Wire Pass is a relatively short slot canyon located in southern Utah, just a few miles from the Arizona border. It’s named “Pass” because it presents a shortcut into Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in the United States.
The trailhead for Wire Pass is located along House Rock Valley Rd, a dirt road that branches off of US-89, about 5 miles west of Toadstool Hoodoos Trailhead. You’ll find the trailhead about 8.4 miles south.
As you drive south you’ll pass the trailhead for Buckskin Gulch (at 4.5 miles down). Very few people hike the full Buckskin Gulch trail and slot canyon due to its physical demands. The slot canyon itself is about 14 miles in length and eventually takes you to the Colorado River. There’s also a fair amount of water that runs through the gulch and canyon, or otherwise sloshy, gooey mud. Most people keep driving down to Wire Pass instead.
At Wire Pass, you start with a 1.5 mile hike up Coyote Wash. The wash can be sandy in several places, making the hike more exhausting for those not in the best shape.
Once you get into the slot canyon, you will find a 7 foot drop. Fortunately, there’s a wooden ladder there. The ladder, however, can feel wobbly, and the big boulder in front of it can make it difficult to get to. Nonetheless, there’s no other way to continue but to climb down the ladder.
But once you make it down, you’ll find another 0.5 miles of very narrow slot canyon presenting some fun and adventure, just like what you see in all the brochures.
Once you reach the end of Wire Pass, you’ll enter a very impressive looking natural amphitheater, and there you’ll see Buckskin Gulch. Look closely at the walls right at the intersection of Wire Pass and Buckskin Gulch for petroglyphs.
Definitely bring a lunch because you’ll want to sit on a rock at the end of Wire Pass and enjoy the shade and awesome sights.
At the trailhead for Wire Pass, there’s a sign-in sheet, and a slot for money. The BLM asks for a fee of $6.00 per party, along with a fee of $6.00 per dog. There are also pit toilets there.
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