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Coyote Gulch via Hurricane Wash - 5 members in 10 triplogs have rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 23 2020
azlaurie
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 Photos 829
 Triplogs 232

46 female
 Joined Mar 09 2010
 Chandler, AZ
Coyote Gulch via Hurricane WashSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2020
azlaurie
Hiking11.20 Miles 1,080 AEG
Hiking11.20 Miles
1,080 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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_____________________
♥ Timing is Everything ♥
1 archive
Oct 22 2020
azlaurie
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 Photos 829
 Triplogs 232

46 female
 Joined Mar 09 2010
 Chandler, AZ
Coyote Gulch via Hurricane WashSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Backpack avatar Oct 22 2020
azlaurie
Backpack18.92 Miles 2,549 AEG
Backpack18.92 Miles1 Day   9 Hrs   49 Mns   
2,549 ft AEG   18 Hrs   25 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
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dswitzer3
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
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♥ Timing is Everything ♥
1 archive
Jun 01 2020
whycoyote
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 Routes 1
 Photos 72
 Triplogs 13

60 female
 Joined Jul 02 2002
 Prescott VAlley,
Coyote Gulch via Hurricane WashSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Backpack avatar Jun 01 2020
whycoyote
Backpack11.20 Miles 1,080 AEG
Backpack11.20 Miles3 Days         
1,080 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Lovely 2 night backpack with a group of friends. There were 10 of us. Camped near the Jacob Hamblin Arch and day hiked down to the pictographs. Lots of wading, reading, and relaxing.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Apr 06 2018
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 312
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,358

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Capital Reef to Escalante National Monument, UT 
Capital Reef to Escalante National Monument, UT
 
Backpack avatar Apr 06 2018
GrottoGirl
Backpack70.00 Miles
Backpack70.00 Miles5 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
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gloope
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Pete is doing the Hayduke trail. The trip was organized by Yanko who is a pro when it comes to thru hiking logistics. To help out, I volunteered to bring up two sets of food caches and of course hike with them for a stretch. I enlisted Scott, a shuttle driver extraordinaire, and Garrison, a cool guy who happens to know Geology to go along with me on the hike in case I couldn’t hack the pace and miles. Scott dropped us off in Capital Reef with the guys and then spent a few days checking out the awesome area via vehicle and foot. Then on day five he picked us all up at the Hurricane Wash Trailhead and drove us into Escalante where the boys had a zero day planned.

Our first day (the Hayduke hikers 20th day) we headed down Lower Muley Twist to Halls Creek. This used to be an old wagon route back in the 1880s. The canyon had narrows and spacious alcoves, one of which we found graffiti dating from 1896, 1921, and 1924. Water is typically a big concern for Hayduke hikers. Part of the beta that has been collected is on water sources and they rate each based on availability. Muley Tanks is known to be a very reliable source of water while Brimham Arch Canyon might have water. Therefore, we stopped at Muley Tanks and tanked up (pun intended). The afternoon slog began as we still had a few miles to go before camp. In total, we did 16.3 miles to Brimhall Arch Canyon where we set up camp. I had several aches and pains because I hadn’t done long miles with a heavy pack in a long time. I had done some things to lighten my pack load and I’m am very grateful I did otherwise I’m not sure what condition i would have been in! Pete also seemed exhausted, he sat down when we got to camp and didn’t move for a bit. Walking in sand is hard work even though overall the walking was easy.


