15 Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada

by David & Intan

These may not be the slots you had in mind for Vegas, but believe it or not, there are a bunch of great slot canyons near Las Vegas, Nevada!

Slot canyons are natural rock passageways that are fun to explore and nice for photos. Each one is different, and the colors can be amazing. Some of the hikes are family friendly and great for kids or pets.

We drove through the state of Nevada recently on our way to Yosemite National Park, and decided to stop and check out some of the slot canyons near Vegas while we were at it. A few of these are very close to the city, while others will require some driving or even a full day excursion.

Without further ado, here’s our complete list of the best Las Vegas slot canyons!

 

What Is A Slot Canyon?

A slot canyon is a narrow canyon passageway formed in rock (usually sandstone) that has been eroded by water over time, eventually creating a keyhole-like crack in the rock that is just wide enough for a person to fit through.

While the densest collection of slot canyons in the world is in Utah, there are also some great ones in Arizona and Nevada, and many of them are family friendly and easy for beginners to hike.

Side note: Always be aware of the weather forecast before entering a slot canyon. Do not enter if rain is in the forecast, even if it’s outside of your immediate area. Flash flooding can be very dangerous in a slot canyon.

Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada White Domes Trail Valley Fire State Park

Slot canyons are fun and great for pictures


 
 

15 Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada

 

1. White Domes Trail

The White Domes Trail is a short and sweet little loop hike with a beautiful slot canyon in Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park.

It’s a 1 hour drive from Las Vegas to the trailhead, and then you can reach the slot section after just 10 minutes of hiking!

This is a great slot canyon for families with kids, and it’s very photogenic too. Even though it’s only a short hike, it’s well worth a visit! As a bonus, this spot was used as a film location for the 1966 Western movie ‘The Professionals,’ and there are remnants of the movie set still there today.

Keep in mind this trail may be closed for safety during the summer months (June – September) because of extreme heat, so check the current status before you go. There’s very little shade on the trail except when you’re inside the slot canyon.

Difficulty: Easy

Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada White Domes Trail       Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada White Domes Trail

Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada White Domes Trail Valley Fire State Park

This beautiful slot canyon is part of the White Domes Trail in Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park


 

2. Anniversary Narrows

This is a very unique Nevada slot canyon with spectacular layered rock patterns, located about 1 hour east of Las Vegas.

Even though it’s a bit tricky to find, this is definitely one of the best slot canyons near Las Vegas! To get to the trail, you have to drive through a wash and then a rocky dirt road until you reach an abandoned mining area.

Having a bit of clearance helps, but the road should be passable by most vehicles as long as it’s not raining. Even the short bit of driving in the wash near the start is very tame.

Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada Anniversary Narrows       Anniversary Narrows
 
To get to the Anniversary Narrows, you’ll need to do a bit of ‘Google-Fu’ with your map. I’ll explain here.

You can’t route your map directly to the parking area because the route goes off road for a brief section in the wash. If you try, you’ll get an error on your map saying no directions found.

Instead, the closest place you can route your map is this turn off. From there, you drive across the wash briefly and then you can open your map again on the other side of the wash and use it for the rest of the way to where you’ll park.

Here is the route we used to drive to our final parking spot after crossing the wash. Remember to download an offline map of the area before you go, because you probably won’t have any reception once you get there.

Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada Anniversary Narrows

Anniversary Narrows — one of the best slot canyons near Las Vegas Nevada!

Once you reach the parking area indicated in the map, simply walk down the hill on the road until it goes into a wide wash, and then keep following that wash walking north until you reach the slot canyon. Here is a walking map you can use to take you to the start of the slot canyon from the parking area.

Along the way, you’ll pass some old mine shafts and other interesting sights, although I wouldn’t go inside any abandoned mines because they might be unstable and dangerous.

From this location, going to the end of the slot canyon and then back requires about 2 miles of hiking (roundtrip), although it may be more if you have to park your vehicle farther away. We hiked there and back in about 45 minutes.

Anniversary Narrows       Anniversary Narrows
 
The actual narrows section is approximately 1/3rd of a mile long, and all of it is photogenic, although I thought the most amazing views were near the start of the narrows.

When we visited, there were no trespassing signs or any indication that the area was off limits to the public, although at one time apparently hikers were being turned away by a private land owner in this area. Maybe that has changed.

This is a fairly remote area of Nevada and there is no shade at all on the trail, so remember to bring lots of extra water in your vehicle and on your person. Carry more water than you think you need, and save this hike for a day when it’s less hot!

