Explore the most popular camping 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.

Recommend hiking as a loop. Take the normal trail in and traverse the 5 Creek crossings. They weren't deeper than halfway up my calf at any of them. Then on your way out take the shortcut trail back. Was a great loop hike and big change in scenery. We hiked in 95 degree heat. Left early morning and the hike down was no problem. Hiking out and climbing back up the wall at the end to get to the car was a good challenge. If it's over 90 I would say this trail rating increases to hard. We both took 3 liters of water in camelbacks and 3 water bottles. GPS made this hike much easier! HIGHLY RECOMMEND GPS!!! Can't imagine trying to decipher all the spinoff trails from the real trail without it!

backpacking
22 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.

backpacking
1 month ago

We started the hike in around 10 pm. We had downloaded the map so we could hike in later. The hike at night was beautiful and nice and cool. We made it to just above the river then camped a night. The next morning we started the hike to the cathedral. We decided to stay in the river as much as possible so we made the hike a little longer but it kept us cool. The cathedral was beautiful and the hike in the river was very enjoyable!! We hiked out around noon and the last part of the hike where you gain a lot of your elevation was brutal in the sun! We filtered at the last portion of water and was out by time we reached the trailhead!

Overall the hike was great and I will do it again.

I hiked this with my wife and four kids. Our kids ranged from 16-11 and each of them did well. Our eleven-year-old was tired and complained a bit once we started hiking out. He was hot and tired, but he pushed through.

I had my Garmin Rino 650 with a waypoint loaded to the mouth of the canyon and it helped. The trail is marked all over the place and sometimes we found multiple trails. As long as you find a reference point and kept that in mind it was easy to find the trail. Once we got to the river it wasn't long until we found our way to the mouth of the canyon. We did wade through the water for a quarter of a mile, but it was only half way up my shin.

The water was a nice relief and I would suggest taking a swimsuit to hang out for a bit.

We (I) decided to try the "shortcut" route on the way back and I honestly prefer the main trail. It was sandy for most of the hike back and that made it difficult for the kids. We stopped frequently to empty shoes.

As far as hydration goes, take plenty of water. We each hauled 100 oz. in Camelbak's and two each 12oz. waterbottles. Our 13-year-old ran out (In her Camelbak) just as we climbed out of the river bottom coming back out. I ended the hike with just under .5 liter left. I will take a filter next time and fill up in the river before hiking out. The weather was calm and mid 70's for the day, but hiking through the desert it felt like it was 90.

We started at 10:58 AM and made it back to the TH at 4:55PM. We hiked for a total of 4:07 hours and had breaks for 1:49 hours. Overall our hike was 9.3 miles in 5:57 hours according to the GPS.

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.

off road driving
2 months ago

Road was very rough and unclear in my opinion about specific whereabouts of trails and what not. Pretty great scenery and hikes along the way though.

off road driving
2 months ago

Absolutely one of the worst roads I have ever been on. Plan on going either under 10 mph, or over 45 mph if your daring (this allows you to skim over the small bumps in the road). Pathetic road conditions.Giving three stars because of the incredible scenery and hikes along the way. Would give less.

If you're in a rental, enjoy the drive! If you're in your own car, it will probably never be the same again unless you're careful.

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.

scenic driving
2 months ago

Nice drive from Escalante to Boulder. Takes you into the higher elevation timber, and then to the canyon w/bridge overlook. Overlook was fun. It was just a nice diversion to driving up and down 12 hiway.

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.

By far one of the best hikes I’ve ever been on. The views are unbelievable.

A few notes:

We spoke to a ranger in the cannonsville station to grab permits to camp near the Egypt trailhead. Told her we were going to the cathedral, through the fence canyon route. She suggested we took a different route, which only required 1 river crossing rather than 5.

Once we were at the trailhead we decided to go for the fence canyon route since we had a gps with it loaded on. Trail is tough, and navigation skills are necessary. Scope out the best spots to cross the river at each point. Was about thigh-waist high deep at its deepest point in early March.

