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Coyote Buttes North - Wire Pass TH
33 Photosets

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mini location map2022-08-17
67 by photographer avataradilling
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Coyote Buttes North - Wire Pass THSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking8.09 Miles 1,389 AEG
Hiking8.09 Miles   7 Hrs   53 Mns   1.35 mph
1,389 ft AEG   1 Hour   53 Mns Break
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
My 4th trip to Coyote Buttes North since 2013. Each time I remember just how amazing this place is. Curiously, I also forget this hike, although not the hardest I have ever done, is not an easy one either.

This time around my #2 son and a friend made the trip. We had done White Pocket the day before and dealt with on and off thunderstorms and heavy rains the entire day. The road to White Pocket may have benefitted from the rains as the normally loose sands were compacted. Rock House Valley Road going into Wire Pass Traihead the next day was a different story. The road was rutted and had a few puddles. Small washes showed evidence of recent flows. When we got to Buckskin Creek, the water was flowing, but worse was the deep mud. 5-6 passenger cars were parked along the road, having abandoned driving the 4 additional miles south to the Wire Pass Trailhead. We made it through ok, but there was a second or two when crossing that I thought we might get stuck. Luckily my used and abused (but beloved) Titan made it just fine.

We arrived at the TH right at sunrise. The clouds in the distance were looking really nice. The weather was cool - low 60's, maybe even high 50's, but it was really muggy.

We hiked along the semi-running, muddy wash to the trail that climbs the sandy hill without any problems. The hike from there to the beginning of CBN was as I remembered. A little sandy and easy to follow.

Once you climb up the "rock stairs", you start the last phase of the hike, the slick rock. No trail, no shade, a few signs at the beginning that kinda/sorta show you the way. This was my 4th trip, so I knew where to go. You skirt the ridges to the right until you turn a corner and see the landmark that marks the Wave - the "black crack" of Top Rock Mesa. Once you see that and the "brain rocks" below, you know you are close.

There were a couple vehicles at the TH when we started and a group of 6 hikers appeared behind us as we ascend the last sandy climb up to the Wave. The healthy monsoon storms left some nice puddles which made for good photo ops.

We hung around the Wave for a while and then started hiking up the area above the wave. My plan was to hike to the top of the mesa and visit the sights up top. We made the crisscross ascent up the rocky steps and made it up to "the Alcove" and my favorite spot - the Melody Arch and window.

After spending time exploring the area, we made our way down to the area above the wave. I wanted to explore more down in the lower area, but the clouds had vanished, and the sun was starting to really beat down on us. My friend was a little low on water and not looking like he was willing to hike down and then have to hike back up. Also, we could see the black clouds and lightning north and south of the Wave area. So, we decided to head back.

We made it back to the Wave area just in time to see a couple of very pretty Spanish models doing a photoshoot at the wave, complete with costume changes, high heels and lots of cameras. To each his own, I guess, but I hate the way these places have been reduced to photo ops for social media. More power to them, they hiked in and can do as they please.

The afternoon heat & sun and the high humidity made for crappy hiking conditions on the way back, but we made it back to the TH no problem.

We arrived back to the truck, we met a couple from Korea that both had on flip-flops and had no water. We tried to talk them out of hiking up, but they insisted their friend who had dropped them off would be back shortly and he knew the way. We gave them 8 bottles of water and some snacks. Still, I cannot see how some of these people we came across were so unprepared for this hike. It was probably low 90's high 80's, with threats of thunderstorms all around and they had no food, no water and flip flops????

As we started driving up Rock House Valley Road, the sprinkles started. We could see rain up ahead. We also came across a French couple who got lost and spent 7 hours wandering without finding the Wave, and a Japanese couple that we did see at the Wave earlier in the morning. We all piled in the truck and made our way to the creek. The conditions had deteriorated since we crossed in the morning. The water was flowing stronger and the mud looked worse. Oh well, I stopped, put it in 4 low and gunned it. I think that was the highlight for our passengers all day. We all had a good time as I gave out the obligatory, "WhoooHooo" as we bounced and plowed through.

An excellent day for sure. Spending so much time with my #2 son who lives in Washington State and I normally don't get to see much. Taking my friend along as well. He's 68, but he did great.

I might cut back on the lottery permits for now, but I am pretty sure, this will not be my last trip to this area.
"Hiking is just walking where it’s okay to pee." –Demetri Martin

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