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Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch – Best Dog Friendly Trails


January 1, 2018

Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch / Wire Pass, AZ & UT

Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch / Wire Pass, AZ & UT

Ready to go on one of the most scenic hiking and camping experiences ever? And all to be enjoyed with your dog. Get ready for a true adventure at Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch on the best dog friendly trails!

Paria (“Muddy Water”) Canyon, located in northern Arizona and southern Utah (Kanab, UT), is best known for it’s colorful and twisted sandstone landscapes, slot canyons, tall cliffs, carved formations, and ancient petroglyphs on deep canyon walls. Paria Canyon is a section of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness. A map of the area can be found on the Bureau of Land Management website.

See our full list of Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guides made just for dog owners. We give you everything you need to plan your next adventure outing with your dog right at your fingertips. We also pick the best dog friendly trails for you! These destination guides are invaluable one-stop source of information if you have a dog!



This hike isn’t all for beginners, so make sure you and your dog are healthy and fit to complete the hike. Dogs may need to swim through water or climb up and down very steep areas with poor footing. Canyons in the area can be expansive or narrow enough to touch both sides.

Wild animals and poisonous snakes are in the area. It’s probably best not to let your do go poking into random holes or dark corners! The terrain is hot, rocky, muddy, slippery, and wet in various areas, so check your dog’s paws often and bring paw protection such as boots or paw wax. Small, steady water breaks from a filtered water source is necessary for this hike.

Dogs require their own permit and should be controllable by voice command. You may need to call your dog to you to help them avoid dangerous areas. You will need to carry your dog’s waste (and your own) with you and dispose of out of the area.

If your dog is large or heavy, bring a 40-foot rope and harness so you can help your dog to the ground safely. At times, debris may block normal passageways requiring hikers and their dogs to find alternative ways to get past. Remember, if your dog can’t complete the hike, you’ll have a tough time carrying him while trying to get yourself through difficult passageways.

Consult your vet about your dog’s conditions before you go, especially if they have joint problems or are still a puppy.




The best time to go camping and hiking with your dog is late spring or late fall. Summer is usually too hot for dogs. Conditions are best when dry, however, be prepared to swim or walk in knee to waist deep water. Everyone that goes has a different experience, so don’t expect the exact same conditions if you go a specific time of year.

Flash floods pose a threat to both humans and dogs and occur most frequently from June through mid September, although they could occur at any time of the year. It’s best to avoid the area during a flash flood as canyons can become very dangerous even if you know where to exit safely.

You will be far from developed areas. We recommend hiking with another human or guide in case of emergency. There won’t be a quick rescue if you find yourself in trouble.



To find your way to Paria Canyon, visit the Paria Contact Station first for information about area closures or warnings. The station is located at 2040 Long Valley Rd, Kanab, UT 84741. You may also call 435-644-1200 for more information.

Roads to trailheads are not all marked well, so look for mile markers to find your way to the trailhead. Shuttle services are also available to take you there or pick you up.



All hiking and camping require day use and overnight permits. Humans and dogs require their own permits.

Day use permits can be purchased at self-pay stations at the trailhead. Backcountry camping requires an overnight permit, reserved 4 months in advance and limited to only 20 humans per day. To request a permit application, you may apply from these available dates. Contact the Paria Canyon Project Permits Desk at (435) 688-3246 or visit the Bureau of Land Management website for more information on permits.

Stateline, White House, and Lees Ferry are established campgrounds outside the area that don’t require permits.



White House Trailhead – The most popular is a 38 mile overnight hike from White House Trailhead to Lees Ferry. Parking is available at White House Campground (GPS Coordinates 37.079998, -111.890294 Map) near Paria Contact Station – 2040 Long Valley Rd, Kanab, UT 84741. Many recommend taking a side trip up to Wrather Canyon. Lees Ferry has a parking lot where you can park another car.

Wire Pass Trailhead – Another common route is Wire Pass Trailhead to Buckskin Gulch (3.5 miles RT). Wire Pass is extremely scenic if you want to experience the narrow canyons of Buckskin Gulch, but not take a more difficult hike by way of the Buckskin Gulch Trailhead. The Wire Pass Trailhead is 8.3 miles south of Highway 89 on House Rock Valley Road. Parking is available near the trailhead. You can take a longer 14 mile hike to to Paria River or 42 mile hike to Lees Ferry from Wire Pass Trailhead.

Buckskin Gulch Trailhead – Buckskin Gulch is one of the longest slot canyon in the world and more narrow than Wire Pass. Buckskin Gulch Trailhead is accessible off House Rock Valley Road, north of Wire Pass Trailhead. From the trailhead it is 16 miles to get to Paria River, 21 miles to get to White House Trailhead and 45 miles roughly to get to Lees Ferry. Zion National Park has a map of the area. The route can become very wet (knee to waist high) and cold, so you will want to bring a dry pack, extra lightweight but warm clothing, and perhaps a trekking pole.

Most recommend this route for advanced hikers. In the event of a flash flood you may find yourself in trouble unless you know where to safely exit or camp. There are a few obstacles to pass, including the Rock Jam which may require descending down 12 feet to get to the bottom. You may want to avoid this hike if there is even a chance of rain. provides a superb mile-by-mile guide of the trails, however, don’t expect things to be exactly as they say. Many report very different experiences even when hiking the same time of year. Conditions largely depend on flash floods and weather.



The most important thing to bring is filtered water (about 6 liters per person per day) and a first aid kit. There are a few springs in the area, however, don’t expect them all to be flowing or very clean. You may also want to wear closed water shoes and neoprene socks. A rope will help you climb down steep areas safely.

Recommended Item List: Water, Poop Bags, First Aid Kit, Tick Removal Tool, 6 Foot Non-Retractable Leash or Hands-Free Leash, Paw Protection, Reflective Gear On Your Dog, Other Appropriate Gear & Food, Extra Sock or Neoprene Socks, Appropriate Gear for Knee to Waist Deep Water, Closed Water Shoes, Extra Shoes, Dry Bag, Trekking Poles, Extra Clothing, Spare Tire, Backup Feul, Extra Food & Survival Gear, Water Filtration System or Purification Tablets, 40-foot Rope, GPS Device, Sunscreen, Hat After your hike, email us and let us know about your experience!


We would be happy to share a story of your adventure on Pawtivity! Where did you go hiking with your dog and what did you see? Any advice for other dog owners? If you are a Pawtivity member, share your story by completing the Pawtivity, Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch, AZ & UT.

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!

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Related Pawtivity/Event: Paria Canyon & Buckskin Gulch, AZ & UT
Location:Kanab, UT |  Coconino County  |  Kane County  |  Arizona  |  Utah
Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping

About the Author

Life is an endless journey with a dog at your side. Find your next dog friendly adventure on Pawtivity!  We are a community that inspires and captures the stories of our dogs.

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