After the 5th river crossing we were like screwwwww this, so we decided to go the route the ranger suggested to us on the way back.
Cross the river just south of the neon canyon entrance and walk directly away from the dome that signals the entrance of the canyon. After that, you’ll feel like you’re lost in the desert for an hour or so, but you’ll easily be able to locate the final ascent to the TH. Lots of ups and downs, but Definitely worth going this route over fence canyon if you aren’t feeling a bunch of river crossings.

Overall, 10/10 hike, 10/10 views, one hell of an adventure.

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)

scenic driving
6 months ago

nice drive through the woods with a HIGH bridge - dropoffs near road may give some pause, but road is well maintained. not a great idea during deer season, woods will be full of hunters, ask locals when hunting season starts. nice views of changing aspen in fall. watch for cattle on road.

scenic driving
6 months ago

road past Spooky / Peek-A-Boo turnoff is ROUGH

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.

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.

I would agree with person who said not sure if end destination rates a 5. Definitely do it with a GPS. Most people make it round trip 6 to 8 hours, a few who know where they're going might do it 4 to 5. It was quicker for us on way back because we knew better where we were going. The Escalante River crossings were somewhat confusing and winding our way through the tamerisk and river reeds was a challenge at some points. The end reminded me a bit of a larger calf creek falls perhaps without the water flowing, but the dome of the rock formation was pretty cool. We were so concerned about making sure we did not take too long to get back to our car at a reasonable hour--took us longer to get there than we thought--that we didn't feel we had the time to stay and take it in. BE SURE to bring 100 oz of hydration or a bit more. In summer I'd bring even more than that. Can't imagine doing this hike in 90/95+ temps. I'd worry about bringing enough hydration. October was great. Not sure we would have found it without GPS, or perhaps would have take us longer and then water would have been even more important.

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
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.

Not so sure if the end destination is worth it. It's beautiful, but hard. The desert trail is pretty rough and almost non-existent. Thank god for GPS. I would not do this hike without one.

I have not ventured much into this trail, but it appears to be difficult and remote, so I gave 5 stars because of that and because the trailhead is very well marked by a road sign right before mile marker 74 on scenic byway 12.
Not even 30 steps into the trail I was met with a rather tall overhang of the mountain. The only way to climb up there was to conquer a boulder the height of my chest. Considering I was alone and with a fractured toe, I opted out right there. But hope to come back one day and conquer this trail. If you are in a great physical shape and looking for solitude with no hikers on the way, this is the one!

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

We were definitely over confident on this one....but will be going back for sure. The trail is not clearly marked at all. We had several references and researched our route. But still struggled to find our way. Next time we will camp at the trailhead and leave early to avoid the heat. We will take plenty of extra water and end up back before dark with plenty of time to enjoy the cathedral. It's absolutely gorgeous !
Be sure to stay to the left as the canyon splits, and the switchbacks donate not easy to see from the top.....but they are there. It was easy to get confused on the way back. But we did find the big red arrow painted on the rock by the sand hill, finally. It was brutal, but we made it back just as the sun disappeared. Some were not as lucky.
The search and rescue were heading down the mountain as we were climbing up. Be safe out there.
I would definitely recommend a GPS.

hiking
Friday, June 16, 2017

Super easy hike - the worst part is hiking in the sand during the first 2 miles. This can be done in 2 days but definitely take 3-4 if you want to enjoy the views/play in the water. Went during an extremely busy labor day weekend but still felt like we had the canyon to ourselves for most of the trip.

Please please please practice strict LNT on this hike!! Lots of trash by the Arch, really gross. Other than that this was gorgeous and definitely a repeat.

backpacking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Be prepared.. LoL. First 2 miles (but felt like 5 miles)of soft sandy horse trail.. WEAR wool socks... Sand/Dirt will seep in every crevice.. in the creek trail part some rocks are slippery.. I would of died without my walking pole.. wish I had 2... We hike past big arch Jacob and camped.. next day hiked to end which we found no way out and headed back for lunch in shady first waterfall... Very nice spot to camp if you can snag it.. Views were beautiful and trails were fun.. hike out was treacherous and watch for baby rattlers.. We went beginning of June and stayed 3 days 2 nights.. kid/ family friendly place ♡

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