Looking to do the Kanarra Falls hike? Today we’re sharing everything you need to know about hiking in Kanarra Creek!
Kanarra Creek is a beautiful narrow canyon located in BLM land just north of Zion National Park’s Kolob area and to the east of Kanarraville’s Hurricane Cliffs. The 600-foot hike through this attraction provides an extraordinary trekking experience in Utah.
What was once an undiscovered gem, the Kanarra Falls hike has become a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts. Unlike the nearby Zion Narrows, it’s smaller and less crowded, making for a more enjoyable slot canyon climb.
A trip to Kanarra Falls Utah offers a slot valley with river crossings, stairs, and boulders to ascend, two waterfalls, and stunning scenery. Don’t miss the opportunity to journey through the river and witness a spectacular waterfall nestled amid towering canyon walls.
To make the most of your visit to Kanarra Creek, read on for everything you need to know about the Kanarra Falls hike!
Highlights: Two waterfalls cascade down a beautiful slot canyon. Same landscape as Zion Narrows but with fewer visitors due to the permit system.
Distance: 4 miles out-and-back
Elevation Gain: around 700 feet
Trail: Dirt, water, rock
Trailhead Location: Just east of Kanarraville, UT, the trailhead for Kanarra Creek can be found at the end of E 100 N St. The trailhead is in a large parking lot that is simple to discover. Restrooms, picnic tables, and water for post-hike clean-up are available at the trailhead.
Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
Permit Info: To hike Kanarra Creek, $12 hiking permits per person are required.
- There are only 150 hikers allowed to Kanarra Creek daily. Without the permission system, this spot could grow fairly crowded, detracting from the experience while endangering the area’s natural splendor. The limit of people per group is eight.
- You must obtain a permit to become one of the lucky 150. Permits cost $12 each and can be purchased online for four-year-olds or older. However, these tickets usually sell out weeks in advance due to the hike’s popularity, so hurry!
- Dogs at Kanarra Falls are not allowed. The Kanarra Creek watershed is Kanarraville’s primary source of drinking water, and dog waste can contaminate it.
How To Get Permits for the Kanarra Falls Hike
The Kanarra Falls hike has become a highly sought-after attraction, especially on weekends from spring through fall. However, due to its recent surge in popularity, a permit is now required to access the trail. While the cost of the permit may seem a bit steep for a short day trek, it serves as an effective crowd control measure by limiting the number of hikers allowed each day.
To secure a permit, you can purchase them online or at the trailhead. However, it’s important to note that these non-refundable tickets sell out quickly and cost $12 per person. We strongly recommend purchasing your permit in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you do purchase a permit in advance, be sure to print or save a copy as you’ll need to present it to a kiosk attendant at the trailhead. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the permits for the entire year go on sale in January or February.
Things To Consider…
Here are things to consider when you hike Kanarra Falls!
If you’re planning on hiking Kanarra Falls in Utah, it’s important to take the same safety precautions as you would for the Narrows. Flash floods are a significant concern during the summer months, particularly in July, August, and September when afternoon thunderstorms are more likely. This applies not only to Kanarra Falls but to other slot canyons as well.
Before starting your hike, make sure to check the weather forecast. If there’s any chance of rain or storms, it’s best to avoid Kanarra Falls altogether. Even if the rain is kilometers away, the slot canyon can still be vulnerable to floods.
It’s worth noting that Kanarra Falls may be closed if there’s a possibility of severe rain or thunderstorms. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the weather before embarking on this hike.
Leave No Trace
It would be best to treat the hikes in Kanarra Creek as your backyard. Follow “leave no trace” principles anytime you venture into the great outdoors.
In general, you should try leaving this region and trail in better shape than when you arrived. Stick to approved paths if there are any, use public restrooms to avoid contaminating water sources, and take out everything you bring on the trail with you.
We’re fortunate that the Kanarra Falls Hike is still available to the public, particularly given its popularity and closeness to Zion National Park. Tourists or hikers will lose access to this trail if it is not maintained correctly.
