Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
300.00 ft (91.44 m)
Trail type
4.40 mi (7.08 km)
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Located within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Willis Creek is a relatively easy slot canyon hike that is an enjoyable outing both for those who are new to slot canyons and to the seasoned veterans. Although road conditions can add a degree of difficulty at times, the slot canyon is easily accessed: you simply walk down the stream bed and right into the canyon. Because of this easy access and the canyon's relatively short length, Willis Creek Slot Canyon can make for an ideal family outing. Given that the trail is the gravel stream bed, wet shoes are not out of the question, but most of the time water levels are only a few inches deep.  

The trail begins from a designated parking area (a bit of shade along the upstream banks makes for a pleasant lunch location) and follows the creek bed wash. Within minutes the wide wash becomes enveloped by growing canyon walls. Proceeding slightly farther, the walls continue to push in from the sides while simultaneously increasing in height, and before long the magnificence of the slot canyon will be on full display. After roughly 0.5 miles the first section of slot canyon will end, and in a few more minutes a small but very unique waterfall will be encountered. Shortly after the waterfall the second section of spectacular slot canyon will resume. At the approximate halfway point (1.2 miles), Averett Canyon joins from the left. The remainder of the hike is nice, but most would probably agree this is as good of a turn around point as the junction with Sheep Creek another 1 mile downstream.  

This adventure is easily linked with longer routes, including Sheep Creek and the extraordinary Bull Valley Gorge.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Easy slot canyon hike. Easily linked with other adventures in the area. Family friendly.


Flash flood potential. Very hot in the summer. Wet roads may be impassable.

Trailhead Elevation

6,000.00 ft (1,828.80 m)


Geologically significant



The drive up Skutumpah Rd/BLM 500 is a bit of an adventure itself. Take note, it is a dirt road. Not impossible by any means, but be prepared and take your time. Would not attempt in a minivan, for example. Drive back from the canyon offers great views.
We visited Willis Canyon for Memorial day weekend...amazing place! so many people but not really busy and not hard to hike ..we also bring our dog !
We visited this canyon last month and it was very fun and beautiful. Brent's write up is spot on. Here are a few more pictures showing the view from the road in, another view of the waterfall and a long shot of the tallest part of the canyon itself.
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