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Hiking and Backpacking Utah's Coyote Gulch


Take on one of the most popular hiking routes in Utah – the Coyote Gulch in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This trekking trip is a true digital detox, as you’ll walk through sandstone structures that give you a glimpse of the land’s past by day and camp under a blanket of stars by night. Walk through Navajo sandstone walls that lead to cottonwood groves, cross flowing creeks to intimate waterfalls and explore Native American ruins of ages past, left by the Fremont people – the original dwellers of this land. Feast every night on backcountry meals after full-day hikes that give you the opportunity to see what Glen Canyon was like before being flooded by Lake Powell. Traverse underneath amazing arches, over a natural bridge and end with a memorable ascent out of the canyon.  

4 days, from

$1,740

per person

GROUP SIZE

6 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

4
Trip code: SKXM
Style: Basix
Theme: Walking & Trekking

Details

Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Backcountry camping (3 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 4 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 3 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 6

  • Hike the striking red, orange and yellow sandstone landscape that is Utah’s Coyote Gulch – this is the most popular hiking trip in the state.

  • Get back to basics and immerse yourself in nature, camping every night underneath a blanket of stars and experiencing a true digital detox.

  • Explore fascinating ancient ruins and pictographs of the Native American Fremont people that used to call this area their home in 1300 AD.

  • Camp in a dramatic landscape overlooking the spot where the Escalante River and Coyote meet, peering through the sandstone of Stevens Arch.

  • Trek past intimate cascades and waterfalls, deep overhangs and natural bridges and finish with an exciting ascent out of the canyon, across a stretch of signature Utah slickrock.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Coyote Gulch

Welcome to Utah, home to Coyote Gulch – one of the most popular hikes for avid walkers and trekkers in the area. This morning, you’ll take a transfer from your hotel in St. George to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Your backpacking trip begins at a remote trailhead at the headwaters of Coyote Gulch. From here, take a short hike to an open and dry wash, the upper section of Coyote Gulch. Continue downstream and gradually, the wash begins to resemble a canyon, as short walls of Navajo sandstone appear on either side, and you come to several pour-offs and short waterfalls. Just as the canyon begins to deepen, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful cottonwood grove. This is where you and the group will set up camp for the evening and enjoy your first backcountry dinner.

Day 2: Coyote Gulch

Enjoy breakfast at the campsite with your group and then continue your hike downstream through stands of cottonwood and willow trees. Here, the gulch deepens and narrows and encloses you in a towering corridor of sandstone. As you cross flowing creeks and trek past deep red sandstone walls, the day’s changing light plays on the canyon in a brilliant show of red, yellow and brown. The imposing walls backdrop beautifully sculpted streambeds and intimate cascades and waterfalls. After a couple of hours, you’ll reach an especially sinuous and narrow part of the gulch by an amazing backcountry arch. Further downstream brings you to a natural bridge. Walk directly underneath this unbelievable natural structure and set up camp for the night. After dinner, explore the amazing Native American ruins nearby. Bands of Fremont people – a pre-Columbian culture that lived with the Anasazi through 1300 AD – used to call Coyote Gulch their home. They farmed plots of land and dwelled beneath the canyon’s walls. Your campsite features a pictograph panel at the base of the Navajo sandstone – an ancient dwelling and small ruin littered with artifacts.

Day 3: Coyote Gulch

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning before hiking downstream. Today’s trail will take you beneath another wonderful rock feature – a spectacular arch high above the canyon floor. The character of the canyon shifts as you go on, becoming wider with steep vegetated hillsides beneath canyon walls. Large pour-offs accompany more and more streams and sandstone terraces appear above deep overhangs. Later in the day, you’ll use these terraces for easier hiking and ascend above the stream to your dramatic campsite, which overlooks the Escalante River and Coyote Gulch, looking directly through Stevens Arch. Time permitting, you may have the opportunity for a day hike to Escalante River and a remote and spectacular side canyon. Tonight, relax in camp and enjoy the breathtaking views of the stunning Escalante Canyon.

Day 4: Coyote Gulch

Following breakfast, break camp and begin your ascent up a long sandy slope. It is a strenuous hike in soft sand to the ‘crack in the wall’ – a narrow crevice you’ll use to escape the canyon’s upper-most cliff wall. From the top, take in a brilliant view of the Escalante River and the surrounding canyon system. After your trip leader hauls the group’s backpacks over the rim with a rope, you’ll hike across the desert to your ending trailhead. Celebrate a gorgeous trekking trip with some refreshing drinks with your group and then take a private transfer back to St. George. Your trip now comes to an end.