Little Wild Horse canyon is an amazing slot canyon that is so narrow in places you can hardly make it through. It is one of the most interesting slot canyons in the southwest. It first cuts through the San Rafael Swell and then eventually joins with the Bell Canyon to make an 8 mile loop route.
Overall rating = moderate
Distance: 5 miles total – moderate
Elevation gain: 500 feet – moderate
Terrain: hard packed trail through the canyon – easy
Exposure: Some chockstones to climb and very narrow -moderate
To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System
This trail is located off SR 24 between Interstate I70 and Capitol Reef National Park near Goblin Valley State Park. Drive 24 miles south from I70 exit 149 to the temple Mountain Road, or 20 miles north from Hanksville.
Turn west onto the Temple Mountain Road and drive 5.2 miles to the Goblin Valley Road.
Take the Goblin Valley Road southwest along the face of the reef to the Wild Horse Road just short of the entrance to Goblin Valley State Park.
Take the good dirt road to the right for 5.0 miles to the prominent parking lot at the Little Wild Horse Canyon.
For a one page printout of the directions click Directions to Little Wild Horse Canyon
From the parking area hike north up the wash for about 1/2 mile.
You will encounter a small dryfall, which can be easily bypassed on the left. About 150 yards past the dryfall the canyons split: straight ahead is Bell Canyon to the northwest; turn right for Little Wild Horse Canyon to the northeast. Little Wild Horse is a narrow slot on the right and is marked by a cairn or footprints branching to the right.
Little Wild Horse Canyon is about 2 miles in length. Either return the same way or combine Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon in a loop. We hiked each canyon separately on successive days.