When to Hike Kannara Creek
Regardless of the time of year, there are a few things to remember when visiting Kanarra Falls in Utah.
Here’s what you can expect during each season:
Spring: Spring is an excellent time to visit Kanarra Falls Utah as the weather is mild, and the water levels are typically low. This means you can enjoy the hike without worrying about flash floods, and the scenery is lush and green.
Summer: Summer is the busiest time to visit Kanarra Falls Utah, but it’s also the riskiest due to the increased chance of flash floods. If you do decide to visit during the summer, be sure to check the weather forecast and avoid hiking if there’s any chance of rain or storms.
Fall: Fall is an excellent time to visit Kanarra Falls as the crowds start to thin out, and the weather is still mild. The fall foliage adds a beautiful touch to the scenery, making it a great time for photography.
Winter: Winter is a quieter time to visit Kanarra Falls, but it’s also the coldest. The trail can be icy and slippery, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear and take extra caution. However, the snow-covered scenery can be truly breathtaking, making it a great time for photography.
Getting to the Trailhead
The Kanarra Creek Trailhead near Kanarraville, Utah, serves as the starting point for the Kanarra Falls trek. Cedar City, St. George, and Zion National Park are all within an hour’s drive away, and the trailhead is conveniently located just off I85.
Parking at the Trailhead
The parking area and road to the trailhead are concrete, making it accessible to any car. It is easy to find a parking spot, and there is lots of room, but if you are hiking on the weekend, things might be slightly different. Parking places for RVs are not available at this location.
Park only in the approved spots. If the area is highly congested, be considerate and avoid parking in front of people’s homes or on their land.
If the parking lot at the Kanarra Falls trailhead is full, there are a few other options for parking:
Overflow Parking: There is an overflow parking lot located about 0.3 miles west of the trailhead on E 100 S. This lot can accommodate around 50 vehicles and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Shuttle Service: During peak season, a shuttle service is available from Kanarraville to the trailhead. The shuttle service operates from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and costs $15 per person. The shuttle picks up passengers at the Kanarraville Town Park, which is located at 60 S 100 E.
Hiking Kanarra Creek
There is a lot to grasp and do along Kanarra Creek, a beautiful little canyon that you can walk for up to six hours at a leisurely pace. Depending on how far you want to go in the canyon, you can experience a worthwhile adventure and glimpse of rewarding scenery.
The Beginning of the Hike
The beginning of the Kanarra Trail is a dry and straightforward half-mile section. The trailhead is located just a short walk and set of stairs away from the parking lot. Once you arrive, you’ll find the ticketing or check-in booth on the other side of the gate. A friendly ranger will greet you here and scan your ticket or help you purchase one if needed. They will also provide you with general information on the trail and the potential dangers you may encounter.
Once you’ve checked in, you’ll begin your hike by walking up an uphill gravel road for less than a quarter-mile. After this point, the trail becomes a compacted dirt path. A pit toilet is located less than a third of a mile in, which you can use if needed. However, be prepared to get your feet wet as the first river crossing is immediately after the restroom. While it’s technically possible to skip across some of the rocks, we don’t recommend it as the terrain is slippery, and there’s a nearby waterfall/drop-off.
After the river crossing, the trail is dry and easy, with only modest inclines, until you reach “the fork.” Here, the trail splits into a river path and a dry path. While the water is chilly, many people choose to walk through it in the summer to cool down. However, whichever path you choose, you’ll be in and out of the water throughout the trek. It’s impossible to stay completely dry or on the river path the entire time due to the various obstacles on the trail.
The Middle Section of the Hike
About a mile from the wet and dry trek lies the most challenging part of the Kanarra hike. The terrain can be erratic, and some hikers have complained about the unmarked path. However, with basic navigational abilities, it’s relatively easy to navigate your way around.
