Hidden Slot Canyons Utah

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Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab


Mary Jane Slot Canyon is one of Moab’s hidden gems – the “trail” is a creek the entire way, which leads to a 30 ft waterfall. This is a great trail to do when Moab is too hot, and you, the dogs, or kids need to cool off. The canyon walls get higher as you hike further into the canyon, and eventually will reach upwards of 100 ft! There are several side canyons that allow for exploring tighter slot canyons. I first hiked this trail in March 2015, and really loved it. I just had to get back to show my friends what it was like! You can check out my original article on KSL here.

Hidden Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah - a narrow slot-like ravine on the north side of Zion Canyon Hidden Canyon is one of the many scenic side ravines that join the Virgin River - although not a true slot canyon, all is deep and narrow, with several parts that contain boulders, dryfalls and enclosed channels. Zion National Park, Utah. The Narrows are one of the most popular areas within Zion, because the hike takes you through Utah's dramatic slot canyons. But there is a different way to tackle the Narrows, according to Melanie Tucker, owner and chief designer at adventure tour operator Rare Finds Travel.

One warning for Mary Jane Slot Canyon is that, like with any other slot canyon, you do NOT want to hike here during or right after a rainstorm due to the possibility of a flash flood.

You’ll want to wear water shoes for this hike – 90% of the “trail” is hiking through the creek.

Use this map if you are driving from Moab.

Use this map if you are driving from Fruita, CO.

Distance: 9 miles RT

Elevation gain: 540 ft

Time: 4-6 hours

Dog friendly? Yes, off leash

Kid friendly? Yes, but it may be too long for younger kids

Fees/Permits? None

The drive in. As soon as you turn onto the dirt road you should see a sign “Ranch Road – Dead End” but keep driving and follow the directions. You can see the LaSals peaking out from behind the mesas, and you should be able to see the famous “Priest & Nuns” rock formation to the SW.

We had a Tacoma, but small cars can make it. Our friend was in a Camry and made it just fine, but slowly.

The trail starts in the SE corner of the parking lot – do NOT follow the trail head sign for Professor/Sylvester Creek. That is another nice trail, but has no shade nor water. It leads to a pass along a mesa. I hiked that one about 3 years ago, so I don’t have a blog post for that trail.

Make sure you drop down the little gully (by the no camping sign), then up and over to the other side, following the dirt path. You should see the creek within 5 minutes, and be hiking in a generally SE direction.

The entire time the trail will go in and out of the creek. So you could start hiking right away in the creek, or just follow the dry trail for another few hundred feet, and eventually it will force you to hike in the creek. Both ways work and meet up.

We followed the dry trail for about 10 minutes.

Here is where you are forced to start hiking in the creek, but hey I’m not complaining, that’s what we were here for!

It was only 70F in Moab, but the dogs were already hot. This is a great trail to do year-round since the creek always flows and cools you off.

The first mile of the trail is very open, and you can see all of the surrounding mesas and buttes. About 1/2 mile in, make sure you turn left, following the creek.

You’ll definitely want to wear water/hiking shoes. A few people wore Chacos, Keens, and I wore my Merrell’s. There are a lot of pebbles and rocks in the creek, so it’s better if you have fully closed water shoes, like the Merrell’s, so you don’t have to stop to get the rocks out of your shoes.

As you continue further up the canyon the walls will get higher and higher.

Super happy to be in the creek on a warm day!

Boulders in the creek.

The creek was never more than calf deep.

Puppy kisses!

We decided to explore a little side canyon, and it was so cool! The colors were amazing.

Finally, we reached the Mary Jane slot canyon waterfall! It takes most hikers about 2.5 hours to reach the waterfall. This waterfall is a double-tongued waterfall halted by a chockstone, about 30 feet high.

This photo was from the first time I hiked here, back in March 2015. The water level was much lower since we had a dry winter.

Jax was afraid of the waterfall – he didn’t even want to get close to his mom!

Girls Gone Hiking!

King of the canyon!

Victory! Charlie is pooped.
Mary Jane Slot Canyon trail map

Need a place to stay in Moab? Check out Moab Flats!

0.7 miles - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Prajit Ravindran

Kanab's Peek-a-Book Canyon is an awesome slot canyon that's easy to hike too and not as crowded as other in major parks. En route to the canyon, you'll enjoy an exciting off-roading adventure while getting to the canyon.

Hidden slot canyons utah snow report

The trailhead is Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (Angel Canyon Rd.) located between the Kanab and Mt. Carmel Jct. To get started, head out on a sandy track on the north side of US 89 (37.154,-112.573). 4WD vehicles can drive all (2.8 miles) or part of this track, which leads to the drainage below the narrows.

This map might be useful too - http://goo.gl/RYK3DP

Key Point:

  • This is not the same Peek-a-Boo slot canyon found in the Escalante area
Easy Parking

Secret Slot Canyon Utah

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Andreas Slette

🥈 Contributor

over 3 years ago

Great beginner slot

This is a short but sweet and simple slot that is a great introduction. with 4x4 you can get very close access and do this slot without breaking a sweat, but it sure is beautiful and worth a little hiking if needed.


Breanne McNitt


🥇Top Contributor

Hidden Slot Canyons Utah Hotel

almost 4 years ago

Short, fun slot canyon.

Sandstone slot canyons are always fun, and Peek-a-Boo Canyon definitely lives up to it's name. Definitely a must do if you're in the area!


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Hidden Slot Canyons Utah Snow Report

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