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Coyote Gulch via Hurricane Wash, UT

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Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southwest
5 of 5 by 4
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,570 feet
Elevation Gain -492 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,080 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.6
Interest Ruins, Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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105  2018-04-06
Capital Reef to Escalante National Monument
49  2017-11-23
Coyote Gulch
25  2017-11-23
Coyote Gulch
20  2017-11-23
Coyote Gulch
26  2017-10-07 friendofThunderg
15  2011-03-25 Sarae
42  2008-10-15 caddymob
43  2008-05-16
Escalante River
Author caddymob
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 2
Photos 92
Trips 3 map ( 18 miles )
Age 37 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, May → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:08am - 6:29pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
A classic redrock hike
by caddymob

Coyote Gulch is one of my favorite hikes/backpacks ever. So much beauty contained in this canyon its hard to soak it all in, and I've been down there several times. The sheer walls adorned with some of the best desert varnish anywhere along with with deep undercut amphitheaters, waterfalls, and fantastic cottonwoods make this a spot to die for.

There are a couple ways in, but I think the Hurricane Wash route is probably the best in terms of time and easy of entry. It is a little mind numbing for the first few miles as you are up on a rather flat plateau walking through a wash and plenty of cow patties. It can be hot up there as you are exposed with little shade. There is plenty of ankle busting, flour-like sand which is not fun if you are carrying a heavy pack. Trekking poles help maintain your speed and balance through this stuff. I can't imagine doing it when its > 90... But soon enough, you begin to descend into wonderland. Hurricane wash itself it pretty interesting, many neat formations and interesting sights along the way....

But as soon as it converges with Coyote Creek, a marvel of geology, erosion, time, and space overwhelm the senses.

Once in the canyon, if planning to camp -- there are basically great campsites at every bend. I like to camp at or near Jacob Hamblin Arch -- this is 7.2 miles in from the trail head and makes for a nice day hike the 2nd day down to the Escalante River. This sinuous canyon meanders deeper and deeper into the sandstone until it meets the Escalante River downstream. If you make it to the confluence, be sure to wade just a little way upstream in the Escalante to check out Steven's Arch.

Explore this canyon, and remember to look behind you often -- each bend has its own surprises -- from massive undercut banks that result in mind bending amphitheaters, to waterfalls and cascades, to arches, cottonwoods, and more. This is not a hike that should be done in a day -- it has to be enjoyed, allowed to soak into your bones. Night in the canyon is particularly peaceful.

There are a few latrines in the canyon, which is a great thing (not to mention they have the BEST view you will EVER have whilst doing your business)... Otherwise the park service asks you to pack out your poop. Seriously... This is a popular destination and thousands of catholes can have rather deleterious effects on these fragile environs. And note -- NO DOGS ALLOWED. Every time I've been in I have seen a park ranger who checks my permit and asks if I've seen any dogs.

Hole in the Rock Road is bumpy, washboardy, and long. Its a ton of fun in a truck that can drive at baja speeds, but would be a killer in a car. Its possible, and I see cars out there, but plan on at least an hour drive from Escalante...

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2009-01-25 caddymob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Coyote Gulch via Hurricane Wash
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Coyote Gulch
    This trip is the epitome of last minute. Karl and I talked about doing a Thanksgiving trip but didn’t have anything finalized a week out. We messaged back and forth and finalized our plan roughly 3-4 days beforehand. The good thing is we do this kind of stuff all the time so it was only a matter of packing and buying groceries. We left Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon and got a hotel in Kanab, UT. We woke on Thanksgiving Day and made the drive to Escalante and headed south on the Hole in the Rock Road. All the days (very few) of planning were over and it was go time!

    Thursday, Nov 23 – Thanksgiving Day
    We started hiking around 11am and headed in. Our goal is to navigate to the Crack Route and drop down to Coyote Gulch near the confluence with the Escalante River. Karl did this trip almost two decades ago and said it was well worth the effort. We both found a GPS Route posted online and this helped keep us on track. Our hike started by following an old road that was a mostly deep and annoying sand. After a bit the road disappears and you follow a cairned route over slickrock. We had no issues following the route and arrived at the Crack Route. I thought the route looked very intuitive and would be mostly easy to get down.

