Paria Canyon Backpack: Wire Pass to Lees Ferry

  • September 27, 2012 · 6:00 PM

We have permits to backpack Paria Canyon from Wire Pass through Buckskin Gulch to Lees Ferry. Total distance is 47 miles, mostly flat, over 4 days and 3 nights. This trip is for advanced backpackers, preferably with some canyoneering experience; Buckskin Gulch is a slot canyon and, due to heavy rains and flooding in the recent past, navigating around obstacles that have not yet been cleared may be required with the use of ropes to lower gear and to assist in tricky descents. Although we are at the tail-end of monsoon season, flash floods could still be a risk. Trip plans may be subject to change depending on weather.

The plan is to leave Phoenix after work on Thursday, September 27th and drive to Lees Ferry. We will meet in a designated spot, probably someone's house, to park cars & then carpool from there.  For anyone that wishes to shorten the trip to an overnight with a total distance of 21 miles, we can leave a car at the White House trailhead, and then proceed to Lees Ferry where we will camp for the night. We’ll get some sleep and then catch the shuttle over to the Wire Pass trailhead in the morning.

The first day will be 14 miles through the entire length of Buckskin Gulch. We’ll camp the first night near the confluence of Buckskin Gulch and Paria. For anyone on the short-trip, they will take the trip up the White House trail the next morning and hike 7 miles to the trailhead parking lot. For anyone on the full-trip, the following 3 days will be roughly 10 – 12 miles of hiking per day through Paria. Some side trips may be possible, but we should be hiking out Monday afternoon at Lees Ferry and heading back to Phoenix that night. Follow this link to a map of the canyon and surrounding area to familiarize yourself with our course:

There have been reports that Buckskin Gulch is currently dry, but we are still waiting for a confirmation on water conditions. To be safe, plan on the capacity to carry at least 2 days of water, roughly 7+ liters depending on your personal requirements; this should be sufficient supply to get you to areas in Paria where we can filter water. Despite reports that conditions in Buckskin may be dry, water-friendly hiking shoes/boots are advisable and dry-packing gear is highly recommended.

The cost of this trip is $20 per person for the 4-day permit plus the per person portion of the total shuttle fee which should be about $20 per person for a full group. This trip is a bit last minute but, sometimes, permits happen! If you are interested in taking this trip, we will meet for a pre-trip planning meeting on Tuesday night, the 25th, at 7:00 PM at The Vig in Arcadia to discuss which route each person will take, pick drivers and determine what gear we will each bring and what gear we will share. 

The Vig, Arcadia
4041 N. 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

This will be an amazing trip!  I hope you will join us for this adventure.

Happy hiking!


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  • Terri

    Hi Everyone... Some info: Gear list: Checkout the recommended gear list for this trip from the BLM: Weather: Current forecast is sunny conditions, low 80's and less than 10% chance of rain for all 4 days. Water: Still waiting on an update regarding the presence of water on the route... will hopefully have by Tuesday night's meeting.

    September 24, 2012

  • Terri

    We are meeting at The Vig in Arcadia at 7:00 PM, Tuesday night (the 25th). Ask for Terri to find us. Here's the address & phone:
    4041 N. 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018 [masked]

    September 24, 2012

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