Southern Utah has numerous very famous natural attractions such as Bryce National Park. In addition to those you can find some amazing places that aren’t as crowded.
One of those is Willis Creek Slot Canyon. One potential reason is the road to the trailhead is a fantastically bumpy, at times steep, dirt road. We travelled 5-6 miles down this road, and found the parking lot empty at 8 AM, although next door was a group of about 10 horses and riders who had just finished their adventure.
After chatting with their leader and getting guidance on the hike, we set off.
We quickly dropped down into the canyon and it’s eponymously named creek. Fortunately despite some recent rains Willis Creek was quite small on this day so we were able to hop back and forth across it.
It didn’t take long for the canyon walls to narrow and rise to a height of about 10-20′.
The young lady who had lead the horse riding group had advised us that we would go through 4 separate slot canyons on our hike. This first one remain with walls up to about 20′ high.
As we continued downstream we would pop in and out of slot canyons.
Eventually the creek ran dry and the hiking became easier. Most slot canyons require some level of scrambling over boulders, but not here – just a casual hike down the canyon.
Eventually the walls rose to a height of up to 100′.
After about a mile and a half we ran out of slot canyons and made the decision to turn back there. The return trip was just as interesting as the morning sun changed the look seemingly every minute.
On our return trip we passed about 6 other groups of hikers, reaffirming my belief that if you want solitude in nature get going at the crack of dawn.
Willis Slot Canyon is a great hike for anyone, with a fun drive to get there.