Kanarraville Falls: Best kept secret becomes nightmare

For years, Kanarraville Falls was one of Southern Utah’s best-kept secrets. The hidden hike leading to a slot canyon waterfall was seemingly reserved for residents of the small town of Kanarraville.

Over the span of a few years, the natural wonder turned into a big problem for the locals.

They first noticed the increase during the Fourth of July weekend in 2004. Town council member Tyler Allred remembers being surprised by the 75 cars squeezed into the land between the edge of creek and down the hill leading to the town. “It was a catastrophe,” Allred said. Now, that would be low attendance for a busy summer weekend.

In the 13 years since then, the popularity of the 4.8 mile hike has exploded through social media, marketing and word of mouth.

What used to be a treasure has now become a nightmare for many Kanarraville residents. The influx of hikers has left the small community of 350 faced with many difficulties they would have never known otherwise, including parking problems and fears of contamination of the primary water source.

Now, they’re facing opposition and criticism as they try to do what’s best for their community.

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