Coyote Gulch, Crack-in-the-Wall to Jacob Hamblin Arch

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Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Coyote Gulch, Crack-in-the-Wall to Jacob Hamblin Arch is a 17.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Kanab, Utah that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

Length17.1 miElevation gain3,418 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingRiverViewsWildlifeRockyScrambleNo shadeFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area charges a fee to enter. Fees are $30 per vehicle/vessel or $25 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $15 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. This would be the most common route - park at the Water Tanks if 2WD (37.389971, -111.034848) or Coyote Trailhead if 4WD, descend via the Crack-in-the-Rock (37.419111, -110.984897) and down the dunes to the river, passing Stevens Arch (37.433528, -110.979202) and Coyote Natural Bridge (37.416267, -111.027685), camping somewhere along the way and exiting near Jacob Hamblin Arch (37.419008, -111.043115) At least 120 feet of rope is strongly recommended to exit near Jacob Hamblin Arch, it's fairly steep (see photos), not for the acrophobic - generally an able bodied person will be able to climb up and secure a rope for the less agile. It's also possible to tie a rope, descend near Jacob Hamblin Arch for a day trip, then remove the rope on the way back up. Extra ropes are recommended for lowering packs at Crack-in-the-Rock or Jacob Hamblin Arch. DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN COYOTE EVEN WHEN LEASHED.

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Daylight
Reviews (202)
Photos (462)
Recordings (159)
Completed (379)
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Jared Linderud
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Hiking
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Sierra Sears
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Scramble
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Steve Murdock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
Hiking

This is an amazing adventure as a day hike or as an overnight backpack trip. However it is not an easy trip. It is about 15 miles round-trip and requires a significant amount of effort walking through sand. We started out at the Coyote parking lot and walked to the confluence where we dropped down through the crack in the rock and down the long sandy declined to the river bottom. We then followed the river upstream and exited out at Jacob Hamlin Arch. (This is the counter-clockwise route) There was no fixed rope at the exit but we were able to scramble up by helping each other. If you are not comfortable with very steep rock climbing this might be tricky without a rope. Also if you are carrying a heavy backpack a light rope for lifting the backpacks might be helpful. Once at the top of the rock climb out of the canyon there are a few Cairns placed to help you find your way but to find a direct line back to your vehicle at the parking you need to route find for about 3-4 miles along the rim of the canyon. We used our gps tracking on Strava to help us stay right on track and back to the truck. This way we avoided walking in sand for the majority of the walk out. Note: the Hole in the Rock road is very washboard and will rattle your vehicle for more than 40 miles. A sturdy 4WD vehicle is best. Also, after you turn on Forty Mile road going East, there are 4 sections of deep sand where only high clearance vehicles can get through. The ruts are 12-20 inches deep and the sand is very soft. Several vehicles have gotten stuck and had to be pulled out. There were many vehicles parked before the first sand bog. Doing the canyon from this starting point will add about 8 miles. Hopefully if you have to park there, you could hitch I ride from someone with a bigger vehicle. Overall, this is an amazing and wonderfully beautiful hike. Plenty of unbelievable arches, vistas, scenery, and fun. Tough to get to but we’ll worth the planning and effort.

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Matilde D'Arpino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

anyone planning to backpack Coyote Gulch on 11/13-14? we are looking for someone to carpool and/or share the cost of a 4WD rental. contact me at matilde_d86

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Javier Chavez
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Hiking
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Dillon Barclay
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BackpackingGreat!Rocky

We made this loop a multi day trip, travelling counter clockwise. Getting stuck in the sand before the water tower added several more miles to the trip. With a day hike to Stevens arch and Hurricane wash it totaled about 40 miles. Don't forget to visit Black Lagoon. Beware of poisonous shrubs. Don't leave your bag attended, the ravens will pick through it, no I am not kidding on this. We had a ring-tailed cat in our camp - very cool. Little wild-life otherwise. We went in October. Daytime weather was better than ideal, but had chilly evenings. The climb out near Jacob Hamblin was tiring, but not risky as some have noted. It was a steep hill, with about 30 ft width of level and inclined rock face you can scurry up between the canyon edges, uphill climb was maybe 1/4 a mile. A rope could help some, but if you are sure footed I wouldn't worry. You can take it slow and crawl if needed or if you have a heavy pack. Finding the trailhead for the route up was the most difficult part. We found very little mud, as some have noted. The trail to and from the canyon were 40% deep soft sand and 60% rock. Inside the canyon was 50/50 shallow water (6 - 12" average) walking and walking through sand. I wore Chaco's and smart-wool socks, this was perfect for interior canyon but deep sand was unexpectedly harsh on my feet and rubbing. Absolutely beautiful hike, with a good blend of challenging climbs, diversity of landscape, views, and distance.

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Julian Shapiro
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Backpacking

Red Well to Coyote Gulch

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Christopher Reeves
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Great hike all the way into October. Definitely descend into the canyon at the Crack in the wall/confluence and out at Jacob Hamblin arch. I learned that lesson the first time. That slog out of the canyon in the sand uphill after a long day's hike is miserable. Then once you get up and over the Crack... more sand! I'll be going the opposite direction this weekend.