    There are three sections to the Crack Route down. The first is a drop of 15 feet and a short squeeze. Karl went first and dropped down and then we passed our packs through. The next up was another squeeze about 20 feet across. We both squeezed through and were able to bring our overnight backpacks too. The final section is a very tight squeeze. Taking your backpack through is not an option so we both lowered our packs the final 20 feet to the bottom of the obstacle. From there we both squeezed sideways though. There is very little room and we had to slide foot to foot through a 50 foot squeeze. It was damn fun! Once through we grabbed our packs and continued down to Coyote Gulch and selected campsite a hair up canyon.

    After setting up camp, Karl and I headed down canyon. We had about three hours of day light and were hoping to make it all the way to Stevens Canyon. We hit the confluence with the Escalante River and headed up canyon from there. We had to cross several times through the very cold river. The crossing left our feet numb. We continued on and enjoyed the epic views of Stevens Arch. It rises above the canyon and is spectacular! We planned to keep going but several more crossing loomed ahead of us. The river was too cold so we decided to turn around and head back to camp. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and darkness set in by 6pm. It got very cold and both of us turned in around 8:45pm. I had my zero degree sleeping bag and was comfy all night.

    Friday, Nov 24 – Black Friday
    We started our day around 7am as the sun slowly rose. It was a chilly morning and fires are not allowed down here. We took our time and discussed our options. Or original plan was to spend three days down here but we decided to hike out today. This gave us plenty of time to day hike into Neon Canyon the next day. Plus we could car camp tonight and enjoy a nice campfire.

    We left camp around 9am and started the hike up canyon. There was a lot of wading through ankle deep water and several moderate obstacles to climb. Carrying an overnight pack made it more difficult but we both made each scramble with minimal difficulty. There are several epic waterfalls along this lower stretch of Coyote Gulch. The canyon is just spectacular and we really soaked it in! We continued up canyon and stopped to check out the ruins and glyphs just above the canyon floor. I removed this from my GPS Track. From there we took a short break and then continued on to the Coyote Natural Bridge. This is an amazing bridge that has water flow directly underneath it. We took a variety of pics and pushed on.

    Next up was the Jacob Hamblin Arch. This is absolutely spectacular! We took more pics and also explored the exit route. There is a route that leaves the canyon and is aided by a fixed rope. Karl climbed up there and checked it out. It’s a great option to enter / exit. We talked about exiting here but I wanted to continue up canyon and then exit somewhere along Hurricane Wash. Karl agreed so we kept pushing up canyon. We took a break at the confluence with Hurricane Wash and filtered some water. From there we headed up Hurricane Wash and exited roughly a mile or so up canyon. From there it was cross country back to the first parking lot off Fortymile Ridge. Our light was waning so we pushed on and reached the parking lot and then had 2.5 miles of road walking back to the trailhead we started from.

    We arrived back to our trailhead around 4:30pm and were both spent. It was a long day but well worth the effort. We packed up and drove a few miles back towards Hole in the Rock Road and picked out a campsite we saw on the ride in the day before. We set up camp and enjoyed a campfire. Temps weren’t too bad with lows in the high 30’s. The fire made a big difference. We were done with the first portion of our hike and were looking forward to Neon Canyon the next day.

    Final Thoughts
    Permits are required for this hike. They are free and are available at the Escalante Visitor Center or at the Trailhead

    I edited my GPS and removed all the sides trips we made including the trip to the ruins and glyphs. There is lots of information online regarding the locations.

    Coyote Gulch is loaded with camp options. Pretty much every bend in the canyon has a campsite. I would guess you can’t go more than a quarter mile without seeing a camp option.

    I would recommend high clearance vehicle for these trailheads however there were several sedans that made it.

    I had good Verizon cell signal at our trailhead off Fortymile Ridge. Cell signal was intermittent along the Hole in the Rock Road.

    This trip would not have happened without Karl offering to drive. Thank you so much for driving and sorry about hitting 100 MPH in your new 4Runner on our way south of Page!

    Coyote Gulch via Hurricane Wash
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I headed up to Coyote Gulch with Carrie Jane for my first hiking and backpacking experience in Utah and it was a good one! However, rather than backpack, a three day hike would be a more appropriate name for me, as I never carried more than a slack pack with some snacks and some light incidentals on this one due to the shoulder surgery on September 5. In fact, in hindsight the day two trek to the Escalante was probably a bit much for a surgically repaired shoulder on a 10-15 pound resistance limitation, but I pulled through thanks to Carrie, or Carry, as I was calling her for most of our Utah trip.

