- Rating: Easy
- Distance: 5.0 miles roundtrip (our version). The complete loop is 8.0 miles.
- Elevation Gain: Not sure. But it doesn’t feel like much!
- Fees: none
- Tips: This hike is hot in the summer and also busy! We recommend hiking early in the day to avoid crowds.
Little Wild Horse Canyon makes an 8 mile loop with Bell Canyon. Both are slot canyons, and both are extremely narrow. We couldn’t take our kids all 8 miles, so we started up Little Wild Horse (reputed to be the better of the two) and ventured between 2 and 2.5 miles into the canyon. Neither boy complained (I had the baby on my back) because they were too excited to see what was around the next bend. There is not much climbing or scrambling, but a lot of sucking in and turning sideways to get through these narrow slots. Pictures can’t really do the hike justice, but we took a lot anyway. We even tried to shoot a video to show the twists and turns of this winding canyon. In short, I agree with my son– this is probably the best hike I’ve ever been on.
The hike begins in a small pullout about 5 miles past Goblin Valley State Park. Here you can follow a few different trails toward the wash. Head left in the wash and soon you will come to a slight obstacle. It looks like this:
Most people were scaling down into the drop and then walking around. We found the easiest route to be staying to the left. Follow a small ledge up around the corner. And soon you will see a sign that points to Bell Canyon or Little Wild Horse Canyon.
At the signed junction, head right into Little Wildhorse Canyon. The canyon starts out wide and slowly narrows. We love exploring this part of the canyon with our boys. There are fun rock formations, and the canyon walls are beautiful. They love to walk along the wall and climb.
Soon the canyon gets pretty narrow and you wouldn’t be able to pass people very easily. There are some areas where you will be squeezing through. We love weaving in and out of the narrows. Little Wildhorse Canyon is a spectacular canyon to walk through.
At about 2.5 miles, Little Wildhorse Canyon opens up and becomes more broad. This is where we turned around. After this broad portion, the trail will turn along the ridge to take you down through Bell Canyon. We haven’t done Bell Canyon, so our hike ends up being about 5.0 miles long. You will not be disappointed with Little Wildhorse Canyon.
The video shows bits and pieces of our hike back through the canyon.
To find Little Wild Horse Canyon, you need to be on Goblin Valley Road (the road that will enter the state park). There are few turnoffs on this road, but there is one cross road called Little Wild Horse Road less than a mile before you enter Goblin Valley. Turn right (west) on that road and travel 5.3 miles to the trailhead. There’s a small parking lot, bathrooms, and a sign pointing you along the trail. Happy hiking!