The spectacular scenic beauty of Paria Canyon is known nationwide. Hikers are drawn to its colorful, winding corridors of stone; its narrow, constricted gorges and its stunning display of seven major geologic formations exposed like the pages of a book.
Expect the wild! No designated trails, campsites, signs, or facilities will be found within the wilderness boundary. The canyon terrain is rugged and hikers should be in good physical condition.
Hiking conditions change in the canyon with the seasons. During the popular spring season, plan on hiking in ankle-to-knee deep water. During May and June, the Paria River can be dry for the first seven miles, with the remainder below the Buckskin Gulch confluence flowing year round. This hike can be extremely strenuous and hazardous during months prone to flash flooding. For several days after a flood, expect quicksand and mud to make hiking more difficult. Plan your trip using the Paria Canyon statistic charts for average monthly temperatures, precipitation, visitor numbers, and flood frequencies.
There are four trailheads that offer access to Paria Canyon. White House is the main entrance, and the one most commonly used. The Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass trailheads offer more experienced hikers access to Buckskin Gulch, the main tributary of Paria Canyon. The Lee's Ferry trailhead, located at the lower end of Paria Canyon is the normal exit point for hikers traveling the entire length of the canyon.
Numerous springs below the Buckskin Gulch confluence provide a reliable supply of drinking water. All water should be treated or filtered.
Are there visitor use limits in Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch?
Yes, but only for overnight use. No more than 20 persons total are allowed into the canyons per day. This is the total from all trailheads. There are no visitor limits on day use, but day-use permits are required. Permits for Coyote Buttes North and South are also available. Individual group size is limited to 10. If the group is larger than 10 people, the group will need to split into two groups of no more than 10 people and each group is required to enter the area on a separate day and is not permitted to travel with, enter or exit with, or camp with the other group.
Why does the BLM limit visitor use in these areas?
High visitor use, combined with the narrow nature of the canyons and small camping terraces, impacts the wilderness character of the canyon. Human waste and overcrowding can degrade an otherwise memorable backcountry trip. The visitor use limits are intended to meet resource management goals while preserving a pristine wilderness experience for visitors to this special place.