As you walk through the woods, you’ll be following a river in a canyon. While the path is straightforward, you’ll need to decide when and how to cross the river, which can be time-consuming. On the dry stretches of the trail, you’ll encounter some stones to scramble over, along with a few small parts of the route that require careful footing.
It’s crucial to take extreme caution during this part of the hike, especially when crossing the river. The riverbank is rocky, and it’s easy to lose your balance and injure yourself. Additionally, there are some slick descents and challenging footing to be encountered, so it’s important to stay alert and focused.
The Narrows and the First Waterfall
After hiking 1.6 miles, you’ll encounter the mini-narrows in along the Kanarra Falls hike. As the canyon closes in around you, your only option is to walk through the river, which can be a harrowing experience depending on the current weather conditions.
Be sure to watch your step on this brief stretch and exercise caution. As you approach the first waterfall, the flow of the river will pick up speed, and the sound of the waterfall will grow louder and louder.
The first waterfall is a picture-perfect sight that you may have seen in countless Instagram shots. At this point, you can take a few photos and turn back, or you can climb the ladder to the next level.
The ladder is made of wood with metal attached to it, and it’s important to use the rope to stay balanced when climbing up or down. This is especially helpful for those who may be less coordinated. Proceed with extreme caution and take your time on the ladder.
After crossing the first waterfall, you’ll face another challenge on the Kanarra Falls hiking trail. To avoid a large boulder, you’ll need to scale a log that’s linked to a rope.
Once you’ve reached the summit, the trail reopens, eliminating the need to wade through the water. Instead, take the path that runs parallel to the creek.
The second highlight of the Kanarra Falls hiking route is the natural water slide, which is located about 0.2 miles from the summit. This spot is one of the most popular on the trail, thanks to its brief drop down the rocks into a small pool of water.
Finding the water slide is easy as long as you’re in the right place. Take some time to marvel at this cool feature before continuing on to the second waterfall.
As you approach the second waterfall, the trail will begin to narrow again, and the water levels will be at their highest point. However, you won’t have to go into the water, so there’s no need to worry.
At this point, the water is roughly shin-deep, and the Kanarra Falls trail ends at the second waterfall. While some climbers have attempted to ascend the waterfall, it’s important to note that this spot is hazardous for hikers to venture into, as it can be challenging for rescuers to reach those in need.
Before heading back, take a few minutes to admire the stunning vista and snap some photos. To exit the slot canyon, you’ll need to backtrack and follow the same trail back to the Kanarra Falls parking lot.
What To Do Before or After Kanarra Creek
You might want to check out these nearby locations if you’re looking for something to do before or after your hike.
Linski’s Grill and Hotel: This restaurant in Kanarraville offers American cuisines in every meal of the day. It is an ideal place to go before and after you hike Kanarra Creek, located near the trailhead. The grill provides various delicious foods, such as burgers, burritos, sandwiches, fries, etc., at affordable prices.
Centro Woodfired Pizzeria: This restaurant provides guests with genuine thin-crust wood-fired pizza made with the best ingredients. It offers a wide assortment of craft beer and wine from throughout the country and the world. Centro is great for hanging out or relaxing after a tiring hike on Kanarra Creek, located in Cedar City. Some of the bestsellers in this restaurant are Arugula Salad, Fennel Sausage, Summer Salad, Bruschetta, and more.
The French Spot: Offering vast French and European cuisines, this café at Cedar City makes a great place to go before or after a long adventure at the Kanarra Falls. You can get or replenish energy in this place if you are about to or after trekking Kanarra Creek and other nearby hikes. Their croissant is a must-try
Hermie’s Drive-In: This institution in Cedar City is known for grilling southern Utah’s delicate burgess and finest ice creams. The restaurant offers various burgers, sandwiches, tacos, chips, and more. You can visit this decades-old restaurant to unwind before or after your trip to Kanarra Creek.
