Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Escalante with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
23 days ago

We choose to do the Red Well route to Coyote Gulch and we were very pleased we did. Just as you drop into the wash/Gulch, there is a slot canyon on your right hand side. We saved exploring this for on our way back out due to a making late start on a very warm day. This route was very scenic in our opinion and also gets you to water, trees and shade much quicker. Arches, overhangs, petroglyphs and overall gorgeous scenery throughout. Made us feel very tiny being surrounded by these beautiful towering walls. Especially at James Hamberlin Arch, very impressive. We saw a fair amount of wildlife including lots of deer, a badger, a variety of birds, and the lizards and toads were everywhere. We did also have some mice visit our campsite after dark. And when we were on our day hike, something (maybe squirrels or raccoons) got into our dry bag of food even though it was hung from a tree, but thankfully didn’t get everything. Plenty of campsites along the creek, especially once you pass the intersection of hurricane wash. If you stay in the creek bed the whole way, the distance will be slightly longer then indicated. In total we logged 28 miles and still didn’t quite make it to the Escalante River, first timers errors. It can be done without getting your feet wet if you do creek crossings in the right places and wear waterproof boots. The creek was a refreshing break for those tootsies though. The campsite we choose had a small waterfall (which may be an overstatement to call it a waterfall) that made filtering water easier and also just enough of a pool to get your lower half of your body submerged when sitting. Since it was during warmer weather, it was a nice way to cool off before bedtime.

This was an excellent way to spend an entire day hiking in a beautiful place. The only downside for me was that I only had a day to enjoy this amazing place.

I've done this twice now and recommend starting from crack-in-the-rock and hiking thru to hurricane wash trailhead. This way there is no uphill elevation change. Take two cars and park one at each trailhead. You wouldn't miss much by coming out at Jacob Hamblin arch.

hiking
1 month ago

Overall a great trip. But the “creeks” on the second half of the trip are small standing water pools. They are very dirty and clogged our filters. We went a full day without water because of that.

Once you get into Death Hallow it’s almost impossible to avoid the poison ivy except to walk through the river. It’s enjoyable, but very slow going in there. The water gets mid-thigh for an average hight guy and about to hips for an average girl. Probably a good idea to water proof your packs incase you fall while hiking through it. And again, leaving death hallow is the last time you have flowing water, so fill up!

There is a TON of elevation change through the entire trail, and the ups and down into the “creeks” are intense! It’s definitely not an easy hike. But lots of changes of scenery and beautiful views.

It’s amazing, but note that it’s more like 16 Miles. The path isn’t marked well, and you have to find rock markers along some parts that aren’t always obvious. Start at the crack in the wall area if you can, because walking up a steep mountain of sand after a day of hiking is rough. It’s even more rough when you don’t have service or a downloaded trail map to tell you how much further you have to go or if you’re on the right path. Take a paper map - you’ll thank me. It’s a pack your waste in, and pack your waste out trail. I avoided going to bathroom all day with light well planned food and minimal water intake ( only enough to stay moderately hydrated ). If you don’t think you can go that long, you must get waste bags at visitor center or bring your own. The trail runs along and through the water so water hiking shoes would be a plus. If you’re scared of heights, getting to the arch may be difficult due to the steep slick rock path down by the arch to get out ( or in if you start at water tanks ) the rocks do have ropes as a courtesy to help you safely enter and exit.

To date, it's the most memorable backpacking trip my kids and I have done. Starting out going down the crack in the rock with our rope. Then the gradual hike along the river bottom. Awesome views, and not too difficult. The only sketchy part is going up out of the canyon, you gotta have some grit. There was another family that had to go around.

Great hike. made it 8 miles in and didnt see the other trail head and turned back. the stream is full of 9 inch Brookies, some rainbows, and apparently browns but I couldn't distinguish any of those from the brookies. the trail crosses the stream a lot, and is a very sandy trail. so expect it to be slow going through the loose sand, but it's a ton of fun and there's a lot of shade for breaks and such. only saw two groups over three days. not lots of camping spots away from trail so just do what you can to reuse spots.

My boyfriend and I did this hike over 2 days from Hurricane Wash. We started out about midday which made the first 2-3 miles pretty tough with the sun and heat. The change in terrain on this hike made it a very unique experience. It begins with typical dry, rocky terrain but as you descend into the gulch there are some parts of the trail that make you wonder if you’re still in southern Utah! There are several stream crossings that continue to get deeper the further you go in the trail. I had waterproof hiking shoes and was just fine up until the last quarter mile when I just waded through the stream barefoot. Plenty of areas to set up camp along the way. Beautiful canyon off trail to the left about 9 miles in with a cave and pond at the bottom of the rock walls that had “zebra stripe” coloration. The weather was significantly warmer than we were expecting once we were in Coyote Gulch. The hike down to Escalante River was a great chance for a quick rinse! If I do this hike again, I would definitely do it in 3 days instead of 2. This was my first overnight hike so I found it very challenging but well worth it!

Beautiful trail to deliver mail! I will definitely be coming back for more. Not an easy hike and plan for lots of poison ivy in the canyon!

Overall it was epic!

