Little Wild Horse in the downstream direction didn't initially impress much with slot-ishness, staying fairly wide for a while (but still with beautiful high cliffs, often streaked with desert varnish). In fact, Jenn and Brian were beginning to make noises about how they thought Bell Canyon was the more impressive canyon of the two. Then, however, Little Wild Horse began to narrow up.
Fun little drops and unexpected turns, hollows and cave-like sections followed. Beyond that, a section of much tighter narrows followed, lined with some beautifully-pock marked walls. This section was only a few feet wide, so already things were quite a bit tighter than Bell Canyon.
Little Wild Horse then tightened up further, with an all-bedrock wavy section that didn't have a flat sandy floor, followed by another section that did have a sandy floor but was perhaps only a foot and a half wide and rather dark. This was the tightest section of slot, and it would have been hard for hikers to pass in opposite directions along this stretch. Beyond this section the canyon immediately broadened out and remained relatively wide for the rest of the way down to the confluence with Bell Canyon. Overall, although there were some little bits of scrambling in spots, nothing was really beyond even a novice hiker's ability level.
Back at the confluence, we turned left and headed back up and along a bit of ledge-traversing trail before dropping back down into the the wash of Little Wild Horse. Even though it was now 5pm, there were still many new hikers coming up the wash. Not sure if we achieved more seclusion by choosing Bell Canyon first, but in any case it was nice to have saved the best (the narrows of Little Wild Horse) for the end. In all, it took us just under five hours to hike the entire loop, and that was with many stops and breaks.
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Bell-Little Wild Horse Canyon loop - click map to view
Bell and Little Wild Horse Loop - Hike Data
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain:
Total Elevation Loss:
* : +/- 75 feet
With our first day-hike successfully completed, we had a little fun experimenting with some aerial drone photography on the byway heading back to Goblin Valley. Then, a quick visit to the park's famous namesake hoodoos. In some instances they looked rather less goulish and more.... excretive.
Following the quick hoodoo visit, we returned to our already-set up campsite and made dinner, had a hot shower, and planned for the next outing.