On Day two (day 21 for the Haydukers), Garrison and I were keen to check out Brimhall Arch so we got up an hour early and headed up the canyon. Soon we encountered a pool and neither of us seemed to be ready to get wet. So we climbed up a steep sloping rock wall in hopes for a view of the arch but when I looked I didn’t see it. We returned to camp and continued in Halls Creek until lunch time. Halls Creek flows between Halls Mesa and the Water Pocket Fold. Halls Mesa unfortunately kept getting ignored because the views of the Water Pocket Fold were way more intriguing. It was fun to spot large potholes in the bleached Navajo Sandstone slick rock that looked like a small terrarium was growing in it. The regular Hayduke route leaves and heads to the Escalante River, however we stay in Halls Creek to do an Alternative Route. After a break we headed into the Halls Creek Narrows. The Narrows were definitely a spectacular site to behold. We walked over three miles with souring Navajo Sandstone canyon walls with a small creek between. We encountered an alcove that was an absolute giant! We spent lots of time taking pianos and inspecting the ferns growing from the walls. Lots of shade and walking in the water made the warm afternoon pass quickly. The narrows were definitely a delight for me! We had a small break before the end of the canyon. We exited the canyon in a lush environment which was a matted mess of willows and other vegetation. From there our afternoon slog began. Staying near the creek was a fight due to mud and sand. Just a foot or so away was the mess that was the willows. We continued on fighting for a while until benches started to appear that we could get on top of following cow trails. The cows would have good trails onto the tops of the benches but then they’d scatter to munch all day and then later return to water. When we were really lucky we’d find an actual trail. We pushed on to just after Miller Creek which had flowing water into Halls. We made camp and collected our water from Halls Creek.

The weather forecast on NOAA before we left had called for a 30% chance of rain overnight but the Delorme’s forecast from Accuweather had downgraded it to 10 percent and then upped it that evening to 20%. So we set up our tents without the rainfly since that seemed pretty low.

Garrison calls me over and told me he’s screwed up. Somewhere during the day he had left his food bag. He had a couple dinners that had just been in his backpack but other than that he didn’t have anything. His plan was to hike back to our snack and possibly the lunch spot to look for it. He took off on his quest with headlamp, snack, and water.

Pete and I started to prepare our dinner. Instead of the commercial dinners Pete had been eating for days, I treated him to my own dehydrated meals. As close to home cooking as you can get by just boiling water on the trail. Right after dinner the rain began. Garrison had set up his hammock but not the rainfly so one of the guys helped me with that while Pete put the fly on our tent. We got everything secured before it started to lightening and thunder. I felt bad knowing that Garrison was out in the weather. I also felt secure that he’d not do anything risky. But that still didn’t stop me from worrying whenever my mind wasn’t preoccupied. After a couple hours of hanging out giggling in the tent, the rain stopped and Pete and I were able to peer out from the tent. The rain had washed any dust from the sky and the clouds had moved away quickly and we were treated to the most spectacular view of stars. It always amazes me how many stars are in the universe! I tried to sleep but I kept worrying about Garrison. Finally after 11 PM I spotted a headlamp on the trail next to camp. I checked with Garrison and learned his trip was not successful. Either a hiker or the creek had taken away his food. He probably added close to ten miles to the daily total of 15 miles. He was exhausted.

Day 3 (day 22) we quickly established that we had enough extra food to support Garrison for the rest of the trip. I had an extra dinner and snacks that I handed over - happy to get rid of the weight. His other option would have been to hike to a road and hitchhike to where he could meet us later. I’m glad we didn’t have to go that route since I would have worried about him for the rest of the trip.

We kept using the cow trails to get up in the benches instead of traveling along the creek. I’m not sure if that was the most efficient but it is what it is. Soon we left Halls Creek behind and start up the Waterpocket Fold on the Baker Route. The Baker route was named for Eugene Baker who had purchased the Halls Ranch near the turn of the century. Later when the dam was place the ranch was flooded but Bakers name lives on. Hiking up the Waterpocket Fold on slick rock was a delight. The Sandstone grips the shoes making you feel like Spider-Man! The route runs up a ridge between two drainages. Garrison had some knee pain from his big adventure the night before and Pete was running low on energy so we hung back. I, as always, needed my morning snack so we took in the views of Halls Creek below and Lake Powell. The other two guys flew up the route and waited for us at the top. We carefully picked our way along the route. Having waypoints for the first section was good since the slickrock had no dirt to make a trail or rocks for cairns. But soon as the Sandstone became less steep we could pick out the route without using the GPS. Route finding is a pleasure when the group works together as a team to keep track of cairns and paths. Garrison and I have done this several times so we easily picked our way up to the ridge. Pete also pitched in with his new found tracking skills. After lunch at the top we worked our way down into the Stevens canyon drainage system. I loaded a couple key waypoints into my GPS just in case they were needed. We dropped into the main Stevens drainage and found running water. We encountered a couple guys who were heading up the Baker Route. It’s always nice to encounter like minded people! Just as it’s always nice not to see anyone outside our party for days. After getting a liter of water from Stevens creek and having a snack, we started our afternoon slog. The thru hikers don’t seem to notice the afternoon slog. I don’t think they realize that the regular backpacker typically is setting up camp around 3:30-5 PM and so it’s tough to continue to pound out another 3-4 miles. I think that is what separates a thru hiker from a regular backpacker. I don’t mind being a regular backpacker. But I do admire the strength and endurance the thru hikers show.