Coffee and Sweets
Kanarra Falls Snackery: Comfortable, pleasant, and cozy, the Snackery is a food shack. Enjoying a delicious meal, drink, or ice cream here after a thrilling climb, town drive, or staying at one of the nearby campgrounds is a must after any of these activities. The setting is rustic and welcoming!
Grind Coffee House: Located in the heart of Cedar City’s historic district on Main Street. The Thorley Building this cafe provides triple-certified organic coffee. In addition to a wide variety of food and drink options, it offers Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Keto alternatives. Their coffee will give you the energy you need for the hike, and it is also a great place after finishing a long cold walk in the Kanarra.
Zion National Park: A visit to the nearby Zion National Park is one of the best things to do before or after hiking Kanarra Creek. This park is a sprawling canyon land in the southwest corner of the state of Utah, bordered by the counties of Washington, Iron, and Kane. The Virgin River and its tributaries are found within its 232 square miles of high plateaus and narrow, plunging sandstone gorges. More than one thousand feet tall, Zion is also home to pine forests and a wide variety of flora, including hanging gardens, adorned with vibrantly colored flowers.
Kolob Canyons: Kolob Canyons are Zion National Park’s best-kept secret. They’re in the park’s northwest quadrant. Finger Canyons, 65 miles west of Zion Canyon’s red rock splendor, include stunning panoramas and rainbow-hued rocks. It is a haven of quiet, nature, and solitary pathways. The pleasant summer temperatures at Kolob, which are over 2,000 feet higher than Zion Canyon and 10 degrees cooler, are a gift for tourists. It’s a terrific attraction to see before or after Kanarra Creek.
Kolob Terrace: From Virgin, travel Kolob Terrace Road north to Zion’s “Kolob Terrace,” a less-visited location. The Terrace to Lava Point is a beautiful site overlooking golden valleys and the North and South Guardian Angels in the distance. You’ll find the Left Fork of North Creek on the Kolob Terrace, nicknamed “the Subway.” Lava Point, Zion National Park’s highest point, allows rustic camping. Due to a lack of plows in winter, you cannot access the highest areas of Kolob Terrace Road. You have many options in this region of Zion, which you can combine before or after a hike in Kanarra Creek.
Where to Stay Near Kanarra Creek
There are various housing options to choose from, based on your needs and desires. This list of lodging alternatives is the closest to Kanarra Creek, where you can stay comfortably before or after your hike.
Cedar City, Utah’s Abbey Inn hotel sits between Zion National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Each of their 83 new elegant rooms and suites features HD television and free high-speed Internet access, and the hotel is very welcoming.
The steaming hot breakfast buffet is provided free of charge each morning and consists of items such as scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon, and a variety of other breakfast favorites. A 42-inch flat-panel TV, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, and ironing board round up the list of further perks.
It is a great place to have a pleasant time while trying Kanarra Creek and other Utah attractions.
This Cedar City La Quinta Inn & Suites Del Sol hotel offers luxurious accommodations with pillow-top beds for the ultimate relaxation. Each room has a 40-inch HD screen with HD Direct TV programs to keep you entertained.
You can stay connected to your virtual mobile devices thanks to free high-speed internet. Voice messages and local free calls keep you connected to your friends and family back home. For your convenience, a computer with printing and faxing features is available in the business center.
They have a massive exercise center at your disposal to help you stay on top of your fitness goals. You may get some exercise or relax with the family in the heated indoor pool and Jacuzzi. There are snacks at the Bright Side Market in the hotel if you feel hungry and don’t want to leave the property.
Overall, staying in this place will make you feel at home for its several features and amenities. Being just around 10 miles from Kanarra Creek, La Quinta is a great lodging option you can consider to have a good time on your trip.
A little something more is always available at the Best Western Plus Cedar City. The Best Western Plus Cedar City hotel in Cedar City, UT, stands out among the city’s other lodging options because of its modern amenities and intelligent design.
If you’re a traveler, you’ll be pleased to know that all of their guest rooms come with an ample work area, comfortable beds, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Each accommodation has an in-room mini-fridge, perfect for storing beverages and food for long-term visitors.
