Kanarra Falls Utah Slot Canyon Hike to Waterfalls via Narrows

Kanarra Falls Utah is a beautiful slot canyon hike with two waterfalls accessed by hiking through Kanarra Creek. Yes, your feet will get wet! But it’s worth it.

 

Hiking Kanarra Falls Utah

 

Where is Kanarra Falls?

The short answer is Kanarra Falls is in Kanarraville Utah but officially it’s a bit more complicated.

Kanarra Falls hiking trail is within the Bureau of Land Management, the waterfalls maintained by the State through Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, and the trailhead is in the small town of Kanarraville in southwestern Utah.

 

View of Kanarraville from hiking trail

A view of the small town of Kanarraville Utah from the hiking trail

 

About fifteen years ago the Kanarra Falls trail was used primarily by locals only. When the popularity increased through social media, such as Instagram, the waterfall hike started to get a little too popular. The town of Cedar City advertises the hiking trail with glossy brochures.

The small town of Kanarraville became inundated with tourists parking anywhere they found convenient.

Kanarraville now leases the land and set up a daily limit of 150 hikers. The town maintains the parking lot along with several portable toilets at the parking area. That’s why they started charging a fee for the Kanarra Falls hike.

 

Kanarra Falls Bureau of Land Mgmt sign

 

Getting to Kanarra Falls

Address: 345 E 100 N St, Kanarraville, UT 84742

  • From Cedar City take Interstate 15 South
  • Take Exit 51 Kanarraville
  • Turn left on Old US-91
  • Turn left on to E 100 N Street

Park in the parking lot and walk up the staircase to the ticket office to check-in or buy your hiking permit – if the daily limit has not been met.

 

Kanarraville Falls ticket office

Kanarraville Falls ticket office

 

Is There a Fee to Hike Kanarra Falls?

Yes, the fee is $12 per person

You can purchase your hike permit online in advance, but tickets are non-refundable even due to weather closures. If there is a weather closure you can use your ticket on any future date, according to the website.

There is a limit of only 150 permits per day. During the busy summer months, it’s best to buy your permit online beforehand. Check the calendar online and buy your ticket before visiting.

 

Kanarraville slot canyon hike to waterfalls

The narrows at Kanarra Falls hike is beautiful

 

Hike Info

Distance: 3.2 miles round-trip to first waterfall

Type of hike: Out and back

Elevation gain: 734 ft

Difficulty: Moderate

Duration: Allow about 90 minutes to 2 hours

Dogs allowed? No pets allowed on the trail

 

Kanarra Falls parking lot and pit toilets

Kanarra Falls parking lot and pit toilets

 

Kanarra Falls start of hike is gravel road

The start of Kanarra Falls hike is a boring gravel road

 

Trailhead parking and facilities – pit toilets at parking lot and another single pit toilet just before the first creek crossing.

As of October 22, 2019, the trail beyond the first waterfall is closed due to unsafe conditions. The ladder is due for replacement as soon as possible.

 

Kanarra Falls trail first creek crossing

Shortly after the Kanarra Falls sign you get to make the first creek crossing

 

Hike Description

You can hike in Kanarra Creek for the entire trail but there are dry trails along the side of the creek for most of the first mile of the trail. Then you will have to start walking in the creek, at least to cross over to the other side. The last 75 – 100 yards you will hike in the water through the narrows of the slot canyon.

 

Slot canyon hike Kanarraville Utah

The Kanarraville hike features a slot canyon to the waterfalls

 

It is cold but also exhilarating hiking the narrows. When I did this hike, I crossed paths with a group of hikers returning from the waterfall. They told me the water was not too deep and it’s fairly easy to see where to step to keep to the shallow water.

 

Kanarra Falls slot canyon hiking trail

The narrows at Kanarra Falls hiking trail is mesmerizing

 

If you get claustrophobia (like I do) then you may feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable hiking the narrows. The sound of the waterfall combined with the narrow canyon walls exaggerates the sound – it’s a bit daunting at first but then becomes beautiful.

At the first waterfall there is a single rail ladder with smooth metal rungs to step on. I tried a few times and each time my foot slid off the ladder. There is a rope to help you up the ladder. I did not try the rope…

 

Kanarraville Falls first waterfall and ladder

This is the ladder I couldn’t climb – because my shoes kept sliding off the smooth wet metal

 

It seems they chose this ladder design for durability rather than functionality and safety. The only photos of the ladder that I could find online showed a wooden ladder so I was surprised to see this contraption. I think the wooden ladder was replaced a few weeks before I did the hike.

On the way back from the waterfall I noticed the cold on my feet, but it didn’t bother me. In fact, on the way back I stopped avoiding the water since my feet were already soaked.

It made the hike back more enjoyable, not trying to step on the higher rocks at each creek crossing. No longer avoiding the creek for the dry trails I sloshed through the water.

 

Hiker at Kanarra Falls slot canyon trail

A hiker at Kanarra Falls slot canyon

 

How Cold is the Water?

It’s COLD! The water temperature of Kanarra Creek is about 52 degrees F or colder. Even during the hot summer months expect cold water.

How High is the Water?

The depth of Kanarra Creek varies during the seasons. Earlier in the spring and summer the water is around mid-calf most of the way but can get waist-deep towards the second waterfall apparently. Later in the fall the deepest areas are around 6 to 8 inches before the first waterfall.

When I hiked the trail on October 15th the water was above my ankles but most places only ankle deep.

 

Kanarraville slot canyon hike to waterfall

Hiking through the Kanarra Creek is cold on the feet – but worth it!

 

Kanarra Falls Safety Reminders

  • Flash Flood Danger – check the weather
  • Not recommended for small children
  • No pets allowed on the hike
  • Watch out for rattlesnakes!

 

Watch out for rattlesnakes in summer

A friendly reminder to watch for rattlesnakes in summer.

 

Autumn landscape in Utah

Autumn landscape in Utah along the Kanarra Falls trail

 

What to Bring Hiking Kanarra Falls

Footwear with good grip – that can get soaking wet.

Wool socks are a good idea – the water is cold, and wool will help keep you warmer.

Or get a pair of waterproof knee-high socks – or neoprene socks for watersports.

Hiking poles are helpful to keep your balance especially in the water.

Refillable water bottle

Sunscreen and sunhat or baseball cap.

Shorts or pants that are easy to roll up before you get in the water.

Spare shoes or sandals to wear after the hike.

Waterproof case for you cell phone.

Bug spray – Especially in summer, the mosquitoes, gnats, and flies will join you on the hike. When I hiked the trail in mid-October only the flies were present.

Have fun hiking Kanarra Falls!

Read these related posts to plan your trip to Utah

Capitol Reef National Park Solo Trip to Utah’s Least Visited National Park

Double Arch Trail Short Easy Hike to Spectacular Arch Over 100 Feet Tall

Visit Cedar Breaks for Hiking (Scenic Views) in Beautiful Southern Utah

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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