Finally we see Yanko stopped up ahead and I get really excited! My dream campsite!!!! Slickrock, views, and open sky! Sleeping out under the stars was a treat after a 14 Mile day. That night I spied two 4 shooting stars as I gazed out at the Milky Way!

The morning of Day 4 (Day 23) began with a gust! But after the sun rose a beautiful day lay ahead of us. We had a morning of route finding in front of us as we completed the Baker route down thru Stevens Canyon to the Escalante River. We often found ourselves above the creek skirting a dry fall. For some people the route on the bench might have been scary since it was only a few feet wide and had a long sloping drop into the canyon. With our sure feet, our group had no worries. The route finding was again fun. It seemed we all took turns finding a critical move. My turn was finding an obscure ramp followed by a short scramble down to the creek. After that I felt like I earned my morning muffin! We continued on our way and at one point we had a special treat of seeing Stevens Arch from a perspective most people will never get. Around lunch time we hit the Escalante River. It was flowing nicely and we got to see a couple pack rafters go by. After lunch everyone left before Pete and I so we took our time navigating along the river crossing when needed. We only had a mile to go and so the water crossings were not tedious. As we approached Stevens Arch from the River I was shocked at how big it was. Scott had told me that someone had flown an airplane through it but it’s size didn’t register until I saw it! After Stevens Arch we entered the zone of the casual backpackers. We started to see people heading to see the Arch. As well as in Coyote Gulch, which was the beginning of the exit for our trip. Coyote Gulch was flowing nicely and we were treated to waterfalls and stream crossings. At some point I started to get really hungry but was being stubborn and didn’t want to stop until camp. Being low on sugar made me irrational and I started trying to dart across benches where the trail didn’t go. Pete reigned me and and fed me figs. We spotted the ruins on the side of the canyon. I was sad that I was too tired to go explore. As we continued I was surprised by the Coyote Natural Bridge. It was fascinating to think that the creek forced its way through a wall. Finally I spotted Jacob Hamblin Arch where I knew Yanko was going to pick us a site for us all. I hoped it was close and then I spotted our camp right below the Arch! It was yet another great campsite.

That evening I was treated to the joys of inch worms. They were dropping in on us from the trees. At one point we counted at least 10 on our tent. The best part was watching the rappel down from above suspended in air twirling without a care.

Even though there were about 4 other parties near by, the area was pretty quite when bedtime came. The creek pleasantly sang us to sleep that night after our 16 miles of hiking.

Our fifth and last day came upon Garrison and I. It had been an experience for us to try out thru hiking without doing the full Hayduke trail. I was sad as I knew that this was Pete’s 24th day and that it was not his last. Soon we would be parting ways again for a few more weeks. At first I tried to deny that I was sad by racing ahead at a 4 mph pace but then I realized that totally defeated what I was out there to do - hike with him. So I held up and we walked the rest of the way out Hurricane Gulch to the Hole in the Rock road where Scott awaited to take us to Escalante. The Thru hikers called the 7 mile hike a nero day. Somehow they forgot to notice they hiked 7 miles!!! Anyway after leaving our lush campsite at the Arch we worked our way from a flowing stream in Coyote Gulch to a tickling stream where Hurricane flowed into Coyote to a true desert environment. I do have to remark that with all the visitor that go to Coyote Gulch, I didn’t see one piece of trash. That amazed me, I thank all of the people for taking care of such a special area.

After our drive into town, we gorged ourselves on burgers at Nemo’s. Then later pizza and pasta and Escalante Outfitters. Eating lots after a backpack is at least one thing thru hikers and regular backpackers agree!