While on the road, you can keep up your exercise program by using their in-house gym facilities.
Best Western is an excellent option to unwind before or after a long day of Kanarra Creek hike. You can enjoy several property amenities and advantageous room features at the best value.
Approximately 12 miles from Kanarra Creek, you can find this ideal and budget-friendly hotel in Cedar City.
M-Star Cedar City’s guest rooms have a flat-screen TV, conditioning systems, a fridge, and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property.
Some of the hotel’s features are a 24-hour front desk and quick check-in and check-out options, which are also available. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary breakfast. Guests can take advantage of free parking as a bonus.
Magnuson is also an excellent option for other activities rather than Kanarra Creek. It is also nearby Artisans Gallery, Southern Utah Museum of Art, Veterans Park, and more to spend more time traveling around Utah.
This hotel is an excellent place to rest before and after you venture to Kanarra Creek, as you can complement your hike with nearby activities and attractions that you can choose to do.
Essentials When Hiking Kanarra Creek
Ensure the following items to make the most of your hike to Kanarra Falls.
Grippy Shoes: This walk can be challenging because most hikes are on uneven, slippery surfaces. Wear hiking shoes or footwear that are both comfortable and reliable. A shoe that provides ankle support is helpful when you have weak ankles.
Hiking Poles: If you’re not used to trekking on rocky or uneven terrain, hiking poles can come in handy to keep you steady while you cross the river and climb over the rocks.
Drybag: Ensure to safeguard your devices from the creek water because you’ll be wading through it. Using a dry bag is the ideal way to accomplish this. If you dropped your luggage in the water, you could ruin your cameras, phones, and other valuables.
Water: Carry adequate water on whatever hiking trail you choose, just like on any other. Remember that the more time you spend hiking and the hotter it becomes, the more water you’ll need. To avoid drinking from Kanarra Creek, bring more water, especially during summer hikes.
Layers: Kanarra Falls can feel like a refreshing oasis during the sweltering summer heat because of its high canyon walls. Layers are a must when traveling.
Other Things To Pack To Kanarra Creek
- Day pack
- Extra layers depending on the weather
- Extra lightweight shoes
- First aid kit
Best Tips for Visiting Kanarra Falls
Check Operation Hours: During the spring, summer, and fall, the trail to Kanarra Falls is available from dawn to dusk for visitors. In winter, business hours are significantly lesser. If there is a chance of severe rain or a thunderstorm, be mindful that the trail may be closed quickly.
Do Not Bring Small Children: A family-friendly trek, the Kanarra Falls trail does not necessitate the use of specialized equipment to explore the canyon. Bringing little children on the trip is still not recommended for the sake of the younger hikers. It is possible to encounter slippery, unstable homemade ladders, uneven surfaces, and locations where you may have to climb over obstructions.
Utilize Restroom Facilities: There are two restrooms along the route. In addition to the trailhead restrooms, there is one vault toilet just before the Kanarra Falls signpost (0.8 miles).
While visiting Kanarra Falls, these are the only facilities you should use. You must take out with you anything you carry. Don’t be irresponsible who leaves behind rubbish.
Do Not Entirely Rely on Cell Service: While climbing the Kanarra Falls trek, remember that you may not always have cell phone reception. No matter how often a signal appears, do not use your smartphone for directions or other information. This hike is a great time to unplug from the rest of the world and appreciate the beauty of nature.
Hike at Your Own Risk: The path presents various challenges throughout the year. The Kanarra Falls trek is challenging, so use your best discretion and decide how far you want to go depending on your skills, strengths, and comfort level.
Kanarra Creek Falls Frequently Asked Questions
How Strenuous Is This Hike in Kanarra Creek?
The Kanarra Falls hike is considered moderate in difficulty due to the need to cross or wade through water. As a result, it’s essential to be prepared to get wet! While the water may be ice-cold initially, you’ll soon acclimate to it.