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Greg Barry
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HikingGreat!Scramble

We parked at the second parking lot to try to cut down the mileage a bit, but it still ended up being almost 17 miles. We did the clockwise route, because we weren't sure about the rope situation and didn't want to get caught without a way out of the canyon. Turned out there were 2 ropes already attached, and it looks as though they are relatively permanent. If I were to do this hike again, I would go counterclockwise, because climbing out on that sand hill at the end was a grueling endless slog. Also, the rock climb where the rope is, doesn't seem nearly as difficult as some people made it seem. I think it could be done without a rope relatively safely, if you are in decent shape and have fairly grippy shoes. One of the members of our group easily did the descent without using the rope, and even though I had my hand on the rope, I didn't feel like I was using it. But then, everyone's different. As for the hike, It was incredible. Jacob Hamblin Arch is massive and very impressive. The giant rock amphitheater near the arch, where people camp, is also equally impressive and amplifies every sound. We also saw the natural bridge, visited the Black Lagoon, saw several small waterfalls and had fun squeezing through the Crack in the Wall at the end.

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Ron Sung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
Hiking

This trail is HARD. If Angels Landing in Zion is rated hard, this is harder.

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Brittany Mishra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeOver grown

I went this route, but in reverse. We descended from Jacob Hamblin Arch and ascended on crack in the wall. I don't recommend this. We did this because we got a shuttle that we couldn't refuse. BUT going up the 600+ elevation on a hot sand dune to get to the crack in the wall was sooooo difficult on the last leg of our journey. After that ascent I hate sand more than anything on the planet. However, the view from crack in the wall is amazing. Better than horse shoe bend, better than grand canyon south rim. That view is close to spiritual. The whole coyote gulch feels like a sacred place. This hike is my favorite hike. Ever. All 13 miles was worth every painful step. I felt more like a pilgrim than a hiker.

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Wendy Gorton
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Hiking

Incredible! It was a very hot Labor Day weekend (100 degrees) which meant less folks down in the canyon (yay!) but a dangerous final ascent and hike back to our car. We parked at the water tower. We had a rented Jeep and barely made it through the two sand pits on the road and were told they regularly tow ($1,000 from Bryce Canyon) folks from that spot. So exhilarating to make it through though! I went fast and managed to not get stuck. Quite a few folks we saw on the trail turned around and decided to do the hike via Hurricane Wash adding 9 miles. The ranger recommended we get cardboard from the dumpster by the RV park in case we got stuck in sand and needed traction- we grabbed some as she said but didn’t need it. We brought a 100 foot climbing rope and there was no rope there when we got there. We did have to search for the triangular shaped natural anchor, but as a ranger told us, that anchor has significantly declined over the years with erosion. We had two 70 year old active dads who are not climbers, and the descent was difficult and the ascent nearly impossible (one afraid of heights). We were the only rope up all weekend and lots of folks (families with 4 year olds even) used it. The 2 miles in the sand and up and over the rocks to the canyon is harder than it looks on GPS and ten times harder when hot. Don’t forget to look for the “white eagle!” Even then the cairns were important for us to find the drop in. Once in, definitely head left first to check out Jacob Hamblin arch and the incredible natural spring coming out of the rock. The water was easily filterable all along the way as we turned right and camped just 2 miles further at Coyote Arch all to ourselves. The next day we went to Cliff Arch and the two waterfalls/pools after it. We turned around as we got a late start and didn’t want to risk coming back from Stevens Arch in the dark. Several couples passed our camp in the dark from Stevens to get back to Hamlin and it’s a bit difficult in the dark IMO. The way back- we left way too late (8am) for a hot day. If you are here in 90 degree days you’ll want to start 3/4am to avoid the last two miles in the blazing heat. We spent a massive amount of energy getting our dads up the drop in in the heat - we spent all of our water and we left our dads in the shade and climbed back down with no rope, filled up 3L’s each at the spring, and then climbed back up with no rope. I rock climb and considered it quite dangerous/felt a couple times I could have slipped. The ranger showed us a perfect zig zag route that appeared much safer, but we couldn’t recreate it on our own. YMMV - 20 year olds appeared to negotiate with no problem up and down. The rangers discourage ropes and we were told they will remove them if left but ours was not removed. All of us ran out of the 3L’s undernoontime sun at 12pm on the final two miles. My husband got early signs of heat stroke and recovered at our hotel that evening without the hospital but was in pretty bad shape. Leave plenty of extra water, Gatorade, snacks in your car for the way back - assume you might get stuck and plan for it! Overall - dangerous on the weekend we chose but an incredible trip!

