildhorse Canyon is only the first 2-3 miles of the canyon. There are three main narrow sections. If you just want to experience narrow slot canyon, you can just turn around when the narrow drops you off into a large open area with a lot of trees. This will shorten the hike to just a couple of hours, allowing you to move on with your trip or explore the Goblin Valley State Park.