Permit system for Kanarra Falls hike starts in May. Here’s how to snag one.

In this undated photo, the iconic ladder is shown at Kanarra Falls near Kanarraville, Utah. An $8 permit system for the hike to the falls will begin May 1, 2018 | Photo by Benjamin Schaefer, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Starting Tuesday, everyone visiting Kanarraville to go on the popular falls hike will need an $8 permit.

Graham Nelson looks up Kanarra Falls on July 19, 2014. Due to the large number of visitors to the falls, there will soon be a permit system in place for people to visit the canyon and falls | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

After years of overcrowding on the trail and an estimated 45,000 people who visited the falls in 2017, the permit system starting May 1 will hopefully cut down on the number of hikers, said Kanarraville town clerk David Ence. There will be no limit on the number of permits sold each day, but if the overcrowding continues, Ence said the town may consider implementing quotas.

Read more: Kanarraville to implement permit system for popular falls hike

The announcement on the date that permits would begin to be required came at the Iron County Commission meeting Monday.

“The goal of the permits is not to raise money for the city,” Ence said. “The goal is to reduce the number of people who go up the trail.”

Permit details

The trail to the falls follows Kanarra Creek through a red-rock slot canyon to a couple of waterfalls, which can be scaled with the iconic ladders placed there. Previously, visitors needed to pay $10 per vehicle to park at the trailhead to visit the falls

Those interested will be able to buy their permit online or at a newly-built kiosk at the trailhead, Ence said. Cash and checks will not be accepted for the permit if it’s being bought at the kiosk – only credit or debit card purchases there.

“We’re hoping most people will just buy it online and not at the kiosk because it’ll be a lot easier that way,” Ence said.

Kanarra Creek flows through the slot canyon on the way to Kanarra Falls, near Kanarraville, Utah, May 2016 | Photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

After hikers arrive at the trailhead, an official in the kiosk will scan each permit, which will then become void after it’s scanned so it can’t be used again.

The job for the person sitting in the kiosk scanning hiking permits is a new one created by the city for the new permit system, Ence said. The official in the kiosk will be there daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The $8 charge per permit will be required for each and every hiker on the trail. Parking at the trailhead and in the city will be free under the permit system, Ence said.

“Hopefully people will be patient with the new system and it’ll be a big success,” Ence said.

Kanarra Falls is not the first Instagram-famous site in Southern Utah to be slapped with a permit system. Other popular backcountry hikes like The Subway in Zion National Park and The Wave near Kanab already require limited permits on how many people can visit them each day.

For more information on the Kanarra Falls hiking permits or to buy a permit, visit

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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  • Mr. W April 27, 2018 at 9:49 am

    So you did nothing to fix the overcrowding you just created another revenue source. Way to go.

  • zd April 27, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Doing a permit system, by design will discourage some hikers from coming, and as a result may curve the amount of people that visit this hike.
    I believe their plan (if you have actually been following what has been happening), is to limit the amount of permits that they will allow per day if the problem does not resolve itself by just implementing a permit system. I do not think they are looking at this as just a new revenue source, because the revenue was already in place for parking, which is not included with permit.
    Some people would call this looking at the bigger picture to solve a problem, but still allowing people to visit this beautiful hike.

    • zd April 27, 2018 at 11:13 am

      I should add that the parking fee was $10 and now the permit is only $8…. So actually “Mr. W”, they actually did the opposite……..

  • Mr. W April 27, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    How do you figure? It’s $8 per person not vehicle. I guess if you assume everyone who ever goes there travels by themselves then yes they cut costs.

    • zd April 27, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Touché. Either way, in the end, this will help resolve the problem.

    • John April 28, 2018 at 9:37 am

      I agree this is a real shame for local families who have enjoyed this excursion. This went from a free Saturday to a $10 Saturday to an $80 Saturday. Goal achieved. You just reduced the traffic by eight. Congrats!!

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