Classic West: In the Slots
Always check the weather forecast and get trail updates from local agencies.
Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch. A day hike to the Paria Narrows (moderate) requires a 4-mile (one way) hike into Paria Canyon from the White House trailhead. The quickest route into Buckskin (moderate) is via the Wire Pass, 1.7 miles from the trailhead to the Buckskin confluence.
Info: For overnight permits (limited to 20 people per day), visit www.az.blm.gov/paria or call 435/644-4600. Check with the BLM Paria Ranger Station (8:30–4:15 daily; 30 miles west of Page on U.S. 89; no phone) for weather and conditions.
Upper Antelope Canyon. To hike Upper Antelope Canyon (easy), book a tour ($26) at the Navajo concessions on State 98, 3 miles east of Page.
Info: Page Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce ( www.pagelakepowellchamber.org or 928/645-2741).
Canyon X. Visit Canyon X (moderate) with Overland Canyon Tours (from $85).
Info: Overland Canyon Tours ( www.overlandcanyontours.com or 928/608-4072).
Three slots are clustered 30 miles southeast of Escalante off Hole-in-the-Rock Road.
Brimstone, Peek-a-Boo, and Spooky Gulches. Peek-a-Boo and Spooky are short hikes; Brimstone requires a 3-mile (each way) off-trail hike. All are moderately difficult.
Info: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (435/826-5499) or UtahCanyons (guided tours $75 per person; 325 W. Main St., Escalante; www.escalante-utah.com or 435/826-4967).
Zion National Park
Zion Narrows. From the Riverside Walk (a 1-mile, paved trail), hike and/or wade the Virgin River to Orderville Canyon (2.5 miles one way) or farther; difficulty depends on water flow. Water temperature in May ranges from the low 40s to the high 50s.
Info: Zion National Park (week pass $20; www.nps.gov/zion or 435/772-3256).