Paria Canyon/River


Recreation Opportunities

Paria means "muddy water" in the Paiute language. Experienced hikers can travel the muddy waters of the wild and twisting canyons of the Paria River located within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Visit the old Paria movie set and ghost town north of the wilderness area. Petroglyphs and campsites show that Pueblo Indians traveled the Paria more than 700 years ago. Please do not touch the petroglyphs and take only pictures and memories from these sites. If you plan on hiking the canyons, be aware that permits may be required. All visitors need to take special care to minimize impact on this canyon.


Recreation Sites

The BLM Paria Canyon Rangers Station is in Utah, 43 miles east of Kanab on US 89 near milepost 21. The trail head is two miles south on a dirt road near an old homestead site called White House Ruins. This area has been designated as a wilderness area; therefore there are no developed campsites.





This area is home to a variety of wildlife species. In the winter, bald eagles may be seen, while golden eagles are spotted year round. Other birds of prey include the endangered peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk, great horned owl, and Cooper's hawk. Swallows, wrens, killdeer, flycatchers, and black-throated sparrows nest on sheer walls or sand beaches. Tiny birds such as ruby-crowned kinglets, blue-gray gnat catchers, and black-chinned hummingbirds are noticed in early morning hours. Along the river, look for great blue herons. Occasionally, bobcats, foxes, mountain lions, porcupines, and beavers can be seen. Often sighted are coyotes, jack rabbits, cottontails, ground squirrels, bats, kangaroo rats, and other rodents. A variety of lizards, and rattlesnakes are found within the canyon. The Paria River is home to the flannel mouth sucker, bluehead sucker, razorback sucker, and speckled dace.



The scenic beauty of Paria Canyon is known nationwide. Hikers are drawn to colorful, winding corridors of stone, narrow gorges, and its stunning display of seven major geologic formations exposed like pages of a book. The canyon geology includes Moenkopi Formation, Chinle Formation, Moenave Formation Kayenta Formation, Navajo Sandstone, Temple Cap Sandstone, and Carmel Formation.



The 112,000 acre Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness was established by the Arizona Wilderness Act of 1984. Located along the Arizona-Utah border, it contains public lands in Kane and Coconino counties. Paria Canyon is managed by two federal agencies, the Bureau of Land Management -- Vermillion and Kanab Resource Areas, and the National Park Service--Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. BLM Kanab Field Office, 318 North First East, Kanab, Utah 84741, (435) 644-2672.

The BLM is required to preserve the area's natural conditions, outstanding opportunities, for solitude and primitive recreation, and the area's educational, scenic, and historical values. This is accomplished through required management of a variety of uses such as hiking, backpacking, hunting, and livestock grazing. More restrictive visitor use limits may at times be needed to protect wilderness resources, which is the top priority when a choice must be made between preservation and visitation.


Leave No Trace and The Rules

Leave no trace so that others enjoy their experience. The following rules are specific to Paria Canyon, Buckskin Gulch, and Wire Pass drainages: Group size is limited to 10 persons. Register at the trail head visitor boxes. Travel by foot or hoof. Closed to motorized or mechanical transport and equipment, including bicycles. Carry a stove, campfires are prohibited. Carry out all trash and toilet paper. Camp at least 200 feet or as far as possible from springs. Do not cut or trample vegetation. Leash your pets or leave them at home. Commercially guided trips require a permit. Wrather Canyon is closed to camping.


For more information visit the Utah Bureau of Land Management website