LITTLE WILD HORSE - BELL CANYON LOOP
OK. New favorite Southern Utah hike.
Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon can be done as separate out and backs or joined to make one 8 mile loop. We looped it up.
Our route was Little Wild Horse to Bell, but I would recommend the reverse if you are certain you will be completing it as a loop and won't be put off by the water you will find filling some areas of Wild Horse. The main reason? Cool factor. If you complete the hike from Wild Horse the 'coolness' of the surroundings will build as you get deeper into the canyons. While neither are technical, WH is narrower, contains the entire spectrum of the warm color wheel, and offers more of that serpentine slot canyon feel.
The canyons are the big draw here, but don't sleep on the amazing open range you will hike through for a couple of the miles it takes to get from one to the other. There were several folks who scouted out shady spots to kick back and enjoy their lunches and Osa begged for scraps from each and every one of them.
Speaking of the four legged buddies, this was the hike that tipped the scales for us to buy harnesses for the dogs. They love scrambling over boulders but needed more assistance than usual on the sloping slick rock. On that note- If you are exploring with smaller children be prepared to do some Rafiki style hoisting. Great, now I have "The Circle of Life" playing in my head.
It took us less than 4 hours to complete the hike, including plenty of stops to fill up water bowls for the dogs. Please remember to bring PLENTY of water for everyone in your group. Even in November with the canyons shielding us from the sun for the majority of our hike it was incredibly hot and dry. It's the desert, friends. When considering ease of following the trail, I'd give this a 9/10. There was one, maybe two, spots where we had to stop and do a quick scan to find the path but it was pretty obvious where you were supposed to go (canyons are simple like that). Look for Cairns, footprints, and even some stone etched arrows to guide your path.
We were camped just two miles down the road, in BLM land, so our commute to and from was painless. This hike is neighbored by Ding and Dang Canyon, and also just 6 miles down the road from Goblin Valley State Park. If you're the BLM type you will find plenty of incredible campsites in the shade of towering hoodoos and be in close proximity to some of the best that Southern Utah has to offer.