Our plan for day two of spring break was to hike Buckskin Gulch via Wire Pass. Unfortunately, this hike requires a shuttle and since our shuttle had to bail on us, we were forced to rent a Jeep in Kanab. For the record, the jeep was a 1999 Jeep Cherokee with 209,000 miles on it. It was a gem. Anyway, we were just happy to have a shuttle vehicle since our plans hinged on two vehicles.
Located about 55 minutes east of Kanab (including a ~25 minute drive along the Horse Valley dirt road), the Wire Pass Trailhead is the gateway to the 6.2 mile Buckskin Gulch hike. My motives for hiking this route was to get an overall feel for Buckskin to determine if I would ever want to hike all 20+ miles of the longest slot canyon in the world. While the canyon lacked some of the adventure of many slot canyons, it still boasts some amazing scenery and ancient Native American art worth exploring.
Wire Pass itself is pretty short. The kids always have fun in slot canyons, especially when they have to scramble, jump, and work as a team to overcome an obstacle in the way. While Wire Pass has some chock stones and tight passages, it did not require the same level of problem solving (I think they were spoiled by the awesomeness of Peek-A-Boo and Spooky). The highlight of Wire Pass is at the confluence with Buckskin. This open chamber allowed the kids to run around a little and view the always impressive Native American wall art.
|Hannah acting the part of the Native American art in the picture above her left hand|
The slot canyons from the confluence to the Buckskin Trail head are beautiful. However, they are pretty short-lived before we found ourselves trudging our way through the river bottom. Don’t get me wrong, this hike is full of amazing geological features, similar to The Wave, but it is a pretty long hike out.