Wingate Slot Canyon is a lengthy conglomerate rock slot canyon in the Owlshead Mountains which drains into Wingate Wash and contains extensive shallow narrows. Difficulties encountered on the hike include route finding to access the canyon, hiking a long distance of 9 miles to reach the starting point of the slot, and overcoming a few low to medium difficulty dry falls in order to progress up canyon. A Google Earth map of the hiking route can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for Wingate Slot Canyon are 35° 51.710'N, 116° 48.639'W. GPS coordinates for Wingate Slot 2 are 35° 51.601'N, 116° 47.839'W. GPS coordinates for Wingate Slot 3 are 35° 51.543'N, 116° 47.192'W.
This report covers a half-day side trip of three short hikes that we did in the northern Owlshead Mountains during our Wingate Wash backpacking trip in November of 2014. After backpacking 18 miles from the Epsom Salt trailhead to Wingate Dry Lake to the mouth of Wingate Slot Canyon on Day 1, we set up camp and enjoyed a peaceful night's sleep. The next morning, we woke up with a sense of excitement and anticipation over the chance to finally explore the slot canyons in the Wingate Wash area which I had targeted during my pre-trip research. I have decided to label the main slot as Wingate Slot Canyon. It seems appropriate because Wingate Slot Canyon is the only major slot canyon of considerable length which drains directly into Wingate Wash. Wingate Slot Canyon has several very interesting aspects to it. First, it is quite long, being a little over 1 1/2 miles in length one-way. Second, the conglomerate rock walls within the slot completely change color and texture several times. Third, the narrows, while somewhat shallow, completely enclose a hiker for most of the entire length with very few wide open sections. It took us about 2 hours of time to hike up Wingate Slot Canyon as far as we wanted to go and return back down to camp. Because I'm including so many pictures of this special place in the full set down below, I'm going to spend more time talking about what was found within the canyon in the captions for those pictures. Upon finishing our exploration of Wingate Slot Canyon, we packed up camp and backpacked down Wingate Wash one additional mile toward the vehicle. At that point, we split up into two groups, with Tobin and Debbie continuing toward the vehicle for 8 more miles while I broke off to explore Wingate Slot 2 and Slot 3. The Wingate Wash backpacking had been incredibly brutal on their feet and thus they wisely decided to save their energy for the long hike out. I left my backpack behind near Wingate Wash and turned off into what I call Wingate Canyon. (The two major canyons in the northern Owlsheads are officially unnamed, but I call them Slickenside Canyon and Wingate Canyon simply for reference.) About 3/4 of a mile up Wingate Canyon, I turned off to the right and entered Wingate Slot 2. Wingate Slot 2 was a lot different from Slot 1, being quite short and vivid red in color. There wasn't a whole lot to see in the area but it was still interesting to check out and the narrows were nice. Next, I backtracked and crossed directly over to the other side of the main wash of Wingate Canyon, where I attained a small ridge. On the ridge, I hiked about 1/2 of a mile and then dropped into the wash of Wingate Slot 3. Wingate Slot 3 was about 3/4 of a mile long and had extensive narrows. It wasn't quite as pretty as Slot 1 but it was well worth a visit with a few extremely scenic spots. After completing Slot 3, I returned to Wingate Canyon and then Wingate Wash where my backpacking trip resumed. Someday there is more that I would like to explore and check out in the vicinity of these slot canyons. Satellite imagery reveals an interesting area which I have labeled as White Ring Hill. And there is one canyon known informally in park circles as "Never-Ending Ever-Changing Canyon" which I would like to see. But I truly enjoyed getting a chance to fully check out Wingate Slot Canyon along with Slot 2 and Slot 3 on this trip. Wingate Slot Canyon quickly moved onto my Top Five list for favorite canyons in the Owlsheads. Our hike took place on November 21, 2014.
Many more photographs taken during our visit are available for viewing for this destination. To see all of them, choose one of the two options presented below. The two options are Slideshow viewing and Trip Report viewing. The Slideshow option allows for viewing larger images with an autoplay option and a full screen option (available on most browsers). This option works very well for large computer screens and tablets. The Trip Report option allows for viewing smaller pictures in a standard scroll-down format and enlarging of any panoramic photos taken during our visit. Click on the option of your choice to view all of our photos from this destination. The Slideshow format opens in a new browser window and the Trip Report format uses the same browser window for viewing.
TRIP REPORT FORMAT