Absolutely stunning. Great variety from sand to slick rock, to scrambling out of the gulch, wading upriver, and views and views. This is a premiere distination hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Stunning Rod Rocks, arches, small falls, all breathtaking

Beautiful hike. No issues driving up to the coyote gulch in a small suv without 4WD. Someone had fixed a rope at the exit by jacob hamlin arch. I watched people climb up without rope. I used it and made it out just fine.

backpacking
3 months ago

Such a beautiful hike with lots of great camping spots throughout! Water shoes are a must since you’re crossing over the river every few minutes to stay with the trail. A few tricky climbs along the way, but definitely doable if you’re confident scrambling.

backpacking
3 months ago

This is an absolute must hike for Southern Utah. Every moment of it was enjoyable, the foot traffic was a little high when I went and there are only so many spots you can set up camp in the slot canyons.

backpacking
4 months ago

Pros. Solitude and some really nice scenery around Death Hollow and Mamie Creek. Lots of available camping options.

Cons. Poor trail the closer you get to Escalante. Mile after mile of really bland scenery, sagebrush and junipers trees.

Overall I doubt I will do this trail again.

Started at the water tank "sneaker route" trailhead. only make it coyote natural bridge. Will come back and make it to cliff arch someday! There is usually a rope to descend but we were there during the winter and scaled the wall into and out of the canyon as there was no rope. Would not recommend this scramble unless you are able bodied and pretty confident. Rewarding views and solitude make this hike worth it!

this would be the most usual 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.

hiking
6 months ago

kinda the long way to do this - better to drop in at the trailhead via the crack, camp, come out at Jacob Hamlin (150' of rope recommended) - NO DOGS ALLOWED IN COYOTE (it's part of Glen Canyon)

hiking
6 months ago

this route would add on a lot of extra mileage w/o great scenery - better to drop in at the crack at the Coyote Trailhead, camp, come out at Jacob Hamlin (150' rope recommended) - NO DOGS ALLOWED IN COYOTE (it's part of Glen Canyon)

yeah, you could do this. better to go to coyote trailhead, drop in via the crack, camp, come out at Jacob Hamlin Arch (150' of rope recommended) - NO DOGS ALLOWED IN COYOTE (it's part of Glen Canyon)

the boring way into Coyote - long, not scenic. best approach is to drive out to the trailhead, go down through the crack to the river, camp, come out at Jacob Hamlin Arch (150' rope STRONGLY recommended, first 1/3rd out very steep)

Not a hard hike down but poorly marked in sections plus you have to navigate a barb wire fence early on. Also unlike some of the other hikes down to CG this one has no great views on the way down

backpacking
9 months ago

Awesome trail, very fun. Stayed two nights. Entered through crack in the wall, had to lower the packs. A very beautiful trail when the leaves are just turning.
The bathroom by the first waterfall was quite appreciated, though very unexpected.

Don't go here. Worst hike ever! ; )

9 months ago

Went about 4.5 up trail from south end. Lots of stream crossings, turned back when lost trail. Very nice hike until that point, if you don't mind getting feet wet. Saw another group at TH but no one else on trail. South TH easy to get to with 2WD. Consider long pants for the brush.

Just did this trip last week. To me,there is no better trip than to the deserts of southern Utah. This trip was amazing in all aspects. There were some technical areas, Narrows, and amazing hikes through the bottom of the canyon. I can’t say enough about all the arches that we saw and the beautiful painted rocks and cliffside’s. Everywhere you turn is a beautiful vista. Utah has it all!!

backpacking
9 months ago

Very cool hike with arches and huge overhangs. A large selection of camp sites both nights found spots with beach sand and wind protection. Plenty of water just bring waterproof boots.

Worth every minute I the hike. We entered through crack in the law and attempted to exit via the sneaker trail that did not have good enough climbing shoes. We returned the same way we entered and it was worth the 2nd view!

backpacking
9 months ago

Hurricane wash is pretty brutal, especially around noon. Once you get into Coyote Gulch, it's much cooler and shady, and has water throughout. Really nice with great spots to camp. On the way back through Hurricane Wash, I got LOST. In the desert with not much water. I started following another wash by accident. Thankful for this app, because it got me back to the trail! Bring lots of water through the wash.

backpacking
10 months ago

I did a 2 day trip that got 11 miles into the canyon, sleeping by Jacob Hamlin Arch overnight. Coyote Gulch is a beautiful, gorgeous hike with no one other than a large party camping at the Arch. However, the Red Well approach was 3 stars. The trail is really sandy and pretty overgrown for more than the first 3 miles. If I were to do it again, I would do the Hurricane Wash approach to spend more time in the gulch and less time in the reedy sandy approach.

As a word of warning, when the trail doesn't always match up on the opposite side during a stream crossing. It's worth doubling back a little bit on the other side to check to make sure you're catching the right trail. The trail is usually removed away from the creek, so if you cross the creek and start following a trail right along the creek, chances are you've caught a deer trail that will end in brush or lead you to a dead end. The human trail is much more sandy than deer trails, which generally just have pushed over reeds.

I've seen some notes on hammocking--some campsites 0.5 mile+ past Jacob Hamlin had some great hammocking trees, but most sites either are overgrown underbrush or don't have the right kind of trees.

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