Hidden in BYU/Magazine (Fall 2013) is an article about special education professor Katie Sampson Steed and her interest in Utah’s slot canyons (some so narrow your shoulders hit both canyon walls). Her three favorite Utah hikes are:
- The Subway, a 10-mile hike in Zion National Park;
- Buckskin Gulch, a tributary of the Paria River; and
- Orderville Canyon, a tributary of the Virgin River.
I’m also a fan of Utah’s slot canyons. One of the favorites for those wanting an introduction to canyoneering is the Little Wild Horse Canyon/Bell Canyon hike. These slot canyons are located near Goblin Valley State Park. You can make an 8-mile loop by hiking up Little Wild Horse and down Bell Canyon. There are also slot canyons all over Utah’s portion of the Colorado Plateau.
According to BYU/Magazine, the Subway hike
“is like nothing else,” says Steed, recounting the journey on which adventurers descent from a forest into a slot canyon, boulder over–and swim under–obstacles, submerge in icy canyon pools, rappel down waterfalls, and more. At last, “you reach the chunnel part,” the round tube carved out of the red rock.
Warning: Stay out of slot canyons when there are thunderstorms anywhere in the surrounding area.