Kanarra Falls is one of my all-time favorite hikes! It is stunningly beautiful with it’s slot canyons, waterfalls, and trees. It is located in Kanarraville, just south of Cedar City and is sometimes called Kanarra Creek Trail or Kanarraville Falls. This is a popular hike, but they now limit permits to only 150 hikers a day so that you can enjoy the experience without overcrowding. The permits cost $12 and must be bought a few weeks in advance. Here is the link to purchase the tickets. If you are lucky, you might be able to find some last minute here.
You park in a large parking lot with nice facilities and then show your permits in the little booth. You walk along a dirt road to get into the canyon. The mountains and creek are nice, but the best is definitely father in.
After about 0.8 of a miles, you will have to start crossing the stream. There will still be frequent opportunities to walk on either side on a path.
As you keep hiking the canyon walls come together quite suddenly to create a magnificent slot canyon.
The first waterfall is 1.5 miles into the hike and is iconic. It has an interesting log ladder that has metal steps attached to make it more secure. The ladder shouldn’t be too hard for most adults or older children.
After you climb the ladder beyond the first waterfall the slot canyon continues briefly and then there is a smaller waterfall. This one kind of has a log leaning partially up, but there is not a great ladder. We were able to climb up the right side of the rock. Be careful, because it is a bit slippery.
Continue along and at about 2 miles, there are some natural water slides. Some people do slide down them, but even in August the water is icy cold! Nearby there are some flat rocks where you could sit for a rest. Along the trail there are some beautiful fall trees and interesting rocks.
Many people stop at the first waterfall or at the water slides, but it is very beautiful if you continue. After a while you enter into another slot canyon. This one starts out similar to the first.
The ladder at these falls has been changing, but recently they put a metal ladder in. It can still shake and you get splattered with cold water climbing up, but it is much sturdier than some past ladders. The photo above is a long exposure, but here is another shot.
Above this the slot canyon continues and is so beautiful! You have to climb up one more little level and then the slot continues.
Just beyond the slot canyon it opens up again and there is more of the red rock and trees, as shown in that last photo above.
This is a moderately difficult hike because of the climbing up and over rocks and waterfalls, but doable even with kids. I wouldn’t take preschoolers, but older elementary should be able to do it. It is breathtakingly beautiful! We wore neoprene socks to help keeps our toes warmer and for me it was well worth it. Many hikers just wear hiking sandals or tennis shoes. Either way bring a change of clothes and shoes for when you get back to the car. Also, just like all slot canyons, never hike if there is a chance of rain.
If you are looking for more hikes in the neighborhood, consider Hidden Haven Waterfall to the north or Red Reef Trail and Babylon Arch to the south.
Stats: Distance – 3-5 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 2-4 hours
Elevation gain – 1063 feet (less if you don’t go through beyond the second slot canyon)
Difficulty – Moderate/Difficult
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks. walking in stream
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – Year Round
Permits needed – $12/person
Pets allowed – No
Map of Trail
Other hikes nearby are Hidden Haven Waterfall, Parowan Gap Petroglyphs, Timber Creek Overlook, Red Reef Trail, and Babylon Arch.