    Day 1:

    We car camped in Hog Canyon near Kanab on Friday and arrived at the trailhead around 11 a.m. and after some quick packing and loading down of Carrie we were off. Hurricane Wash is just like the description reads, a little bland at first, but progressively more scenic as one nears Coyote. After we hit Coyote things got special as the magic of the gulch slowly revealed itself and before we knew it we were staring at Hamblin Arch with dropped jaws. We made our camp at Hamblin somewhat hesitantly, as we could tell this was a popular area of the gulch and was sure to attract a crowd, Sure enough, after a short walk down canyon, we returned to a couple of backpackers camped nearly on top of us. Wanting a little privacy in this special place, we hastily picked up camp and relocated to a nice secluded spot down stream that we had spotted on our stroll.

    Day 2:

    Carrie carried everything on day two and I just brought a hiking pole for balance. It was a bit of a cold morning and I don't think we saw in real sun until somewhere around 11 a.m., but the bridges, arches, mammoth amphitheaters and quaint waterfalls warmed our souls enough to negate our cold toes (this is a chaco hike in my opinion and we both wore them). Stevens Arch and the confluence with the Escalante proved to be the highlight of the day. We did a photo shoot with the amazing arch and I spent a little over ten minutes soaking up to my neck in the Escalante to help calm down my shoulder. I did not wear a pack on day two, but there are definitely some challenging spots for those with only the use of one arm and despite favoring it, the shoulder was a little on fire from the sometimes jarring nature of the hike to the Escalante. Our return to camp was much quicker and uneventful until we stumbled across some ruins sites with some stellar artifacts. After a quick dinner, we spent the next four to five hours eating sand from a pretty intense little wind/dust storm.

    Day 3:

    Uneventful quick hike out. Started with headlamps, hit the trailhead after only 2 hours and 48 minutes of hiking. We wanted an early finish to move on to our next hike of the day, the Golden Cathedral.


    I only posted the route to Coyote Gulch via Hurricane Wash, as the route did some major jumping around once we hit the gulch and I want to do my part to keep this canyon wild (you can't get lost in there anyways) and the prehistoric sites less visited.
    Coyote Gulch via Hurricane Wash
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    So for some reason I've decided to be long winded for this trip report... here we go.

    We took off in the Big Black Truck from Phoenix at around 4:30 on Thursday afternoon. Our destination for the evening was Coral Pink Sands State Park, near Kanab, UT. We passed through Flagstaff on the way up, and couldn't resist the siren call of Oregano's Pizza. Mmmm... Oregano's. After eating our fill of thin-crust pizza, we continued our journey. We eventually wound our way along the road, dodging the occasional cow. Coral Pink Sands State Park turned out to be a pretty nice little place. It even had a couple of hot showers working, though several were closed for the winter. We met up with the rest of our group there, chatted around the campfire for a few minutes and then called it a night. There are definitely trees for hanging at CPSSP. Lows only got down to around 38. Yay!

    The next morning, we got up early, made use of the showers and headed straight to Ruby's at Bryce Canyon for a substantial amount of breakfast. Priorities, ya know. Yum! Then we made our way through Escalante and down the 30+ mile section of Hole in the Rock Road to get to our TH. Hurricane Wash. At this point, the road conditions were fine and dandy (a bit of foreshadowing here). When we arrived at the TH, we noticed with some dismay that there were two small school buses in the parking area... boo. It seems that there was a school in CO somewhere that offers its high-schoolers a class in which they get to go on fun backpacking trips. I will have to have a conversation with my parents about why they neglected to live near a school like that so I could attend said class. Sigh. There was also a group of people waiting for their shuttle vehicle to arrive and we chatted with them about their float trip down the Escalante. Sounds like fun, so that is now in the "look in to doing this trip" file.

    We said our goodbyes to the TH and headed along the trail to the register to fill out our permit. At this point, it started doing the on/off rainy weather that caused a lot of wardrobe changes throughout the hike. Paperwork completed, we made sandy tracks down the wash. The first part of the trail was quite flat and not much to get excited about, but soon we found ourselves moving through some narrow parts of the wash with taller, red rock walls. We passed a couple signs along the way. One telling us we could drive our vehicle no further down the trail, the next informing us that if we had a dog, it was not welcome in Coyote Gulch. We shrugged and continued on as we were sans vehicles or doggies.

    We started seeing bits of (icky)water soon after. About a mile further and we had dropped down into the canyon and were following a small stream through steep canyon walls. The wind was blowing with not quite hurricane force through this area, and I'm pretty sure we all got a bit of free microderm abrasion. :) We also started some water crossings, but at this point we could still leap across and keep our feet dry. A few water crossings later, we had to resign ourselves to wet feet for the remainder of the trip. Not a big deal with some neoprene socks even though the temps never got above 60.

