Kanarra Creek

Kanarra Creek is the gem of Kanarraville and the main attraction for hikers, who come by the thousands each year to hike and explore. The creek comes off Kanarra Mountain and down through red slot canyons to make its way into the valley where it irrigates the fields and gardens of local farmers and residents. The creek runs all year long over a series of small waterfalls.

Lower Kanarra Falls. (Photo courtesy of Your Hike Guide)

This moderate hike starts in Kanarraville.  Beginning May 1, 2018 anyone wishing to hike Kanarra Falls must purchase a hiking permit. Currently, there are no limits on the number of hiking permits available; however daily limits may be considered in the future.  Permits can be purchased for $8 per person online at www.kanarrafalls.com. There is a nominal transaction fee and the permit includes parking at both the Town and Sweet Spot parking lots.  Hiking permits can also be purchased at the Kanarra Falls trailhead, however, the transaction will be credit card/debit only. No cash transactions will be allowed and there are no refunds.

There is one group permit available per day for non-profits that allows up to 30 people in the group. The cost is $25 per group. Advance reservation through www.kanarrafalls.com and proof of non-profit status (IRS tax designation letter or state tax exempt certificate) will be required. The group permit is not available to commercial tours and outfitters. Commercial operations must purchase the $8 per person permit for their guests.

Kanarra Falls topographical map

Kanarra Falls Map

Please do not park on the streets of Kanarraville and please note that NO DOGS are allowed on the hike. Follow the signs east up the hill (100 N) to the parking lot.  Visit www.kanarraville.org for more information about Kanarraville and the surrounding area.

The hike starts off with a climb up a dirt road then descends on the other side of the hill to the creek. The dirt road takes you further into the canyon until the road finally ends, and the creek is more or less your guide from then on. The full round trip is about 4.5 miles, with an altitude gain of 700 feet. It is mostly in the shade and walking in water, so prepare to get wet; how wet is mostly up to you. You could easily do the hike to the first waterfall and beyond in 4 hours.

Kanarra Creek Slot Canyon. (Photo courtesy of Your Hike Guide)

The best narrows are just before the first waterfall and ladder. They are short but have some of the best modeling you will see in a slot canyon. The ladder over the falls is precarious, but once you are above it there are a series of pools and rock slides in which many take refuge from the summer heat.

The falls are not in the Town of Kanarraville, and the Town does not maintain the ladders or trails. Part of the hike is on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, but the falls themselves are on School Trust Lands of Utah.

The creek can be slippery and accidents are not uncommon when walking in swift running water. The town averages several rescues a year so be careful, take your time and get a good footing when walking in the creek. Proper footwear is recommended and trekking poles can be very helpful.

Kanarra Creek. (Photo courtesy of Your Hike Guide)

This hike starts and finishes in Kanarraville, and can be taken in Spring, Summer, and Fall. The red sandstone is reminiscent of Zion and Kolob Canyon, but on a much smaller, more intimate scale.  Bring water and snacks, or take a picnic and stay the whole day.

There are no stores in Kanarravile, so stock up in nearby Cedar City. There are no other hiker’s facilities other than the parking lot and porta-potties at the trailhead.

Please note that the culinary water for Kanarraville residents comes from a spring up Kanarra Canyon. Please be mindful and considerate of this. At this time there are no guided tours, but the trail is easily identifiable – just follow the creek.

Upper Kanarra Falls. (Photo by Jason Gessel)

Take the Kanarraville exit off I-15, just thirty minutes north of St. George and fifteen minutes south from Cedar City and enjoy.