Difficulty: Moderate
 

3. Spooky Canyon (Arizona)

Spooky Canyon is a cool little hidden canyon on the border of Arizona and Nevada, not too far from the iconic Hoover Dam, and about 45 minutes of driving from Las Vegas. It’s a short and kid friendly canyon that you can finish exploring in about 40 minutes.

This was definitely one of our favorite Las Vegas slot canyons! As you can tell by the name, Spooky Canyon is a mysterious looking canyon and it’s also very photogenic, although you might see a few spider webs.

Some people have called this a mini Antelope Canyon, although I don’t know if I’d go that far. There are very few slot canyons that can compete with Antelope for beauty.

In any case, this spot is nice and still relatively unknown. We went on a weekday and it was completely empty and quiet.

Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada Spooky Canyon Arizona       Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada Spooky Canyon Arizona
 
There’s a wire fence you have to duck under to get to Spooky Canyon, but this is apparently to keep wildlife off the highway, not to block people from getting to the canyon. There are no ‘keep out’ signs.

However, this is an unmarked trail and the parking is easy to miss since it’s right off highway 93. You can find a map for the exact parking location here.

From the parking, just walk east against traffic on the desert side of the guard rail until you reach the hole in the fence. After crossing the fence, just walk down the hill for a minute and then you’re inside the slot canyon!

Difficulty: Easy
 

4. White Owl Canyon

The White Owl Canyon is a short but nice slot canyon hike near Lake Mead, only 30 minutes from Las Vegas Nevada.

This is a pretty easy hike overall, but like most hikes in Nevada, the heat can make it quite a bit harder. Going to the end of the slot and back to the parking area is roughly 2 miles roundtrip, so you can do it in about 45 minutes with a good pace.

Alternatively, some people do this as a loop hike, crossing the road and incorporating a second small slot canyon on the way there, which you can see in the map on AllTrails. In either case, the trail is not very well marked, so downloading an offline map is a good idea.

This is generally not a busy trail, and the slot canyon sections are nice. Sometimes you may even see owls there, nesting in the rock walls! Rattlesnakes are also a possibility, so keep an eye out for them.

The best time to photograph Owl Canyon would probably be in the early morning or evening, when there’s not too much sun in the canyon. We went in the middle of a summer day and the lighting was pretty harsh for pictures.

Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

White Owl Canyon       White Owl Canyon
 
 

5. Arizona Hot Spring

The Arizona Hot Spring trail has a very unique slot canyon where you can swim in a natural hot spring! Even though it’s located right across the Arizona state line, this one is only about 30 minutes from Las Vegas, Nevada.

At the end of the hike, there are several clear, warm soaking pools dammed with sandbags. Each pool has a different heat level, so you can try them and find the temperature you like!

The hike to the hot springs is about 6 miles roundtrip, with 1,200 feet of elevation gain. You’re descending on the way there, though, so the hardest part is going back.

Bring lots of water! Also note that this trail is closed seasonally from May 15 to September 30, because of the extreme summer heat in Arizona and Nevada.

Difficulty: Moderate
 

6. Cathedral Gorge Slot Canyons

If you don’t mind a bit of driving, there are a bunch of neat slots to explore in Nevada’s Cathedral Gorge State Park, about 2.5 hours north of Las Vegas.

These are some of the most unique and fascinating slot canyons I’ve seen. You can hardly even call them that. Some of the slots are only 30 feet deep, while others seem to go on and on for quite awhile, turning in all directions like a fun maze. Kids will have a blast here.

There are several collections of slots here, and all of them are easily reached from where you park your vehicle. On Google Maps, they’re marked as the Moon Caves and Cathedral Caves, and you can also find a third set of unmarked slots here.

The passageways are very tall and narrow, which means they stay cool inside even on a hot day. Some of them are tight and a little claustrophobic.

For photographers, the lighting and colors look great inside even in the middle of the day, when the sun still barely streams into the chambers. The photo ops are endless and it feels like you’re inside of a sci-fi movie set!

Difficulty: Easy

Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada Cathedral Gorge State Park       Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada Cathedral Gorge State Park

Best Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada Cathedral Gorge State Park

Cathedral Gorge State Park has some of the best slot canyons near Las Vegas, Nevada!


 

More Slot Canyons Near Las Vegas Nevada

These are some other slot canyons near Las Vegas that require a bit of driving. Many of these are located in Utah, but most of them are less than 3 hours from Vegas, making them possible to visit on a day trip if you don’t mind driving.
 

7. Jenny’s Canyon (Utah)

Jenny’s Canyon is a family friendly little slot canyon in southern Utah that’s perfect for the kids. You can reach it in just 5 minutes of walking!