This adventure had ran the gamut - Desert to riparian and back to desert! I’m so glad I got to see all of the beautiful land I saw in the 70 miles over the 5 days we were out. The American Southwest is one place I will never get my fill of, especially the public lands in Utah! I also was very glad I got to spend a few days with Pete’s on his very challenging Hayduke adventure!
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Nov 23 2017
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Coyote Gulch, UT 
Coyote Gulch, UT
 
Backpack avatar Nov 23 2017
John9L
Backpack22.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Backpack22.00 Miles2 Days         
2,500 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
BiFrost
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!
Named place
Named place
Jacob Hamblin Arch
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Nov 23 2017
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 371
 Photos 8,224
 Triplogs 996

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Coyote Gulch, UT 
Coyote Gulch, UT
 
Backpack avatar Nov 23 2017
BiFrost
Backpack22.30 Miles 2,750 AEG
Backpack22.30 Miles2 Days         
2,750 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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John9L
Another last minute planned trip that went well. Original plan was to spend 2 days in Coyote Gulch but with the goal of trying to hike Neon we decided on one night. Despite that we still managed to see the highlights of the route. Going in we started on Fortymile Ridge from Coyote Gulch trailhead the Crack in the Wall route. We followed the road for the first mile and then it turns into a cairn hunt to reach the top of the Crack. But the cairns were easy to follow across the sandstone.

Standing on the edge of the Crack is one of the best views in the Escalante and to top that off the route down is equally fun and rewarding. I did this route back in 1998 and it was pretty much the same as before although more established now. There are three narrow Crack sections that required us to take packs off and rope lower them on the final 20 foot descent. After that fun section it’s down a long sloping sand dune with great views of the canyon and large sandstone rock walls. Eventually the route reached Coyote Gulch about three tenths of a mile from the Escalante Coyote Gulch confluence. We camped just upstream from where the route reaches Coyote Gulch. However, there are numerous camp spots to choose from especially the further upstream from the confluence you go.

We setup camp and then ventured down to the confluence and the Escalante River. We headed upstream towards Stevens Canyon which we wanted to checkout but the water was a lot colder than expected so we decided to just check out the views of Stevens Arch. I will say that if you are down there at least go that far to check out the views of the arch which are fantastic. After that we headed back to camp and settled in for the night.

Next morning, we had already decided from the night before that we were going to try and finish the loop hike of Coyote Gulch, so we would have enough time to do Neon the next day. However, we still wanted to checkout all the highlights which included several waterfalls, Cliff Arch, Coyote Bridge, and Jacob Hamblin Arch. Also, we had the goal of making it to the Hurricane Wash – Coyote confluence. All the highlights did not disappoint as we meandered up canyon. Despite the lack of rain there was still really nice flow all the way, so water was never an issue. When we got to Jacob Hamblin Arch there is an exit route with a rope for assistance. I checked it out and followed it all the way to the rim. The exit route is manageable without the rope but it’s nice to have especially if you have a full backpack. After exploring the exit headed back down and we continued up Coyote Gulch.

A few miles from the Jacob Hamblin exit we finally reached Hurricane Wash confluence which also had decent flow. We filtered water here and took a snack break. After that we continued about 1.5 miles up Hurricane until we found a good exit point. From there it was off trail cross country to the Coyote Gulch Jacob Hamblin access trail head. It wasn’t to bad off trail with mix of deep sand and sandstone slabs, but it was nice to reach the tail head. From there we had to hike the road 2.5 miles to the Coyote Gulch Crack route trail head. Then we loaded up the truck and found a car camp spot. Great loop of Coyote Gulch for sure especially since last time I did out and back on the Crack route. Cool to see the rest of Coyote Gulch and Hurricane so I definitely recommend doing this hike as a loop!
Named place
Named place
Cliff Arch
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Oct 07 2017
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 28
 Routes 314
 Photos 9,094
 Triplogs 866

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Coyote Gulch via Hurricane WashSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Backpack avatar Oct 07 2017
friendofThundergod
Backpack29.00 Miles 860 AEG
Backpack29.00 Miles3 Days         
860 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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.

