Slickhorn Canyon, Access 1

Mexican Hat, Utah

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1 Review
4 out of 5
Slickhorn Canyon, a majestic gorge draining the western flanks of Cedar Mesa, is comparable to Grand Gulch in its landscape and attractions. An increasing number of hikers are discovering Slickhorn as an alternative destination to the more popular Grand Gulch. But access to Slickhorn Canyon is not easy, and since only experienced hikers can safely negotiate its many access routes, the canyon seldom seems overcrowded. The wash is quite narrow, with pinyon and juniper trees fringing its banks. As you travel farther into the canyon, you find areas of riparian growth, including cottonwood and willow trees. You may find intermittent flows of water in wet seasons, particularly in spring.
Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region

by Ron Adkison (Falcon Guides)

Slickhorn Canyon, a majestic gorge draining the western flanks of Cedar Mesa, is comparable to Grand Gulch in its landscape and attractions. An increasing number of hikers are discovering Slickhorn as an alternative destination to the more popular Grand Gulch. But access to Slickhorn Canyon is not easy, and since only experienced hikers can safely negotiate its many access routes, the canyon seldom seems overcrowded.

The wash is quite narrow, with pinyon and juniper trees fringing its banks. As you travel farther into the canyon, you find areas of riparian growth, including cottonwood and willow trees. You may find intermittent flows of water in wet seasons, particularly in spring.

©  Ron Adkison/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Mexican Hat
Distance: 8.8
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 5 hours
Season: Apr through mid-June; Sept
Local Maps: Polly’s Pasture, Slickhorn Canyon
Driving Directions: Directions to Slickhorn Canyon, Access #1

Recent Trail Reviews

10/2/2005
0

Slickhorn is a must for Cedar Mesa hikers. After 5 different trips to Cedar Mesa, I have finally seen this canyon. We hiked it from the head at access 1 all the way to the San Juan River then hiked up the San Juan to Johns Canyon and back to our car for a 4 day 50+ mile loop (not that difficult). Upper Slickhorn is typical canyon walking with many small ruins tucked away in the rim and walls. This eTrail overstates the large pouroff which is easily bypassed via a long traversing route starting on the left as you look over the pouroff (look for ruins across canyon from the traverse route). You will probably use your hands to brace yourself and descend over some ledges, but if you are a healthy hiker, you will not find it difficult. Remember that slickrock has great friction when dry, but is slick when wet. Middle Slickhorn Canyon is deep like Grand Gulch and the bottom is even deeper like lower Dark Canyon. We did a side trip up Slickhorn 6 which is highly recommended for the ruins a mile or so up from the confluence. We camped our first night at that confluence with 6 (a.k.a. Trail Canyon).



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