To navigate the slippery rocks, it’s important to wear shoes with plenty of traction. Opt for grippy shoes that offer rock protection and a comfortable fit in the water. These shoes are ideal for the hike, whether you’re in or out of the water.
How Deep Is the Water?
There is an average depth of 8 to 12 inches across the trail. Remember that this depth can vary greatly depending on the season and weather.
When Should I Purchase My Permits?
The number of people using the route is steadily rising. We suggest purchasing your tickets at least two months in advance if you know exactly when you’ll be traveling.
Since the number of people each day is limited, it is better not to try getting tickets on-site as you might run out of them.
Is Kanarra Creek Worth a Tour From Zion National Park?
Kanarra Creek is a great trek and is worth it. As an alternative to The Narrows, we highly recommend this hike in a Utah slot canyon. Since it is a slot canyon, be mindful of the weather condition. Heading out on a hike like Kanarra Creek is vulnerable to flash floods.
Is swimming allowed at Kanarra Falls?
While swimming is technically allowed, the water in the canyon can be cold and the flow can be strong, especially during certain times of the year. Use caution and assess your swimming abilities before getting in the water.
Are dogs allowed on the trail?
Dogs are generally not allowed on the Kanarra Falls trail. This rule is in place to protect the sensitive environment of the canyon and to ensure the safety of both hikers and animals.
When is the best time to hike to Kanarra Falls?
The best time to hike to Kanarra Falls is during the spring and fall when temperatures are more moderate. Summer can be hot, and flash floods are a risk during heavy rain. Check weather forecasts before heading out.
Are there restroom facilities along the trail?
There are no restroom facilities along the trail. Make sure to use the restroom before starting your hike in Kanarraville town.
Are there any safety tips I should be aware of before hiking to Kanarra Falls?
Absolutely. Here are some safety tips: Stay updated on weather forecasts as flash floods are a risk in slot canyons. Wear appropriate footwear with good traction, as rocks can be slippery. Stay hydrated, and bring extra water, as the hike involves walking through water. Avoid hiking if there is a risk of thunderstorms in the area.
How long does the hike to Kanarra Falls usually take?
The duration of the hike can vary depending on your pace and the time you spend at the falls. On average, the hike takes around 3 to 5 hours. Plan for extra time if you’re a beginner hiker or if you want to thoroughly enjoy the scenery.
Are there any restrictions on photography during the hike?
Photography is generally allowed, and the canyon’s unique features make for great photo opportunities. However, be respectful of other hikers and the environment. Use of tripods might be limited in narrow sections to ensure smooth passage for all hikers.
Can I hike to Kanarra Falls alone, or is it recommended to go with a group?
While hiking solo is possible, it’s recommended to go with a group, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the trail or the area. Hiking with others enhances safety and can be more enjoyable. If you do hike alone, let someone know your plans and expected return time.
Are there any nearby attractions I can visit after the hike?
Kanarra Falls is located in close proximity to other popular destinations in Utah. You might consider exploring Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, or the town of Kanarraville itself. Each of these places offers unique natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
Can I camp overnight at Kanarra Falls?
Overnight camping is generally not allowed at Kanarra Falls due to its popularity and limited resources. However, there are nearby campgrounds and accommodations available in Kanarraville and the surrounding areas.
Is the trail well-marked and easy to follow?
The trail is moderately well-marked, but it’s still a good idea to bring a map or use a GPS device, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. Pay attention to markers and signs, and consider downloading a map or trail guide before setting out.
The Kanarra Creek hike is a short yet enjoyable hike you should not miss. Due to its proximity to Utah’s magnificent National Parks, it is well worth the detour. The trail will take you through the tight, high canyon walls that make it unique.
The challenging and fun adventure here is gratifying that you will be witnessing the stunning scenery of Utah, from various rock formations to not just one but two waterfalls. We hope this post helps you prepare for your trip to hiking Kanarra Creek. Enjoy and stay safe!