This slot is located in the Snow Canyon State Park near St George, about 2 hours from Las Vegas. The rock walls are full of photogenic little caves and cavities that the kids can play in, and when you get done at the slot, there’s also an overlook that is pretty easy to hike up.

The only disappointment with this slot canyon is that it’s so short, and you reach the end after only walking about 500 feet. Parking is also very limited at the trailhead, although it tends to free up often since the hike is quick.

Overall, it’s a remarkable little slot canyon, and it’s well worth a visit if you’re near the Snow Canyon State Park!

Difficulty: Easy

Jennys Canyon Trail Snow Canyon State Park St George Utah       Jennys Canyon Trail Snow Canyon State Park St George Utah
 
 

8. St George Narrows (Utah)

If you’re claustrophobic, stay far away from the St George Narrows! I debated whether or not to include this slot canyon in the list, because it’s so tight you could almost call it a crack rather than a slot canyon.

Compared to most slot canyons, this passageway is paper thin. Even if you’re a small person, you will absolutely have to walk sideways to get through the crack, and it’ll still be tight. It’s a fun challenge if you’re feeling brave!

This slot is part of a free park area that has restrooms and plenty of parking, just outside the town of St George in southern Utah. It’s 1 hour and 45 minutes from Las Vegas by car. Even if you’re not up for squeezing through the slot, there are some other rock features here that are good for climbing and photos as well!

Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

Saint St George Narrows Utah       Saint St George Narrows Utah
 
 

9. Kanarra Creek & Falls (Utah)

The Kanarra slot canyon is unique on this list for also having two waterfalls inside, and it’s located about 2.5 hours from Las Vegas. It’s definitely one of our favorite Utah canyons.

The first waterfall is near the start of the slot canyon, and it’s easy to pass thanks to a new metal ladder that was installed by the city of Kanarraville. The second waterfall comes into view a bit later.

Overall, I’d probably rate this hike as easy, although the trail does have a bit of elevation gain.

Nowadays you have to pay for a permit to do the Kanarra Creek hike because of its popularity, and there are a limited number of permits available per day. These sell out often, so you’ll want to plan ahead.

Difficulty: Easy

Kanarra Creek Falls Utah       Kanarra Creek Slot Canyon Utah
 
 

10. Spring Creek Canyon (Utah)

The Spring Creek Canyon is another nice slot canyon by the little town of Kanarra, located about 2 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada.

This one is a pretty easy hike, and it has bright reddish-orange rock colors that can be really stunning with the right amount of sunlight.

We did Spring Creek on a weekday and the trail was almost completely empty, so that’s another thing it has going for it!

Difficulty: Easy

Spring Creek Canyon Utah       Spring Creek Canyon Utah
 
 

11. The Zion Narrows (Utah)

Of course I have to mention the mother of all slot canyons, the Narrows! This one is located in Utah’s Zion National Park, about 2.5 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is a giant gorge with walls a thousand feet tall, and the Virgin River flowing through it. Hiking the Narrows involves walking in water, and it’s 16 miles total.

The good news is that the Narrows is open to all fitness levels because you don’t have to hike to the end of the gorge. You can stop and turn around whenever you want.

It’s possible to hike the entire Narrows in one full day if you get a permit in advance, but most people just go partway and then turn back (no permit required for that).

The bad news is that the Narrows is getting extremely popular. The crowds kind of ruined it for us. If you’re really intent on seeing the Narrows without crowds, I’d recommend getting a permit and hiking it from the top down. Otherwise, you may want to go to one of the other places in this slot canyon guide.

Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

Best Slot Canyons In Utah Zion Narrows

The Zion Narrows may be the most famous slot canyon Utah has to offer

Best Slot Canyons In Utah Zion Narrows

Huge canyon walls of the Zion Narrows


 

12. Red Hollow Canyon (Utah)

The Red Hollow Slot Canyon is a short and easy hike in Orderville, Utah, not too far from the popular Zion and Bryce national parks. It’s about 3 hours and 15 minutes from Las Vegas.

It’s a very photogenic hike, with nice red rock colors and steep canyon walls. As a bonus, Red Hollow Canyon is easy to reach and great for kids.

There’s one very tight slot that’s great for chimneying or stemming, where you place your back against one wall and then push your feet on the other wall to cross the gap. This type of maneuver was new to us, but we had a lot of fun learning how to do it.

Even though Red Hollow is very short, it’s great for pictures. All in all, this was one of our favorite slot canyons!

