Willis Creek Slot Canyon Utah in 360 Degrees


Willis Creek Slot Canyon Utah in 360 Degrees

Information about Willis Creek Slot Canyon

  • 4.75 hours South of SLC - 1 hour min South of Bryce Canyon
  • Not Overcrowded
  • Great for ALL Ages
  • Love that there is a small trickle of water that makes it interesting, but not enough that you have to get your feet wet.  
  • 5 miles round trip
  • About 800 feet elevation
  • Easy Hike - Level 1
While down in Bryce I was craving a waterfall hike.  I did a search and this Slot canyon came up.  I LOVE SLOT CANYONS, so I was all in.  I was pleased to know that it was not a long drive from Bryce Canyon, it is a super easy slot canyon, and the reviews were all really positive.  When I arrived at the parking lot I asked a few people what they thought, and they couldn't say enough about how great it was.  This canyon definitely did not disappoint!  It was everything I expected and way more.  It was 5:00 and  91 degrees outside and I was tempted to wait until the temperature dropped, but the people I talked to kept saying there was plenty of shade and it wan't that bad.  I grabbed a bottle of water and dumped it all over my back, made sure I had plenty of water and headed in.  The great thing about this canyon is that you follow this cute stream so you are either having a great time trying to keep out of the water, or you are splashing in the water enjoying getting wet, either are lots of fun!  There was so much shade I never felt that hot.  The canyons are short enough and don't get too narrow that it is fun for people of all ages to work on getting those great camera shots, and they don't have the camera issues other slots have.   The formations were unique enough that even though I have hiked dozens of slots this was still super cool.  

Here is a 360 Video link of Willis Creek Slot Canyon.  Use the button on the bottom right to change from 360 to rectangular, to tiny planet.  

Here is the 2D Version if you would like.

Tiny Planet Video Link

I am doing the pictures and videos in reverse from end to beginning since the last canyons were the most stunning. 

I was walking along the trail and I found 4 Cairns in a row.  That is unique and must mean something important is there.  I looked for hooks for rock climbers, but couldn't see any.  I did find 2 amazing caves up above.  They might be for those, or they might just be a path out of the slots in case of a flash flood.  Either case left me curious about those 4 Cairns laying in a row and where they went.  

 Want Green time for your kids, but just not sure if you can keep them thrilled about the outdoors very long? Well here is the perfect itinerary for you. Head down to Bryce Canyon and hike the Arches trail in the evening on the way into Bryce.  It is actually in the Dixie National Forest, but it is close to Bryce.

Link to Arches Hike

While driving down throw a great audio book about Fairies and then the next day make up a challenge to find as many characters from your book hiding in Fairyland loop. See link here.
Link to Fairyland

When the kids get a little bored, don’t force the whole hike, just  turn around and head to Cannonville and grab popsicles at the Grand Escalante Inn. Drive down the Kodachrome road and follow a Downloaded offline map to Willis Creek Slot Canyon. Prepare yourself to best hike ever. Make sure you bring water shoes...Rules are please splash in the Creek as we following it through this amazing slot. As you head home from an amazing day and the the car starts to stink from having so much fun, stop in Meadow, Utah. Take the short 5 minute drive off the freeway and short walk to some hot spring pools and let them play and wash off the stink. Finish the drive home with huge smiles on their faces (at least for a few minutes). Great memories, great green time, and great hiking...what more could you want! Whole adventure easily done in day and half.

I love this awesome rock in the middle of the slot.  It looks like a ship or animal that can't make its way up any further.  

Here is a 360 Video at the Dragon Shaped Rock above.  Use the buttons on the bottom right to toggle between 360, to tiny planet. 

So Cool here, and the sound of the trickling stream just mad it that much more enjoyable. 

360 Trail in Willis Creek Slot Canyon

Directions to Trail

Easiest way to get there is to make sure you do an offline map with google of the area and have Google take you.  You go to Cannonville and turn at the Grand Staircase Inn.  I always grab gas here so I have a full tank, and a Popsicle.  They had good WiFi here so I make sure I have the maps I need.  You turn right at that Grand Staircase Inn onto Kodachrome Road/Cottonwood Canyon Rd. Turn right on Skutumpah Rd and is will be about 6 miles down a dirt road.  It has wash boards, but it not a bad dirt road as long as there had not been lots of rain.  Also just FYI, you could camp here in the parking lot as long as your group is smaller than 12.  Just FYI.

360 Trail at Willis Creek Narrows Slot Canyon

Amazing Wavy Yellow and Black Streaked Slot Walls
Amazing Wavy Yellow and Black Streaked Slot Walls

360 Trail Where they Waves get more amplitude and more Orange

My Hiking buddy and myself in Willis Creek Slot Canyon
My Hiking buddy and myself in Willis Creek Slot Canyon
Willis Creek Slot Canyon
Willis Creek Slot Canyon

I love how the canyon walls keep getting taller the longer you walk into the canyon.  This sequence is mostly in reverse, so the first pictures were closer to the end of the hike.  

There are 2 cool waterfalls, but you will mostly see them from above unless you make your way backwards into the slot to see them also from the front.  
The trail is about 2.5 miles, but most the cool stuff ends after 1.5 miles.  This is the Rock that says you are out of the coolest stuff.

This stumped me for a moment, for it looked a little tough to get back into the slot, but have no fear, there is a detour around this both to the left and right.  Easy paths abound, just choose one.

I love this canyon because  it is not too hard for the little kids, and it is open enough for fun pictures.  Another canyon that is kid friendly and photo perfect is Dry Fork Slot Canyon in Escalante.  Check it out when you are done here.  :)
 Link for Dry Fork Slot Canyon

At the trail entrance, I headed right on the first trail I could that was heading that way, I crossed over the stream on these rocks and found such an easy path down into the slot.  Hit forward and backwards here so you can get a visual of the easy path in.  From the parking lot, the trail is just across the street.  You want to find the river and get down into the slot as soon as possible, so take the trails that go right.
If you enjoyed this area, there is so much more to see.  Just click on the Willis Creek Google Earth Link then click on the little dude in the bottom corner, then any blue line or dot to see more.
Willis Creek Google Earth Link


If you would like to see my favorite hikes in Escalante, here is a GoogleList with all my Escalante Favorites on a map.

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