Day 19: Chasing Waterfalls in Coyote Gulch

Tuesday May 9, 13.7mi/22.1km

Coyote Gulch (299.4/3810ft) to Hole-in-the-Rock Road (311.9/4600ft) (UT) +1.2mi searching for non-sketchy bypass

I woke up after a great night’s sleep, the sound of the nearby Creek was so peaceful. We got an earlier than expected start at 6:45 and hiked in the Coyote Gulch stream.

After a few minutes we came to an impassable Rockfall that was blocking the creek, and despite thoroughly investigating all the possible ways through the boulders we could not find a route there. In the past hikers used to scramble through a small hole between the boulders, but that has since been blocked up with more debris from the stream. So we had to backtrack a minute and then walk up a slanted, sketchy, slickrock shelf to get around the obstacle. Shadow went first.

It was a little sketchiest part of the Hayduke so far and I would not do it again. With that obstacle behind us the rest of the day was relaxing walking up the shallow Coyote Gulch stream.

The lower section of Coyote Gulch had half a dozen cool little waterfalls.

Yes, we went chasing waterfalls. And I even had that song playing on my phone, ha!

A mile later we hiked by a feature called Cliff Arch, which was a nice surprise since it appeared behind us.

The stream meandered within the valley and we got to hike through some little grassy sections to cut off the corners.

Then we got to the coyote Gulch natural bridge, it was huge!

I’m not sure of the difference between an arch and a natural bridge, but this one was so thick you could drive over it. We saw a dozen people hiking downstream this morning, as it’s a popular place for an overnight backpacking trip. We passed one couple hiking upstream with very large packs, and I was curious what was inside of their packs…. since most of their gear was strapped to the outside!

Soon after we hike through a little Narrows, apparently in high water it can be chest deep. It was only ankle deep for us.

It was such a verdant little canyon!

Next up was the Jacob Hamlin Arch, a huge Arch that we actually got to see twice because the canyon wrapped around 180°.

And then we started to leave Coyote Gulch, and headed up Hurricane wash. At first the wash was green, there was water, and also quite a few wildflowers.

And it was nice to walk along the cliffs in the shade.

Pretty soon though we came to a gate, and the canyon mostly disappeared, and the wash became quite shallow and sunny.

It was a slow slog walk through soft sand, but at least I got to look at some interesting scenery as we walked through this very short little narrow mini-canyon.

For the last 2 miles, we left the wash and hiked on a pretty decent Trail all the way to the Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Behind me and saw a sign, so we were now leaving the Glen Canyon recreation area.

And pretty soon we were in the parking lot. It was 1:50pm…. now time to wait for a vehicle to drive by and try to hitch the 39 miles to town.

We waited one hour and saw three vehicles go by in the wrong direction, and one SUV going our direction but they were too full of stuff to take us. Then finally a group of ATVs stopped and gave us a ride!

I had never ridden in an ATV before, and it was actually really fun and faster than a car on this dirt road.

After an hour and 15 minutes in their vehicle, the nice couple dropped us in Escalante at a convenience store / cafe. We walked directly to the local pub restaurant that was open (there are several but most of them are closed on Tuesdays), I ordered a spicy chicken sandwich…. amazing.

Shadow and I got a photo together, we have been hiking together for a week and I didn’t have any photos together yet.

After the restaurant, we walked to the Gear store (Utah Canyon Outdoors) and I bought a new water filter, fuel canister, and exchanged (Warranty) my darn tough socks. We grabbed a cabin across the street at the Escalante Outfitters, unfortunately there was only one cabin left and it was the big expensive one, but it was still cheaper than anything else in town. But it was nice and big with room to spread out, and for only $80 a person it seemed reasonable. We spent the rest of the evening sorting out our gear, eating junk food, and watching TV…. The usual town stuff, haha.

Tomorrow we will try to get a hitch back to the trailhead, which will be interesting, since it’s so far and on a very remote dirt road.

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