Waterholes Canyon, AZ | HikeArizona
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 This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Preferred" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Waterholes Canyon, AZ

Guide 43 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.4 of 5 
719 43 1
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
View 6
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,596 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
 Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
12  2021-09-16 ultrazona
14  2020-10-11 chumley
49  2019-11-02 GrottoGirl
15  2017-04-16 hikeaz
19  2016-05-21
Escalante National Monument Trip
36  2015-11-24 GrottoGirl
2  2015-08-18 azbackpackr
16  2015-08-18
Glen Canyon Dam to Lee's Ferry
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
author avatar Guides 172
Routes 229
Photos 6,096
Trips 1,129 map ( 2,527 miles )
Age 41 Male Gender
Location Pocatello, ID
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:54am - 6:22pm
0 Alternative

Easy hidden slot canyon
by PaleoRob

 Likely In-Season!
Waterholes Canyon is a slot canyon just south of Page. Its one of the last tributaries to lower Glen Canyon before the Colorado River emerges at Lee's Ferry to enter Marble Canyon. Waterholes is not as famous as nearby Antelope Canyon, nor is it as deep. It shares many characteristics with another nearby tributary to the lower Glen, Nine Mile Draw. There are two portions to Waterholes Canyon, and they are divided between Upper and Lower at the point where the highway bridge for US89 crosses the canyon. Recently the Navajo Nation has closed the lower section of Waterholes Canyon to hikers. Fortunately, the upper section is still open to hiking. Since it is on Navajo land, you'll need to get a hiking permit.

The hike begins at the trailhead just north of the highway bridge over Waterholes Canyon, on the road's east side. There are a gate and a hiker's maze that mark the highway right-of-way boundary. Once through the hiker's maze, there is a well-worn and obvious path leading towards the right and the canyon rim. This leads to a small, easily descended draw. At one point, you will reach a seeming impasse, with a cliff on the right and a boulder-jam on the right. Climb over the boulders, which is very easy, and the slope leads into another steep draw, which will take you right to the floor of Waterholes Canyon. Downstream you can see the highway bridge, while upstream are alternating narrows and broader canyon bottoms.

The hike itself is not very hard or difficult to follow. The stream bed is the trail, though there are a few side canyons that are neat, narrow, and worth checking out. Hike upstream as far as you'd like, though the farther upstream you go, the narrower and more convoluted you'll find the canyon to be. After a rainstorm, there can be pools of water for several weeks afterward. These can range from pretty distractions to significant obstacles, especially in the upper canyon, so be prepared. NEVER enter a slot canyon when it may rain in the area - slot canyons can quickly become death traps with no place to escape.

Check out the Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your canyon trip to support this local community.

2007-04-28 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

     Permit $$

    Navajo Nation Reservation
    Navajo Permits & Services

    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From Page, drive several miles south to the Waterholes Canyon bridge (signed). Pull off on the highway's east side by a signed gate warning against hiking without a valid permit. The hiker's maze and trailhead are just south of the gate on the fenceline.

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