Notes

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.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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2 archives
Mar 25 2011
Sarae
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 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 685
 Triplogs 93

41 female
 Joined May 14 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Coyote Gulch via Hurricane WashSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Backpack avatar Mar 25 2011
Sarae
Backpack29.00 Miles 860 AEG
Backpack29.00 Miles2 Days         
860 ft AEG17 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
ABC - Group
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
Flora
Flora
Parry's Primrose
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Apr 27 2009
gpsjoe
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 Guides 16
 Routes 123
 Photos 2,810
 Triplogs 140

79 male
 Joined Feb 13 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Coyote Gulch & more, UT 
Coyote Gulch & more, UT
 
Backpack avatar Apr 27 2009
gpsjoe
Backpack27.00 Miles 2,800 AEG
Backpack27.00 Miles4 Days   20 Hrs      
2,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was an unusual trip for me since it was professionally guided by the Wildland Trekking Company in Flagstaff (wildlandtrekking). My son gave me a Christmas gift certificate from them and after looking at their offerings I selected Coyote Gulch in Utah. Never been there before and it would be nice to have someone take me there.

We ended up with 4 travelers. There was supposed to be a 5th on this trip, a businessman from Texas. We met Sunday night in his hotel room in Flag. He complained of kidney problems he attributed to altitude. We went to pick him up at 5:30 AM for the trip but he bowed out at that time thinking he might have a kidney stone. So that left 4 of us.

I was disappointed that he bowed out because my quick assessment (may not be true at all) was that I would be equal or better than him on the trail but there was no way I compared well to the other three. I am not fond of being the weak link in the chain but the whole thing worked out well anyway. I told this story to my hiking mates. They got a kick out of that.

The 4 were Brad, co-owner of the business, avid climber (instructor level), off-roader, botanist and great cook. Bennett is a guide, avid climber and pro photographer. Kirsten is a New Zealander, cardiac nurse and adventure traveler and me of course.

I was very happy with the trip and the services provided.
Brad knew the area and routes cold having hiked there many times over the past 20 years. No time was lost finding trailheads, trails, springs or anything so all time got used profitably.

I used their equipment including Deuter Backpack, Big Agnes tent, sleeping bag and air mattress and had nothing to clean when I got home.

They provided all the great real food (eggs, bacon, pancakes, real homemade pizza, fresh fruit and veggies (the real thing), snacks and absolutely no freeze dried anything. My backpack weight was ordinary and actually less than I carried to Mount Whitney. The guides backpack weight was a lot more.

There were a small number of trail sections I could not do on my own. The guides got me through those safely including belaying me on a rope that was not needed in the end but made me feel comfortable while hiking on seriously slanted slick rock. They routinely carried our backpacks over the difficult places so we didn't have to. Both these guys were Spidermen so they did that with relative ease.

Both Brad and Bennett were fun backpacking companions and we had a lot of fun. There is a role for professionally guided trips especially in unfamiliar territory where you want to get the most out of it and have limited time to do it. Brad likes to say he would custom design any trip any way the group wants and I believe that. So he offers packaged trips that can be modified or he would customize anyway you want for a fee of course.

I have posted 103 pictures on Webshots covering the entire trip. The area is fantastically beautiful as you will see in the photos.

Coyote Gulch Backpack Main Events

April 27, 2009
Drive from Flagstaff to Red Well Trailhead and hike in 3.5 miles (starting 4:30 PM - all times in AZ zone).

Stops along the way on Cottonwood Road including Grosvenor Arch where we assembled our backpacks distributing food and other items unfairly overloading our trip leaders which is the right thing to do.

April 28, 2009
We hiked 8 miles down Coyote Gulch seeing Jacob Hamlin Arch, some ruins just before Coyote Natural Bridge, and the natural bridge and past that to our campsite near the second and best ruins.

April 29, 2009
Toured the ruins across from our campsite and hiked 4 miles passing Cliff Arch and continuing to our campsite a short distance past the trail that goes out to the Forty Mile Ridge Trailhead. This section had some slant slick rock that was difficult for me. Our trip leaders were expert climbers and I needed significant help from them crossing those sections.

