Labyrinth Slot Canyon

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Labyrinth Canyon is the first canyon on the right after the narrows breaks out into Padre Bay. The canyon winds to the south and narrows toward the end finally ending on a sand beach. The hike into the slot on this day at water level 3613 with rising water featured a gradually swallowing lake that had to be accessed by small craft or wading.

The walk up the sandy slot was easy. The canyon narrowed shortly after the lake ended. The bottom of the slot is sandy. Both sides can be touched by extending the arms. In fact, the winding adventure required keeping a hand on one wall or the other to keep balance as the bottom of the slot is only the width of the foot in many places.

The prettiest section is closest to the lake. The canyon opens in a spot or two then closes down and gets even narrower. There are rocks lodged in the canyon in the second section that have to be scrambled over. Sand turns to rocky bottom as the distance from the lake increases.

On this day the canyon was dry with only a puddle or two that could be crossed by stepping on stones put there for that purpose. We walked for about 3 hours round trip covering perhaps 2 miles one way. There was still plenty of slot canyon left to walk when we turned around but it was getting to be much the same on the far end.

The best part of the slot hike was close to the lake.

I know this is an old one, but a great write up for my crew that loves slots. We'll be there this week so hoping this info is still relevant. And yes, we will definitely watch for storms anywhere in the system that would wash us out.
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The only unknown is the distance between boatable water and shoreline where hiking is possible. Sometimes you can pull right up on the beach and walk to the slot. Other times there are some obstacles to overcome before starting the hike. Luckily the water is warm enough now (78) for a short swim if necessary.

BTW Labyrinth is now a wakeless canyon so it will take longer to get the back.
I will be on my first trip to Lake Powell next month, mid September. This looks like a great hike - is it accessible for lake novices??
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