Willis Creek Road

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Elevation Gain1,860ft
Trailhead Elevation6,167ft
Elevation Min/Max6167/7558ft
Elevation Start/End6167/6167ft

Willis Creek Road

Willis Creek Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Kane County, Utah. It is within Paria-Hackberry Wilderness Study Area, Dixie National Forest, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It is 9.4 miles long and begins at 6,167 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 18.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,860 feet.

Willis Creek Road Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region (Falcon Guides)
Ron Adkison
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"On this fine short hike, there is no particular destination other than the narrows of Willis Creek. Go as far as you wish; you will find the best narrows along the first 1.3 miles. Where the broad wash of Willis Creek crosses Skutumpah Road, there is little intimation of the narrow gorge below. Some of the most dramatic slot canyons in the world have been carved into the White Cliffs of the Grand Staircase in southern Utah. Many of these slot canyons are accessible only to veteran canyoneers well versed in a variety of rock-climbing techniques. Yet there are slot canyons that involve no more than a pleasant walk down their shadowed stone hallways. Willis Creek is such a canyon. Born on the flanks of the Pink Cliffs in Bryce Canyon National Park, the broad wash of Willis Creek carves a swath through densely wooded terraces until it reaches the Navajo Sandstone of the White Cliffs."

Willis Creek Road Trip Reports

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A great half-day hike through white-cliff slots. This easy wash route offers a nice balance of 4-6 foot wide slot sections and open canyon. The day we hiked, there was about 2 inches of water for most of the hike as there had been heavy rains over the previous few days.
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This was a nice surprise. Read about it in the Falcon guidebook, and the ranger at the Grand Staircase-Escalante visitor center also recommended it. The drive is a bit long over rough dirt road, but this hike is worth it. Good parking and easy access to Willis Creek, the narrows begin almost immediately. Not a super-narrow slot canyon that forces you to walk sideways, Willis Creek nevertheless has long stretches of narrows, approx. 6-10 ft wide. The day we hiked, there was water flowing and we had to jump over numerous times, but it wasn't more than 8 in. deep. The open sections are great, and the sections of narrows were just beautiful, with rippled and flowing walls. Much better than the narrows of Cottonwood Canyon which we also hiked the same day. Check out my photos to get a feel for the narrows.
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it was okay, kind of boring, first slot canyon I have ever gone to, you go through a slot and then it opens up for awhile and go through a slot again, its good for a family if you are worried about rain because you are not in the slot long so its safe, the drive to get there is a long ways on a dirt road, we thought we were lost
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If you're looking for an easy hike with some pretty spectacular narrows, this is the one. There is a small parking area with a register along the dirt road and the narrows begin just on the other side of the road. They are very shallow at first, but quickly begin to slot up. There is usually some water flowing, but unless there have been recent rains, it probably won't be more than a few inches. After a short hike through the first narrows, you come to an open area where you follow the trail for a short ways and then you enter another set of narrows. You follow these for a while and then again come to another opening for a short distance before again entering more slots. Unfortunately, we did not go to the end because of an approaching storm, but what we did see was great and we plan to return sometime. Be sure and look for the small arch high up to your left when you come to the second (I think) clearing; we almost missed it.

Willis Creek Road Photos

Trail Information

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Nearby City
Paria-Hackberry Wilderness Study Area
Additional Use

Trail Log