April 30, 2009
On this day we had the choice of doing a day hike deep into Steven's Canyon or hiking out and doing other interesting trails nearby. Kirsten and I decided on the later and that is what we did.
Did the easy hike down Coyote Creek to its' confluence with the Escalante River and a short distance down the river to get great views of Stevens Arch. Then we hiked out to the Forty Mile Ridge trailhead that starts with a steep 700 foot ascent over deep sand followed by relatively easy hiking over slick rock and sand for the final 2 miles. We were out by 11:30 AM.

Our leader Brad took us to do a 3.2 mile hike that included a romp through a very narrow slot canyon. We did Spooky Canyon and that was the narrowest slot I have ever been through and I have been through a few including twice through wire pass but this one is narrower. 3 inches less and it would not be doable by most of us. It was a blast.

After Spooky Canyon Brad took us to see dinosaur tracks parking a short distance past the Twentymile Dinosaur Tracks trailhead. We hiked a final 0.4 miles for the day and saw some well defined tracks from a few eons ago. Off to downtown Escalante to pig out on pizza (we did a good job at that) and on to our campsite a short distance up Old Sheffield road.

May 1, 2009
Off to do a very popular trail in the Escalante National Monument: Camp Creek Falls. After a pancake breakfast at the trailhead we charged up the sandy but relatively easy going 3 mile Calf Creek Falls trail. Along the way we saw ruins and pictographs in the distance and passed through forest cover of Juniper and finally thick stands of Box Elder trees. At the end was the very impressive 128 foot lower Camp Creek falls. Had some snacks there and just enjoyed the falls for about ½ hour. Had a quick trip back to the car to begin our trip back to Flagstaff after having a 12 inch Subway meal in Escalante. We were back in Flag by 7:00 PM and I was able to drive home to Mesa after that.
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May 16 2008
RedRoxx44
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 Guides 5
 Photos 21,922
 Triplogs 629

female
 Joined Feb 15 2003
 outside, anywher
Escalante River, UT 
Escalante River, UT
 
Backpack avatar May 16 2008
RedRoxx44
Backpack65.00 Miles
Backpack65.00 Miles6 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I bolted out of Tucson to head north at noon, on a Fri. The drive was good, and I car camped off the road going over the Kaparowits Plateau out of Big Water that night. The evening in the badlands was a very nice one, I walked a little in the twilight to shake off the long drive and work week.
Up and over the Kelly Grade and plateau ( AKA "Wild Horse" mesa Zane Gray fans) via Smokey Mountain Rd. The dirt track was in great shape. It gets really rocky after Last Chance Canyon and dips in and out of the heads of some promising canyons. As they drop off into the plateau; I have explored some of them but I had other plans to fulfill. I rolled onto main street Escalante mid morning Sat, stopped at the BLM office, then off to Egypt TH off the Hole in the Rock road. I saddled up near noon, probably 8 vehicles at the TH. I hiked down part of the Fence canyon approach then took off directly toward the butte that marks the entrance to Neon canyon, then looped back and dropped into the Escalante river basin near Fence canyon's mouth.

