Backpacking - Coyote Gulch 10/21-22/22

Updated: Nov 7

This is a bucket list item!! Arches, cliff walls, waterfalls and springs. The perfect Southern Utah backpacking trip.


Day 1 - Carpooling - 7:00 am (6 hr drive)

Drive to Trailheads (36 miles down Hole in the Rock Rd, turn left onto Fourty Mile Ridge Rd, 5

miles to Water Tank Trailhead, 2.5 miles sandy rd to Coyote Gulch Access - 4WD or AWD)

1:00 pm- Set-Up Shuttle - Water Tank Trailhead/Coyote Gulch Access

Water Tanks - Coyote Gulch Trailhead - Sneaker Route (Exit)

Coyote Gulch Access point (Entrance)

2:00 pm - Trailhead (Coyote Gulch Access Point)

2:00 - 6:00 pm - Hike to Camp (around Cliff Arch area)

6:00 pm - Set Up Camp

6:30 pm - Dinner

Swimming Hole (optional)

Day 2 -

7 am - Wake up

8:00 am - 12:00 pm - Hike along river/Coyote Bridge/Jacob Hamblins Arch and Lunch

1:00 pm - Hike Out

2-3:00 pm - Back at Vehicles

5:00 pm - Dinner in Escalante (Escalante Outfitters) - (1.5 hr drive)

10:00 - 11:00 pm - Home - (4.5 hr drive)

Activity: Backpacking Coyote Gulch - 14 mile loop from Water Tank Trailhead, into the canyon and then out the next day, to Coyote Gulch Trailhead.

Day 1 - 6.5 miles. Start at Coyote Gulch Access Point Trailhead. Hike 2.5 miles across flat desert to Crack in the Wall. Descend about 1 mile through crack and down huge sandy hill to riverbottom. Hike upstream about 3 miles to Cliff Arch area to camp. Multiple stream crossings 13+. Several waterfall springs on rt. Better camping closer to Cliff Arch. Bushwacking trail at times. Play in swimming hole. (Note on Camping - there are MANY camping spots all along the entire river trail from 1-10 tents)

(Stevens Arch Hike - 1 mi round trip. Trail on south side of river, then in river. Meets Escalante River and head upstream. Deeper river with rocky river and thick brush banks, poor trail. Very difficult to navigate - NOT recommended - takes about 1 1/2 hr)

Day 2 - Hike upstream another 4.5 miles through Coyote Arch to Jacob Hamblins Arch (about 2-3 hr).

Takes about 1 1/2 hr from Cliff Arch to Coyote Arch. Some bushwacking, mostly good trails, wider canyon.

30 min to "Slot". Deep water for wading or hike left.

15 min Swiss Cheese Falls - don't miss it on the right, need to hike below for best photos.

Cairn on left before Jacob Hamblin's Arch to mark climb out. Don't miss hiking around and behind the arch. Great for lunch.

Ascend 150 ft sandstone slope (bring handline to assist) to the canyon rim. About 15 ft scramble, then flat area and then another about 100 ft 30-40 degree scramble - rope is great with heavy packs. Anchor is off a hole in a rock about 3 in wide.

Hike 2 miles across flat desert/rock to Water Tank Trailhead. About 2/3 uphill sandstone, then 1/3 flat sand.

*If you take the "Shortcut Route" to Coyote Access instead of Water Tank, use Gaia map app. The cairns are very sparse and difficult to navigate. Cross under a barbed wire fence.