I didn’t have many plans or destination on my road trip, but one thing I was determined to do was backpack into Coyote Gulch, even if only for a night. I had seen a few photos and knew I had to get back there. On my way down to Phoenix, I missed my opportunity due to a big storm that had come through and threw off my chance to get there at that time. On my way back, yet another storm had come through, but I had luckily gotten trapped in the area because of that very weather system. The next day I headed out there after checking with the Visitor’s Center in Escalante, Utah about the road conditions.
One way into Coyote Gulch is to backpack in from the Hurricane Wash Trailhead in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It’s roughly 33 miles down Hole-in-the-Rock Road which begins just east of Escalante, Utah. Backpacking into the end of Coyote Gulch is about 13 miles, however I went in only seven or eight to get to where I wanted to go, at least for this trip. The hike down Hurricane Wash isn’t too interesting until you reach the boundary for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Right around that point the canyon walls begin to grow and a couple of miles later you meet up with Coyote Gulch where there’s plenty more water running, thus maintaining a very riparian environment in a somewhat narrow canyon. It really gets interesting when you come up to Jacob Hamblin Arch, a massive arch towering above the creek. Right around the corner from that is this overhang that will literally make your jaw drop as you walk in and fully experience the scale of the rocks above hanging overhead. It’s truly an erosional masterpiece and will definitely make you appreciate where you are. It also happened to be my preferred place to camp for the night.
If you’re looking for some kind of sense of scale, those cottonwood trees are mostly fully grown and my tent is a tiny black spot on the right side of the hill that goes up from the center.