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Sheree Marquardson
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Hiking
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Keith Zirkle
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HikingGreat!MuddyOff trail

Important for all — Crack in the Wall is not a crack. For various reasons, my friends and I poorly timed our hike and got to the Crack in the Wall as the sun set. We weren’t sure where the Crack was and didn’t want to climb the canyon wall at sunset with no evident crack, so we ended up spending the night in the canyon (with no gear). That said, when dawn came, we finally climbed the wall... and we got back to the trailhead. However, again, it’s not a crack. Despite sleeping in the desert with no equipment, I still recommend the hike and rate it between moderate and difficult. Also, definitely turn left after descending the Jacob Hamblin arch wall (with the rope). We thought you saw it simply from above and missed seeing arguably the most visually stunning part of Coyote Gulch.

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Cathy Marcrum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking

Amazing hike!!!! But honestly evaluate your skill set before attempting this hike. We did this as a long day hike - parking at the water tank and dropping in at Jacob Hamblin Arch around 7:00 a.m. We hiked to Cliff Arch, turned around and then climbed back out at Jacob Hamblin Arch, making it back to the trailhead around 7:30 p.m. Despite most everything we read and were told (even by park rangers) we found the descent down into the canyon a fairly easy scramble without the assistance of a rope. The climb out however, would have been far more difficult (if not impossible) without the use of a rope. We are moderately experienced hikers with above average rock scrambling skills and experience. After a long day of hiking, the climb up the rock face required significantly more energy than we anticipated; especially with our packs on. Please do not attempt this climb without a rope if you do not have at least basic rock climbing skills. Also remember that you have several miles to hike back to the trailhead - uphill, in sand, through the desert - once you make it out of the canyon. Be aware of your energy reserves and your water rations so that you can make it back safely. There is zero shade outside and of the canyon so prepare yourself for this as well. This is a breathtaking hike, worth every ounce of energy we poured into it. Know your skills and your limitations and prepare yourself in advance before you hit this trail. It will NOT disappoint!!!

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Tracy Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

A lot longer than the trail description indicates, but all was well once we got back to the ice cold beer in the truck. Finished at almost 17 miles.

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Josh Spenst
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CampingGreat!

I did this trail backwards(dropped in by Jacob Hamblin Arch). The first day we hiked 8.5 miles to the last camping area almost to the Escalante River. The 2nd day we had to hike up the crazy sand hill! The teenagers and other 2 dads(both are avid hikers) did great but it was a really struggle for me. If you are going this direction make sure you have LOTS of water because once you start heading out there is nothing for 3-4 miles. Overall it was fun and I really enjoyed the trail!! There is a bathroom in the gulch so you don’t have to pack out your human waste. Water was clear and with a filter had no problems of drinking it. We parked one car at both drop spots and they saved 3 miles of walking in the desert sun.

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Yna Dimaala
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HikingNo shade

The hike was great. It was too exhausting because of the warm weather plus no shade. Make sure to bring enough liquid to make it through the whole hike.

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Taylor Arnold
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Hiking

Definitely end at the water tanks. Don’t start there. Also. You only need a 30ft rope to help lower packs. None of this 150ft nonsense. Follow gps until you’re in the gulch at the river. There are a few spots that look like the trail, but they’re not. Like when you first drop into the gulch, it looks like you should go to the right of the giant rock tower (you’ll know what I mean), but you actually need to go to the left. Save yourself the time that we wasted. It would help to start early, as the first few miles are completely exposed and the heat is brutal. But with water it’s manageable.

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Molly Arwood
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HikingScramble

Not one of my favorite hikes but take that statement with a grain of salt, because we did this hike clockwise in order to set a rope, just in case we decided to go in and out at Jacobs (there was no rope when we were there, so don’t count on one being there). A few things I wish I’d known before the hike: 1) there’s a long dune hike right after crack in the wall, so going up that wasn’t fun. 2) the trail was hard to find while in the gulch (at least going our direction) and we constantly had to search and correct ourselves. Always choose the water path if you have the choice 3) the climb at jacob’s arch is fine without a rope if you have a day pack and are an able-bodied person, but I’d recommend a fixed rope if you have a heavy backpack (climb had a positive face was < 5.5 imo). 4) the water becomes grey with clay around mile 8, if you’re going counter-clockwise. We filtered and drank it without upset stomachs, but weren’t thrilled about it. 5) the 2.5 mile walk between parking lots had no shade and was through soft sand (my outback would not have made the drive beyond the water tank and barely made it to the water tank). After a long day of hiking, this portion felt like eternity. As I said above, take this review with a grain of salt. We did this in August and backwards, so maybe it’s a completely different experience in other circumstances.

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Kylie Schmidt
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
BackpackingNo shadeRocky

to get there: take hole in the rock, turn left onto fourty mile ridge road, but be warned: part of this road is a deep area of sand where my group and i got stuck :( and it sucked. but good luck!

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Charlie Maynard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 18, 2020
Nature tripsOver grownScramble

Views 5/5. Trail clearness 2/5. Water 1/5. You could pack a water filter but the water was still pretty gross or just pack enough water (2 gallons I would say). Bring some shoes to walk in the water - Major mistake on our end. Trail wasn’t very clear which is why we walked through the water most of the time but the views were nice. The rope situation... I would recommend setting it before if at all possible. It was fairly scary climbing without rope (to set it). It is definitely not a “scramble” but more of a “rope climb”

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