- The narrows in Hurricane Wash
- Stevens Arch from lower Coyote Gulch
- The sand dune exit from Crack-in-the-Wall
- A hiker enters the narrowest section of the Crack-in-the-Wall exit
- Jacob Hamblin Arch
- The deep undercut at Jacob Hamblin Arch
- Streaked canyon walls in Coyote Gulch
- Swiss Cheese Falls
- Coyote Natural Bridge
- Ancient rock art in Coyote Gulch
- Artifacts scattered about in an ancient Indian dwelling
- One of several waterfalls in lower Coyote Gulch
With arches, picturesque waterfalls, and miles of sinuous narrow canyon to explore, Coyote Gulch is undeniably one of the best hikes in all of Southern Utah. Despite its remote location along Hole-in-the-Rock Road this area sees heavy visitation during the prime weather of spring and fall. Many route possibilities exist and can be tailored to the skill level and ambition of your group. This hike is suitable for adults in good physical condition but may be a bit long for most children.
There are several trailheads commonly used to access Coyote Gulch. The two most popular are Hurricane Wash and Fortymile Ridge. Accessing these trailheads requires a long drive on rugged, remote dirt roads. Under good conditions, passenger cars can usually access the Hurricane Wash Trailhead, however the Fortymile Ridge Trailhead requires a high clearance 4WD vehicle to get through the deep, soft sand near the end of the road. Check with the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center at 755 W Main Street in Escalante, or call (435) 826-5499 for current road conditions before beginning your trip.
Reaching Hurricane Wash Trailhead from Escalante:
- From Escalante, Utah, drive east on Highway 12 for approximately 5.0 miles to the signed junction on the right for Hole-in-the-Rock Road.
- Continue south on Hole-in-the-Rock Road for approximately 33.8 miles to the signed Hurricane Wash parking area (37.38554,-111.132463).
Reaching the Forty Mile Ridge Trailhead from Hurricane Wash Trailhead:
- Drive south on Hole-in-the-Rock Road for approximately 2.3 miles.
- Turn left at the signed junction for Forty Mile Ridge.
CAUTION: The Forty Mile Ridge Road contains long stretches of deep, soft sand. A high clearance 4WD vehicle is required to reach the end.
- Drive 6.8 miles down Forty Mile Ridge Road to the signed Forty Mile Ridge Trailhead at the end of the road (37.403655,-111.008918).
Campsites are plentiful throughout the canyon. Be sure to choose sites that have been previously used and that are on sand or solid rock. Due to the nature of the canyon, it isn’t always easy, but try to camp at least 200 feet from water sources, trails, and other occupied campsites. This is a very popular canyon so it’s possible you may have neighbors close by.
Several small springs are located throughout the canyon but collecting water from them can be a challenge. The creek in Coyote Gulch flows year round. Be sure to treat all drinking water.
Human waste has become a problem in much of Coyote Gulch. It is strongly encouraged that all hikers use an approved solid waste disposal bag and pack it out. Toilet paper is required to be packed out. A backcountry vault toilet is located in the lower end of the canyon for hikers in that area.
- No littering.
- Pack out all trash, including toilet paper.
- No dogs allowed.
- No campfires allowed.
- Permits are required for overnight use and are available for free at the visitor center in Escalante. Permits can also be self-issued at trailhead registers.
- This area can be extremely hot during spring, summer, and fall. Carry plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing.
- Hurricane Wash and Coyote Gulch have significant flash flood potential. Do not enter the canyon when significant precipitation is in the forecast. Flash floods can strike quickly and without warning.
- Due to the rugged and remote nature of Hole-in-the-Rock Road, getting to the trailhead can sometimes be as challenging as the hike itself. Check with the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center at 755 W Main St in Escalante, or call (435) 826-5499 for current conditions before beginning your trip.
This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.