It was rather warm and later than I like to start any trip. I was glad to reach the river and wade right in. About shin deep here, certainly less than I have found in May before. I went a turn or two down the river, then dropped my pack to hike up Neon and visit the Golden Cathedral. I saw several groups of hikers, including some canyoneering guys who dropped thru the ceiling at the Cathedral--I just missed it. I was too late for good photo sun angle there, but a lovely wedge of light thru the potholes glowed like a virtual arrowhead on the surface of the pool in the Cathedral. I sat here a little while.
I continued down the Escalante, the bushwacking was certainly challenging in certain areas. The recent flood had cleared out some areas, but erased any sort of use trail near the river and big piles of deadfall was everywhere. I visited Ringtail, then decided to camp near the mouth of 25 mile wash; it was a little windy, and I found an overhang around a corner to set up my bivy. I was able to camp under some sort of natural shelter every night of this trip.
I was tired, and had a strange sort of aversion to this journey, entertaining turning around at this point. All I can say is I just had a case of the blas---nothing was really elevating my mood. A good night's sleep and the wonderful morning light on the cliffs turned my attitude around--- and now I was ready to move on.
My trip plan was down this section of the Escalante, check out some side canyons, and out at Hurricane Wash via Coyote Canyon, and then hitchhike back to Egypt TH. River miles approx--38. Total base trip--54 miles, possibly 60 miles with some side canyon hiking. I had covered some other areas of the Upper Escalante in past trips and I was particularly intrigued with the area below Scorpion Gulch to Stevens Canyon.
The river crossings were many and pleasant. Mostly ankle to knee deep. Some crawling up and sliding down banks holding onto willows. At times you could stay on the banks depending on your tolerance for bushwacking. The canyon walls were tall and at times close to the river, at times set back. Colorful, stained, jagged, then smooth. I love the sandstone geology.
I passed by the Moody's, some lovely dark efflurescent blues depending on light on the walls of East Moody. I kept pace again camping just short of Scorpion Gulch, which I planned to go up some distance the next day. The weather was just excellent, not very cold or warm and NO BUGS at all along the river. Conditions were near perfect for the trip. I knew to expect some stormy conditions coming the next day or two. Again, I had a little ledge and overhang, with a nice view of the river.
Up early, dropped my pack near the entrance and took some water, snacks and camera up Scorpion. Dodged the mass of poison ivy, a little scrambling and up this lovely canyon graced with idyllic pools and alcoves. It was just a wonderful diversion and that is all I will say about that. Someone once said the Escalante and it's side canyons are very reminiscent of a small version of Glen Canyon and it's side canyons. It that is true Lake Powell destroyed Eden.
Back down the river. My life is controlled by this river and it's canyon. There is nothing else for me. The clouds build, and the wind rose and the sun was gone. Soon the huge sandstone walls stood back more, the canyon widened and the Chinle and Shinarump(?) formation showed up, and much more rubble and talus slides near the river. Large boulders in the river now, and large aquamarine pools, water depth well over my head. The narrow river bed broadened, still shallows found to cross, but the Escalante now more like a true river, with small rapids and a little more volume.
I lucked out on the best spot to spend the night for the rain storm. I found a hollowed out boulder with another boulder leaning over it, and a tunnel formed with a little recessed window. The flood had driven in a soft loose bed of sand, and flushed out a packrat nest, nothing much left. You had to climb up a small boulder at the foot, crawl in on hands and knees about 3 feet then at the rear a small recess that allowed one person to sit up. I dragged my pack in there. It was so warm I simply scooped out sand for my hips and shoulders and just layed my bag over me. I arranged all my things, even a handy ledge to leave my wet boots on.
I slept very well, in fact didn't even know it was raining till I woke up in the night and decided to look out. My headlamp picked up the vegetation waving around in the wind and shiny with rain. Rain dripped off the window ledge but I remained totally dry and wind free. It was a great little spot I dubbed my " sand cave"--enough room for one and definitely not for the claustrophobic.

The next morning the clouds moved out and it looked like a stellar day. As usual--down the river. The section past George canyon ( local name, not on the Trails' Illustrated Canyons of the Escalante map) was very tough. The bushwacking issue was gone, it was nothing but rock and some much too short sand and cobble beaches. Rock, rock and more rock. Little rocks, big rocks, megaliths. Sometimes climbing up as much as 30-50 feet above the river to avoid boulder jumbles. In some places this was very slow going. Crawling thru rocks, some backtracking when your route didn't go --unless you wanted to swim. Persistence and remembering to enjoy your surroundings was the key here. You will thank your lucky stars for a lightly loaded and well balanced pack in this section. It was definitely an ankle twister. At one point I took off my pack and threw it up on a sand bank and climbed up on a bush to get around a bad area. Not a lot of pictures this day. I did take one picture I like to look at-- it shows a wall detail just down canyon. It seems so close. It took me almost an hour to get there.

And yes the canyon was gloriously beautiful. I saw a few tracks but I saw no one after Neon. I was alone in a great big beautiful world all my own it seemed. I judged my progress by the side canyons, but I just watched for Steven's arch; when I saw that I knew I was almost done, as usual a relief and a let down. When I reached Steven's canyon I set up camp under a shallow overhang on the big beach opposite the canyon. Spring days are long, and I went up the canyon aways. I had pilot error with a leak from my MSR dromedary so set out some things to dry under the sun. I had bagged my sleeping bag and long johns and spare socks so they were fine. It was a fine lazy afternoon, and I enjoyed the general sloth I exhibited.