    Once we reached the confluence of Hurricane Wash and Coyote Gulch, the fantasticness of the place was non-stop. The light wasn't always cooperative for photos since the sun kept coming and going, but there were a few very magical moments of perfect light. We kept moving downstream with our cameras clicking away. The only stop was a quick snack/lunch until we reached Jacob Hamblin Arch. Here we found out that the high schoolers had taken our ideal camping spot. Bummer. But they didn't seem too obnoxious, so we chatted and then moved on. They had the same plan as us to day hike to the river the next day and then leave on Sunday. There really are a ton of good places to camp along the watercourse. We could have camped in many places on our hike in. Camp ended up being a bit further downstream, about 8 miles in and past the established toilets, in a more sheltered bend of the canyon. The wind was still doing its best to scour our faces with sand and it was still sprinkling off and on, so sheltered was good. I saw many places along the canyon where I could have rigged my hammock... and this spot was no exception. Lots of trees to choose from, I was even able to angle my tarp to block the remaining breeze. Good stuff. We settled in, made dinner, and enjoyed the rest of the evening as the breeze died down, the temps dropped, and our down came out to play. Temps dropped to around 35 that night, and we all got some high quality rest in our various shelters.

    Woke up Saturday morning, whipped up a yummy breakfast and some instant Kona coffee, and headed downstream towards the confluence with the Escalante River. This was a great hike along and through the water, up and over obstacles, scrambling on slickrock, checking out waterfalls and natural arches, and generally enjoying the day. We got a lot of cloud cover which didn't make for very many awesome pics, but I'll just have to go back. Oh darn. I bet the fall would be lovely with all of the cottonwoods and willows turning. Hmmm. The hike wasn't too demanding. There was a bit of tricky footwork in some places, and a couple of places where we had to figure out how to climb up or get down slick rock walls, but overall it was an enjoyable stroll. It was about 6.5 miles each way to the river. The water in the Escalante wasn't clear, but it was an interesting greenish. Once we got to the Escalante, we walked a bit upstream to have our lunch within sight of Stevens Arch. After about a half hour, we decided to pack it up and head back to camp. About 30 minutes into the hike, it started to sprinkle and soon we all had to break out our raingear. I was very glad to have just invested in a Golite Kenai raincoat. It was awesome.

    So, the group who had traveled in my car had been talking off and on all day about wanting to stop at Bryce Canyon on Sunday before heading home. This meant we needed to give ourselves enough time to do a little hiking there, too. We came up with two options. We could get up super, super early and hike out as fast as possible, or we could just keep hiking now and get a room in Escalante and go from there in the morning. Well, even though we knew it was a little on the crazy side, we decided to finish the hike out tonight. We figured that the roads were only going to get worse, and we probably wouldn't get out on time if we stayed in the canyon. So, after our 13ish mile dayhike, we packed up camp and strapped on our backpacks for the 8ish mile hike back to the TH. We started from camp at about 4:30, I think, and got to Hurricane Wash TH at close to 8. There was definitely some headlamp usage. We were definitely dragging pumpkin by the time we reached the truck. Also, we had started to struggle some with soggy trail conditions turning the clay portions of the trail into slip-n-slides, so we were getting worried about the road conditions. So, we threw our gear in the back, changed into something other than our disgusting, mud-covered clothes and hopped in the truck to tackle to 30+ miles of dirt road back to the highway. I volunteered NOT to drive. :scared: Thank goodness for guys who have experience driving vehicles(not 4-wheel drive by the way) on extremely messy roads. Luckily, there were small berms on both edges of the road. It was like we were bumper-bowling with the truck as the ball. But...we made it to Escalante after about 2 hours of torture, found a hotel, cooked our trail meals in the room's microwave, ate them while watching SNL, and passed out. I think the one guy with a GPS said that we hiked 21.4 miles... the longest I have ever hiked in one day. Wow and Yay. :y:

    We ended up making it to the winter wonderland of Bryce with plenty of time to do the loop hike between Sunset and Sunrise points, and all was well with our world. As it usually is when hiking and backpacking :D

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Escalante, drive ~5miles south east on UT-12 to Hole in the Rock Road. Follow this ~33 miles to parking area at 37 23'6.82"N, 111 7'56.53"W Park here, start walking!
    page created by caddymob on Jan 25 2009 1:19 pm
    3 pack - loud whistle
    safety first
    help comment issue

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