The Kanarra Falls hike (also know as Kanarraville Falls and Kanarra Creek Canyon) is located in the city of Kanarraville, Utah, about an hour from St. George. The hike follows the Kanarra Canyon Creek and leads you through a slot canyon. The hike is known for its picturesque waterfall, Kanarra Falls. This is the perfect hike to add to your itinerary to add to your Utah national parks road trip as it’s relatively close to Zion National Park. It’s one of the best places to visit in Utah so keep reading for all the details on the Kanarra Falls hike.
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Basic Info About Kanarra Falls Utah
The hike is 3.8 miles, out and back, and considered moderate. It takes on average 2.5-3 hours to complete. The hike follows the Kanarra Canyon Creek and you will hike through it for about half the hike. The hike will take you through a slot canyon. Towards the end and is where you’ll see the beautiful Kanarra Falls. You can continue the hike by climbing the ladder. Soon you’ll arrive at the natural waterslide area, then the second waterfall.
Points of Interest
first waterfall – mile 1.6
natural waterslide area – mile 1.8
second waterfall – mile 1.9
The trail is open from 7 am to 7 pm each day but hours vary in the winter.
Kanarraville Falls Permit
You will need a permit to hike the Kanarra Creek trail. It’s $12 per person and only 150 permits are issued for each day. Children under three years of age are free. And you can purchase your Kanarra Falls permit online or in person if there are still permits available for the day.
Peak season is from May through August and permits will likely sell out quickly so purchase in advance. The permit is non-refundable but if there is a closure due to the weather you can use it for another day.
We went on a gloomy November day. The day of, we checked the permits online and there were still plenty available. So we just purchased our tickets at the trailhead. There is a kiosk there where your permit will be checked and you can ask whatever questions you like. We got a quick briefing about the trail and were given a small map.
There are lots of things to consider when hiking Kanarra Falls. It is a flash flood area. Flash floods tend to happen in the afternoon but Mother Nature is unpredictable so always be prepared. Thunderstorms most commonly occur in July, August, and September. And it is not recommended that you hike when it is raining or there is a thunderstorm.
You can find news updates about the trail on the Kanarra Falls website. But it is crucial that you do your own research, check the weather forecast, and stay alert. There are signs posted that you are hiking at your own risk.
When we hiked in early November rain was predicted in the forecast. We evaluated the situation and decided to move forward with the hike. There were people on the trail but not many. The rain finally came but was pretty light until towards the end. It started to lightly hail. These conditions were not ideal and by the time we got to the first waterfall, the water level appeared to be a little higher. We decided not to continue on and turned back.
Gear for the Kanarra Falls Hike
The Kanarra Falls hike is short but the proper gear is crucial. You will be hiking through the Kanarra Canyon Creek where water levels vary throughout the year and depending on rain. There is no doubt your feet will get wet. Waterproof hiking boots with neoprene or wool socks are recommended.
In the summer, the water depth can be ankle to mid-calf. And in the spring, there can be snowmelt runoff which means colder, higher levels of water. Even in the summer, dress in layers as it tends to be cooler in the canyon.
The metal ladder you’ll climb at the first falls can be very slippery without the proper footwear. There are also some ropes left from other hikers but tend to deteriorate over time. Don’t rely heavily on the rope for your own safety. Or be sure to test before using.
waterproof hiking boots
water bladder or water bottle with water
Check out my hiking tips or beginners for gear and tips!
How to Get There
Kanarra Falls can be reached easily by type in “Kanarra Creek Trailhead” in Google Maps. This will lead you to the parking lot. Parking is free but on a summer day can fill up quickly. Start early to beat the heat. The trail opens at 7 am. Hours may vary in the winter so check your email confirmation for details. Be sure to practice “leave no trace.” Pack out anything you are taking in. There are trash cans located towards the beginning of the hike.
Know Before You Go
There are no pets allowed on the trail and it’s also not intended for small children. I did see some children on the trail but unsure if they completed the hike given the conditions. Also, there is a restroom just a bit after the trail begins, and portable restrooms at the parking lot.
Cell service is limited so download a map or follow the map on the AllTrail App. A small paper map will be given to you but if you want to know your exact location be prepared. While this is a relatively short hike it’s always good to know exactly where you’re at. Consider getting a handheld GPS for navigation. This will work when you don’t have any cell service and can see your life.
Plan Your Trip
For a nearby stay, opt to stay in St. George or Cedar City.
Check out RentalCars.com for affordable rental cars.
Enjoy your hike and the beauty of Kanarra Falls in Utah!
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