Difficulty: Easy

Read More: Red Hollow Slot Canyon

Red Hollow Slot Canyon Hike Orderville Utah       Red Hollow Slot Canyon Hike Orderville Utah
 
 

13. Red Canyon Slot / Peekaboo Kanab (Utah)

The Peekaboo Red Canyon is a wonderful slot canyon near Kanab, in southern Utah. It’s located about 3 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The main challenge with this slot is the soft and deep sand on the road leading to it. You will need a true 4 wheel drive vehicle (not just AWD), and even then you will want to air down your tires and keep up momentum to avoid getting stuck in the sand.

Lots of people get stuck here because of the tricky conditions. Because of this, most people visit the Peekaboo Kanab slot with a Jeep tour or UTV tour where a professional company does the driving for you. I’ll include some tour recommendations below.

Some of these tours also combine the slot with a visit to the nearby Great Chamber, which is a photogenic cave-like spot near Kanab that’s also challenging to reach without a true off-road vehicle.

Alternatively, you can hike approximately 8 miles roundtrip to the slot from the 2WD parking area, and some people do this, but it’s a bit of a tough slog because of all the sand. You’ll need a map, sun protection, and lots of water.

The slot itself is beautiful and easy to walk through. It’s well worth the effort. This one is great for all ages, and if you don’t mind the driving distance then it’s definitely one of the most photogenic slot canyons near Las Vegas Nevada!

Difficulty: Easy

Book Now: Peekaboo Kanab Jeep Tour / UTV Tour

 

14. Buckskin Gulch & Wire Pass (Utah)

Buckskin Gulch is the longest slot canyon in the United States, and it’s believed to be the longest slot canyon in the world, at 21 miles!

This one is a bit remote. It’s located by the Utah-Arizona state border, but you can also reach it in 4 hours of driving from Las Vegas if you’re up for a full day excursion.

The Buckskin slot canyon is great for photos, and it’s also notable for having some Native American petroglyphs that are easy to reach. The best way to visit this slot canyon is by entering from Wire Pass, that way you get to see two slot canyons for the price of one!

We thought the slot canyon section at Wire Pass was even more photogenic than Buckskin itself. It’s narrow and the colors are terrific. There’s even a little wooden ladder that’s great for pictures.

Best of all, this slot dumps you right at the intersection in Buckskin Gulch where you can see some petroglyphs on the canyon wall.

Difficulty: Easy

Read More: Wire Pass To Buckskin Gulch

Wire Pass Buckskin Gulch       Wire Pass Buckskin Gulch
 
 

15. Antelope Canyon (Arizona)

Of course I can’t make a list of the best slot canyons near Las Vegas without mentioning Antelope Canyon, which is famous for being one of the most beautiful places in America!

This one is actually located in Arizona, of course, but it’s still possible to visit it on a long day trip from Las Vegas. It’s about 4.5 hours of driving each way.

Antelope Canyon is a favorite with photographers, and for good reason. It has spectacular colors, and it’s so photogenic. It would be hard to take a bad picture here.

The only con is that it’s extremely popular, so a tour guide is required nowadays, and you might have to make a reservation months in advance.

However, GetYourGuide has some high-rated tours of Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas, including hotel pickup and drop-off, transport in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan, and a live tour of the slot canyon with a certified Navajo tribal guide.

We’ve used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great. Highly recommended!

Difficulty: Easy / Guided

Read More: Antelope Canyon Guide

Book Now: Antelope Canyon Tour From Las Vegas (+Horseshoe Bend)

 

Las Vegas Slot Canyons Map

Here’s a Las Vegas slot canyons map you can use to plan your own road trip in Nevada. You can click the icons to get directions and more info on each point of interest, but keep in mind some of the locations on this map may be approximate.

As always, please remember to keep the trail clean, be considerate of other hikers, and leave no trace. Thanks and happy travels!
 

 

Slot Canyon Nevada Safety Tips

Flash Floods. Always be aware of the weather forecast. Do not enter any slot canyon if rain is in the forecast, even if it's outside of your immediate area. Flash flooding can be very dangerous in a slot canyon.

Sunscreen. Even on a slot canyon hike, there are still plenty of parts on the trail where you'll be exposed to direct sun, so you might want sunscreen. A hat helps too.

Water. Try to pack at least 3-4 liters per person. In Nevada, you should always bring more water than you think you need.

Map. It's a good idea to download an offline map of your hiking area on an app like Google Maps, that way you can keep using it to navigate or find your position even when you're out of reception. Getting lost in the desert can be dangerous.
 

More Slot Canyon Hiking Guides

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this guide for some of the best slot canyons near Las Vegas, Nevada.

Don’t forget to check out my complete list of the best slot canyons in Utah to see on your next road trip as well!
 

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