Hiking Kanarraville Falls

December 28, 2016

 

Its been an adventurous and highlight packed year, and one of my favorite things to do is visit waterfalls. Having been lucky, growing up in the Pacific Northwest, being impressed with a waterfall doesn’t come easy. We are so blessed in Oregon to have so many great accessible waterfall hikes for all skill levels. 

So, when I was planning my travels to Utah, there was one waterfall in mind I just had to see. It also being a Wednesday, this waterfall trip just fell perfectly into place. You have probably seen dozens of photos here, this first set of falls located deep in a very tall slot canyon located in Southern Utah and near Zion National Park. I had the day to myself, and couldn’t resist this short out and back hike on my way into Zion. 

The Kanarraville Canyon Falls Trail is located just of the 15 in the very small and rural town of Kanarraville. There is a well marked dirt lot to park in with a large sign detailing the trail, highlights and dangers located along the hike. I was lucky enough, on a cold winter day to have the parking lot and trail all to myself. Mind you, especially during summer and spring season, this trail is highly trafficked. You start out hiking medium gain up past private property and then onto the BLM land. The trail is not well marked, so I highly recommend recording your track along the way. You will HIKE THROUGH THE STREAM much of the way towards to end as you get closer to the falls.

Because of the water logged trail, I highly recommend good and proper footwear. I wore my Merrell Capra Boots with Goretex which definitely performed much of the way but towards the end the literally ice cold water did get to me and I wish I had brought another pair of shoes to hike back in. You can manage for some of the trail to hike along the stream and perhaps the toughest part for me with the temps was being in the slot canyon without the help of the sun to keep me warm. I am a quick hiker, so hustling was part of the game during this hike. I would’ve stayed longer if the water temps were more tolerable. 

The first set of falls is about 2 miles in on the trail and as you enter the slot canyon and hear the rushing water it is absolutely exhilarating. I definitely squealed with excitement and forgot for a moment how cold my feet were as I hiked through the calve high rock laden stream. The first set of falls is perhaps the most photographed of the three and the ladder there was covered in ice. There is a rope located there along the right side of the ladder to help with balance when going up and over to approach there other two waterfalls located along the trail. I hung out for a while, marveling at the magnificent lit canyon and gushing (and loud) water. 

The next set of falls is just .1 mile and then a swimming hole which gets put to good use during the popular summer months. As I exited the trail, I wish I could’ve stayed longer and hiked further, but the evening hours were setting in and I did much of the trail back running at times. If you are in Utah, visiting Zion and surrounding areas I highly recommend adding this destination to your list. Time it right, because having the canyon to yourself is a remarkable experience. 

 

More information on how to find the falls, etc: https://www.visitutah.com/places-to-go/cities-and-towns/cedar-city/kanarraville-canyon-falls-hike/

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