Slot canyons are fascinating wonders of nature that are a blast to explore. They are narrow canyons formed by water rushing through rock. By definition, a slot canyon is deeper than it is wide and can be less than 3 feet wide but still up to 100 feet deep. Most are in areas where rainfall is rare and thus they can be explored most of the year.
Slot canyons fall broadly into two categories. One is technical slot canyons, which require climbing and rope skills and generally are ones I do not visit. I enjoy slot canyons that I can walk through with a minimum of climbing required. I like to be careful.
The United States has hundreds of slot canyons in the western states. Utah, Arizona and California, among others, all have excellent options that can be visited by nearly anyone.
Below are the slots that I have visited ranked in the order I have enjoyed them. The order is rough but is meant to give you a feeling for how good each is relative to the other. I doubt I will ever encounter a slot canyon that I do not enjoy or feel is worth the time and effort to see.
Please take care when hiking in remote areas. Travel with company and let someone know where and when you are going. Take plenty of water and beware of flash flood conditions. People can and do get killed or hurt (like Aron Ralston did when he cut off his own arm in a slot canyon in Canyonlands National Park). This list is going to lean toward the easier and safer slots, but as always, be a careful adventurer.
Click each image to read a detailed article about my visit which will include pictures and useful information for planning your own trip. Feel free to post questions or comments from your own visit.