The next day to go up Coyote Gulch. I have hiked in here a few times--it is a premiere canyon of the Escalante and sees lots of use. I entered where the canyon meets the Escalante; in years of higher water levels from Lake Powell a high water route leaves shortly below Steven's canyon.
The gentle stream in Coyote is so different from the muscular Escalante. The Escalante was clear enough I was able to use it as a good water source. Coyote's stream is shallow and silty, but the canyon is graced with a number of springs. You wander by the sandslide route from Crack in the Wall and about 7 people were camped here. Past that Coyote stream meanders in a slickrock bed in spots and has some pretty, small waterfalls, one fun to get around solo with a big pack.
The canyon is intimate then the walls start getting bigger. It is truely a photographers dream in here too. I come to a significant spot for me--Coyote Natural Bridge. Around 2001 I was undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and came to Utah to spend time to heal--and get strength from these wonderful surroundings to fight my cancer. I was five days after chemo 3 I think--I was bald, and my good friend Jerry from SoCal met me here to backpack Coyote as an overnighter. We went in at the Crack and out Hurricane. I had had a few bad days previous but was feeling amazingly well for the backpack, and I was carrying my own stuff. I remember resting at the bridge and feeling so amazed at the beauty of my surroundings--how could I leave this??? So much more to see and do. I felt for the first time all would be ok for me. After that point in time I had some down times but I never looked back; never doubted I would not be around in the future. And I am still here and doing my thing. I am thankful forever for this new life.

I make my photos, reflect, and walk on. Soon the massive undercuts, and Jacob Hamblin arch, appear. A young couple pass me by hiking out. I take one pic of the young man in the largest alcove, to give scale. He is a speck in the now gigantic landscape. Besides the one group camped and this couple and myself were the only folks I saw in Coyote Gulch. Whether it is the gas prices or because it was during the week or the forecast; I was surprised at the small populace in here.
I approach the Hurricane confluence. Because I want to start my hitchhike early in the day to maximize ride potential and to have enough water in case a long trek back to my car 35 road miles away, I again camp early in a sizable alcove just around the corner of the confluence. A nice side canyon comes in with clean clear water. I explore, and note the dark clouds drifting over again. My alcove is quite large and deep, and again I have no fear of the weather--I hope it storms like hell, which it doesn't.
The next day the slog out Hurricane, to the road. My pack is heavy with water. I start my road walk, under gray and stormy skies, a light wind, and thankfully the sun was tucked away. It was actually quite beautiful with the big clouds over the straight cliffs. I stop and talk to several folks, a couple from the Netherlands, a father and son in a Jeep. They are going the wrong way but all agree when they return up the road to give me a ride. I keep walking. Seems like I am programmed to do that. Finally, a great couple, Tracy and Keith from Salt Lake City give me a ride in their Land Rover-- all the way to Egypt TH; out of their way. I had walked about 10 road miles at that point. I was getting tired so the ride was quite a luxury.
I was glad to see my Toyota. I reckon about 65-70 miles for this little sortie. An excellent memorable trip.

I still have more time but I am tired and sore so want lighter hiking. I leave Escalante, make my way to outside of Hanksville, a pleasant view filled drive and you pass thru Capitol Reef. I wanted to visit some lovely narrows I photographed maybe 8 or so years ago. I took the dirt road toward the Dirty Devil, then the mining road that contours above the river almost 1500 feet up. I car camped among huge boulders and sat and let my legs dangle off a ledge looking down at the river basin far below. Tomorrow I would be down there. The wind rose and I was glad to sleep in the back of the car, listening to the howling that lasted far into the night.
The morning walk down the old mining track was delightful. Now there is a little trail, before there were no footprints. There is a cairn off the point and a trail down; before I just dived off here and got down via ledges to the final little plateau and cattle trail down to the River level. Cross, and into the Narrows. I got some fair light, and took a lot of pics, and thought how I enjoyed this area, the hike in total and the expansive views after the world in the canyons.
Well, that is my trip and all that.
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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.

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