Coyote Gulch Loop

HARD 8 reviews

Coyote Gulch Loop is a 10.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Big Water, Utah that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until November.

10.6 miles
1,840 feet



nature trips






no shade

no dogs

From the trailhead, hike miles along a sandy trail to reach the rim of the canyon. Then squeeze through Crack in the Rock and then hike to the bottom of Coyote Gulch being greeted by towering red rock cliffs found at the canyon bottom. From there you hike south to the mouth of the Escalante River, cross it and then encounter a steep climb to Stephen's Arch, the eye of Stevens Arch is 220 feet across and 160 feet tall. The views from under Stephen's is breathtaking. Once you force yourself to leave you hike back the way you came and continue up Coyote Gulch to Jacob Hamblin's Arch, climb out (rope recommended), and then head south through alternating sand and slick rock back to the trailhead.

6 days ago

I did this loop as a 1-night overnight. Actually, it was my first backpacking trip though I have day-hiked many, many miles. We dropped in at crack-in-the-wall and exited at the Sneaker Route.

Be mindful of storms in the area, for the few days prior to your hike. I find these warnings fatiguing when I read about canyon hikes, but when you are *in* the canyon and you see how prone you are to water you realize you can’t be too careful with this risk.

As a hike, this is tremendous. It is magnificent and worth all the effort. Take this hike. I would advise this as a day-hike, though. At 11 miles it’s a reasonable day-hike length and the effect of a large pack on your center of gravity at egress is unwelcome.

[1] The drive down Hole in the Rock road takes longer than you think. It’s rough, slow driving.
[2] There are 2 trail heads - the first is called Water Tank and is close to Hamblin Arch, the second is called 40 Mile and is more east. The path from 40 Mile trail head, east to Crack in the Wall, is easy to follow and turns from sandy to bare rock about halfway. Cairns are easy to follow.
[3] In the gulch, the trail miles just zoom past. There is so much to see and the trail is constantly changing. That said, it’s not particularly fast, and it’s not particularly taxing (even with backpacking weight). We did about 25 minutes per mile in the gulch without really trying, and without dawdling.
[4] I found Hamblin Arch, itself, a bit underwhelming, but the rest of the canyon was far better than expected.
[5] The Sneaker Route (called Moki Stairs on Google Maps?) is wildly fun. I ascended it without rope and with 30 pounds on my back - slowly. Prior to my trip I had read countless reviews of this feature and I saw a wide variety of comments representing all skill levels and risk appetites. I found it to be less physically taxing than expected, but simultaneously a bit more unnerving. Know yourself before doing this.
[6] The Sneaker Route is right on the trail and easy to find if you know what you’re looking for. But...if you don’t you might walk right past like I did. I found this AT app to be valuable in this regard.
[7] It is difficult to determine the “top” of the Sneaker Route as the rock simply becomes less steep. The cairns point to Water Tank trail head, so if you parked at 40 Mile TH be prepared to get east before you might think you need to. After the egress, the hike to the TH is anticlimactic.

7 days ago

As others have said this is a 16 mile hike. We went down the Crack in the wall. Fantastic views and the gulch itself has new vistas around every corner. Slow going for the first 3 miles in the gulch. The rock scramble up from the Jacob Hamelin arch is totally underestimated in all descriptions. It is hard and the ropes left by others cannot be relied on. Two in our party could not do this and walked out the Hurricane Wash for an extra 5 miles

1 month ago

Beautifull hike but quite streneous. After crack in the rock it was hard to find a passable trail. A couple of German hikers we met gave up there. We went up the rocks to find a passage. After it gets better but still not much of a trail. Took us 8h overall to do the loop. probably can be done faster by experienced hikers. Get out of the canyon was tough, especially for my companion who is a bit scared of heights. Better not underestimate that part. I was glad I brought: a gps, rope, water filter (We drank 11 liters). Otherwise great hike! Enjoyed it.

4 months ago

Outstanding area to hike and backpack. Stunning scenery. It has it all for the desert lovers

5 months ago

Stunning hike, great views, offers everything could expect out of Escalante.

1 month ago

5 months ago

Saturday, October 15, 2016