May 17, 2010
Coyote Gulch, Escalante Utah - 5 year anniversary backpacking trip
View Coyote Gulch in a larger map
It was mine and Alene's 5 year anniversary and we decided to celebrate it with a backpacking trip in Escalante's Coyote Gulch. We had talked about doing this hike for a long time and we were so happy to finally do it. This was only our 2nd trip to Escalante area (as a couple), but we love going there and feel connected due to Alene's having lived there for 2 months on an archaeology dig when she was in college.
The canyon was a paradise for sure, with a nice little creek that runs through it, HUGE alcoves that cut deep into the canyon, multiple arches, springs, beautiful green trees, and the list goes on.
On our first day, we drove down there on the morning of the 13th and arrived in the mid-afternoon at the parking area just past Chimney Rock.
The trail head
We used our GPS and points provided by our dear brother in-law Bill and headed down into Hurricane Wash.
Entering Hurricane Wash
Water begins to start flowing in Hurricane wash
The confluence of Hurricane wash and Coyote Gulch
Coyote Gulch and the huge alcoves that cut into the canyon
We made it to Hamblin Arch, but all the good campsites around it were taken, so we continued on
The river near our campsite
We slept when the sun went down and woke up in the morning to light rain. We stayed in the tent until about 9am when the rain stopped. Being that we were in a desert, the ground dried up very quickly. We ate breakfast and quickly headed out on our 10+ mile round trip hike down the rest of Coyote Gulch, to the Escalante River, viewpoint for Stephens arch, then back. The whole trip took about 8.5 hrs down and back. We hiked at a pretty good pace, but this part of the canyon was amazing.
Approaching swiss cheese falls
Swiss cheese falls
The choke point
Coyote Bridge: This was so awesome because the river runs right through it
The flash flooding in this canyon must be awesome
At times the canyon opens up nice and wide with beautiful meadows like this
We took a side trip up to this "swimming hole". I have to admit that I'd have to be pretty hot and desperate to swim in it, but it was pretty neat to see all the water seeping off the canyon walls into this pool
We started to get to the waterfall section
Getting close to the confluence of Coyote Gulch and the Escalante River
Finally arrived at the confluence of Coyote Gulch and the Escalante River. Check out the amount of sand being pushed from Coyote gulch, into the Escalante River
From here we hiked North a bit to Stephens Arch. We were surprised how close it was to the confluence area. We passed a group of 3 older men who had gone backpacking up Stephens Canyon and were on their way out
I stripped down to my undies and took a quick dip in the river here, but it was COLD and flowing a bit too fast for me, so I was out pretty quick. This is a picture of me showing how much weight I've lost so far. I used to fill these pants out with not much room to spare. Time for new pants I guess :-). Still want to drop about 20 more lbs.
On our hike back to camp, I saw this awesome tree growing high up on the side of a canyon wall
The desert flowers were in full bloom
We got back to camp, had some dinner and slept our 2nd night in the canyon. It was cool sleeping in this section because we could hear all the crickets and frogs making all kinds of nature noises through the night. We woke up early, ate breakfast, and headed out back to our car.
Quick smooch by Hamblin Arch on our way out
One last picture of some awesome alcoves cutting their way through the canyon
The exit up out of Hurricane wash sucked. It was late morning, not a cloud in the sky and the sun was at full exposure. It took a lot out of us.
We took a quick ride down Hole in the Rock road for a bit to check out Dance Hall Rock and have a little lunch
We then headed back to Escalante State Park for some much needed showers and a nice little hike through their Petrified Forest. We took a picture of this area when we were last here about 4 years ago.
On our way back home, we stopped along Hwy 12 to take this picture of Lower Bowns Reservoir. We would like to come back and check this area out for some nice mountain camping and possible swimming
This trip was awesome. I had such a good time spending much needed personal time with Alene. We were able to do a lot of talking, laughing, and joking and really enjoying each others company. It was also a great time to kind of "refresh" our relationship as we were celebrating 5 years. I look forward to many more celebrations with Alene. I love her so much.