PO Box 511
Escalante, UT 84726
- Glen Canyon
- 2-13 miles
- 8 hours+
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 4675 feet
Coyote Gulch is a side canyon of the Escalante that can be explored as an intense hike or a not-quite-so-intense hike, depending on your preference. The gulch is large enough that any trek will be long - it just may or may not involve scrambling up slickrock via finger- and toe-holds. The roughest parts of the canyon can be bypassed by choosing a different trailhead to end at. Jacob Hamblin Arch marks the tougher route - you can continue on further and exit through the milder Hurricane Wash.
What will you find in Coyote Gulch beyond an excellent weekend workout and rock and sand? You'll find another arch besides the Jacob Hamblin Arch, a massive natural bridge and waterfalls. And let's not forget the occasional deer herd and the Anasazi artifacts scattered throughout the canyon. Let's not forget the groves of trees or the grand rocky alcoves - this is a beautiful hike.
It is suggested that a minimum of 3 days be spent exploring the length of Coyote. For an abbreviated day-hike, Fortymile Ridge to Crack-in-the-Wall is an excellent choice. At Crack-in-the-Wall, an outstanding view from the canyon rim will be enjoyed. After scrambling down through the crack – a narrow route between the cliff face and huge rock slabs which have peeled off – a trail leads down a steep sand dune to lower Coyote Gulch. It is great to hike down but definitely strenuous hiking back up. The elevation difference is about 700 feet.
The hike through the lush riparian zone of Coyote is relatively easy with two minor exceptions. At the second waterfall below Cliff Arch, follow the ledge along the south wall to a place about 100 feet downstream where it is possible to scramble down off the ledges.
About .4 mile from the Escalante River is an impenetrable boulder jam. To bypass this obstacle, a trail leads downstream on the right across the lower portion of a sand slide, then traverses a fairly steep sandstone slope. It is best to cross this slope by staying low and near the edge. This sandstone slope ends at a ledge about 6 feet high, against which several small logs lean to assist hikers in climbing back up.
When hiking and camping, please practice minimum impact techniques to help protect this fragile desert environment. Walk in the streambed so as not to impact vegetated areas. No fires are allowed in Coyote Gulch, so please use a backpacking stove. A pit toilet is located on the second bench upstream from Jacob Hamblin Arch; if camping in this vicinity, please utilize it for restroom chores.
To find out more about this trail and many other excellent trails in Garfield County, visit Garfield County Trails.
Map + Directions
All are accessed by following Hole-in-the-Rock Road south from Highway 12 in Garfield County.
1. Red Well – 30 miles to the signed junction then 1.5 miles to the trailhead. Provides access to upper Coyote Gulch.
2. Hurricane Wash – 33 miles to the parking area beside the road. The register is located .2 miles down the wash.
3. Fortymile Ridge – 35 miles to the signed junction then 7 miles to the trailhead, the last 2 miles of which are over deep sand not suitable for low-clearance vehicles.