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Coyote Gulch, UT
mini location map2018-09-01
43 by photographer avatarJohn9L
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Coyote Gulch, UT 
Coyote Gulch, UT
Backpack avatar Sep 01 2018
Backpack17.00 Miles 2,200 AEG
Backpack17.00 Miles2 Days         
2,200 ft AEG
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A few of my Camelback friends were hiking this & invited me roughly four days before their departure. I rolled it over & decided to go for it & I’m glad I did. We would spend one night in the canyon & everything worked out flawlessly.

The girls drove up on Thursday night. I headed up with Brooks & Shelci & their two boys on Friday night. We left around 4:30pm & made the long drive up. Brooks & I took turns driving. We hit Hole in the Rock Rd around 1am & flew down the road the 30+ miles to Hurricane Wash & arrived around 1:45am. The girls were already sleeping there. We set up our tents & turned in.

I would sleep for about 3.5 hours & was woken by the girls as they geared up. I got up and tore down & then prepped for the hike. During this time a tow truck drove by heading deeper in. This would affect us later. Our plan was to shuttle to the Crack Route. We started driving there & got within 1.3 miles of the TH when we saw the tow truck trying to retrieve a car. To make a long story short, the tow truck got stuck! See pics. We would park where we were & hike the final 1.3 miles to the Crack TH.

Our group of eight finally started hiking from the Crack Route parking around mid morning. We had a lot of miles to cover & didn’t waste time. It’s roughly two miles to the Crack through annoying sand & then easy going over sandstone. Everyone did well & we arrived at the Crack soon after. We took a variety of pics & a short break. I would go first as I dragged my pack down & on through the first two sections. I returned & helped the others. We got all the packs to the lowering section & most of the group climbed down to the bottom. I would lower most of the packs. I had to help Brooks lower his because his pack weighed over 55 lbs. it was loaded with camera equipment & a large tent for his family. Once down, we all cruised the final 15 minutes to Coyote Gulch!

The canyon floor was beautiful but the water was turbid. Filtering it will be a challenge but thankfully there are a few springs up canyon. We soaked our feet in the water & admires this stunning canyon. After a few minutes, everyone put on their water shoes & we headed up canyon. Our pace up canyon was slow but steady. It was really muddy & we could tell a flash flood came through a few days earlier. We kept going & stopped to filter water coming from a spring 20ft above. After that we started coming upon the waterfalls. We took short breaks for photography & a chance to jump in. It was a warm day & the water was soothing.

We eventually hit Cliff Arch & another waterfall. Next up was the Black Lagoon. Karl & I missed this during our Nov 2017 visit. The group went all the way to the lagoon but I turned back due to heavy poison ivy. I would scrub later & I have a few small patches of poison ivy on me. It could have been worse. I did find a high route that had a nice view of the Black Lagoon from above. We would return to the creek & continued up canyon. Coyote Natural Bridge was next & it’s spectacular. After that we came to a short set of Narrows. Karl & I walked through in ankle deep water last November. This time it was a swimmer! I tested it out & then found a bypass on the left side (looking up canyon).

After the swimmer we completed the final mile or two to Jacob Hamblin Arch & we set up camp by it. There’s a reliable spring next to it. We also had our permit checked by NPS. The canyon was very busy around here. I was happy to see the NPS here keeping tabs on a busy weekend. We would spend the rest of the evening day hiking up canyon to the Incised Meander & the far side of Jacob Hamblin that has a cool overhang for dramatic pics. It got dark & we ate dinner & had a nice time. The weather was pleasant but we got a light sprinkle & heard thunder off in the distance. It wasn’t an issue. We all turned in before 10pm.

The next day started slowly. Most of us went up canyon for photography while others relaxed. We eventually packed up. Our plan was fluid from the start. Ultimately we all decided to exit the Jacob Hamblin Sneaker Route. I went first & worked my way up. The others followed behind. Another group was having a hard time & we did the best we could to help them. The climb out took a lot of effort & I could have helped more but ultimately we got everyone out alive! There was no fixed rope this trip. It would have helped.

Once up top, it’s roughly 2.5+ miles to the parking lot. We took our time & took more pics & breaks when needed. The route is well cairned & generally easy to follow. No guesswork needed. We finally arrived at the parking lot. Brooks & I dropped out packs & walked roughly 1.3 miles to the truck. The tow truck was gone so that was positive. We got the truck & then piled everyone inside & returned to Hurricane Wash where we packed up & started the long drive back to Phoenix. Another memorable trip in the books.
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