Page Type Page Type: Canyon
Location Lat/Lon: 37.36525°N / 112.18964°W
Activities Activities: Hiking, Bouldering, Scrambling, Canyoneering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Sign the Climber's Log


Lick Wash is a beautiful remote canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. It is south of Bryce Canyon National Park and access is from the Skutumpah Road, the westernmost of a few gravel/dirt roads that traverse the monument. Though not quite a slot canyon, the canyon is narrow and quite scenic. The walls are made up of a tan colored Navajo Sandstone that are cross-bedded and very pretty. Deep in the canyon are tall majestic Ponderosa Pines. The canyon ends in the White Cliffs where it intersects with Park Wash. At this point the canyon walls are about 800 feet deep.

In the canyon are also some petroglyphs, an arch named Twisted Pine Arch, side slot canyons, and Lost Spire Hoodoo. Nearby Willis Creek Canyon is another worthwhile hike so you can combine the two to make for a memorable weekend exploring this part of the monument.

Getting There

My Dad in the canyon

From Hwy 89 about 8 miles east of Kanab, UT, take the paved Johnson Canyon Road north to the Skutumpah Road and go about 15 miles. Or from Hwy 12 near Cannonville take the Skutumpah Road south and go about 18 miles. This road is often impassable during the winter months or after a good rain. The canyon can also be difficult to hike in if there is snow and ice, or worse yet, as these are melting, very sticky mud! Inquire at any of the monument visitor centers (see below) for road/trail conditions.

Here is an overview map of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Just as the Skutumpah Road crosses sandy Lick Wash you'll see a short sandy spur road going southeast a few hundred feet to the signed trailhead. There isn't a maintained trail but the canyon is easy enough to hike down. Walk a short distance down the wash to where the canyon walls start to close up. There is a cattle gate in the canyon but it is easy enough to get around. After the narrows the canyon continues to get deeper and wider until after 2 miles or so it intersects with Park Wash. This is a nice turn-around point for a dayhike.

Red Tape

Lick Wash TH

Please practice Leave No Trace Ethics.

Overnight permits are required within the Monument for all overnight car camping or backpacking. Permits are free of charge and may be obtained at any monument visitor center (listed below) or at developed trailheads.

Driving off of designated roads is prohibited within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

A note about flash floods:

Flash floods can occur at any time of year, but they are most common in July, August, and September. Checking the local weather forecast is advisable, but you should realize that conditions change quickly, and it is impossible to predict where heavy rain will occur. Avoid narrow canyons and washes during stormy weather. Be aware of changing weather conditions. Know your escape routes. If you’re hiking in a stream, be aware of rising water levels or stronger currents and sudden changes in water clarity. Educate yourself on the terrain you are entering. Realize that dry washes are a result of previous flash floods.

By entering a narrow canyon or wash, you are assuming a risk.

If flooding begins, seek high ground and wait for the water to go down before attempting to walk out. Do not enter a narrow canyon if storms threaten. Never camp in a wash bottom.


Beautiful Light

Whitehouse Campground has 5 walk-in tent sites and is located about 43 miles east of Kanab off of Hwy 89 near Paria Canyon. There is no water or trash service and the fee is $5 per night.

Kodachrome Basin State Park Campground is located along the Cottonwood Road south of Henrieville and Cannonville. This campground is one of my favorites. The state park has lots of beautiful trails and hot showers to boot! Click here to find out more info.

Escalante State Park near Escalante has a campground. Click here to find out more info.

You can also disperse camp in most areas of the monument. Most areas do not have any facilities so be prepared to pack out what you pack in, bring your own water, and please practice Leave No Trace ethics.

External Links

Beautiful Ponderosas

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Website

National Weather Service Local Forecasts

A complete list of good safety information can be found here.

For more information

Kanab Visitor Center
Address: 745 E. Highway 89
Kanab, UT, 84741
Phone: 435-644-4680
Summer Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
7 days a week
mid-March - mid-November
Winter Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday - Friday
mid-November - mid-March
Morning light in Lick Wash

Cannonville Visitor Center
Address: 10 Center St.
Cannonville, UT, 84718
Phone: 435-826-5640
Summer Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
7 days a week
mid-March - mid-November
Winter Hours: Closed
mid-November - mid-March

Paria Contact Station
Address: Highway 89 (44 miles east of Kanab, UT)
Phone: Not Available
Summer Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:15 PM
7 days a week
mid-March - mid-November
Winter Hours: Closed
mid-November - mid-March



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