Explore the most popular river 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.

Yikes wish we had read Doug’s post from last year , we only hiked to the bridge , not knowing about the arch , dwelling, or petroglyphs beyond the bridge .Start early , we hiked early afternoon & it was a scorcher ! The multiple water crossings were cooling, but not deep , so we kept crossing bare/footed which slowed us down as we put hiking shoes on/off. Long stretches of this trail are full sun & deep sand. We found ourselves rushing to each shady spot for relief .The sand definitely slowed us down. Look forward to repeating this hike just earlier in the day & continuing further.

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.

Great hike and super dog friendly. Lots of place for the pup to cool off. Only thing I’d do different is bring river shoes. I went barefoot after the second crossing or so and the sand does get plenty hot.

Lovely, relaxed hike through sand and 4-5 shallow river crossings. The natural bridge at the end is towering and majestic. The babbling stream cooled our feet, and around every curve, a stunning, different canyon view appeared.

Good hike, great scenery. Trail follows the river so if you or the pups get hot, wade on in. The water was a great break.

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.

Fun hike and nice to stop and play in the water. The sand gets HOT! Took my two small kids. We didn’t make it all the way, because they wanted to stop and play in the water and sand.

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.

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!

I noticed a lot of these photos are of Corona Arch in Moab - not Willow Gulch in Escalante...

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.

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!

hiking
2 months ago

There's a new barbed wire fence blocking the side canyon and access to the arch. The hike along the river is still very nice.

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
2 months ago

Fun hike!

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.

hiking
5 months ago

We hiked to Maverick Bridge and Phipps Arch via Phipps Wash, starting from Escalante River Trailhead, 14-1/2 miles south of the UT12/Burr Trailhead Road junction. Come prepared with river crossing gear, as we crossed once and had two occasions for ankle-deep water between river and canyon wall. Turn right into the wash, then right again into the first side canyon for Maverick Bridge. Coming back out of the bridge excursion, continue on up the wash, and turn left into the next side canyon. From here you're mostly on your own. Cairns are sketchy and trail is confusing at best. We carried a Falcon Guide book with us. After getting lost once, and almost giving up, we picked up the trail and found the arch. The final ascent is steep and involves a friction pitch. It is do-able, and you will be rewarded. Enjoy.

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

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)

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)

hiking
6 months ago

great hike but the last part is STEEP - I couldn't make it, too hot that day and had underestimated how much water I'd need and how tired I was. my football player buddy who's a hiking machine made to the top no problem, said it was great - would definitely give it another shot. the last bit can be confusing without a map - you walk into the last spur canyon and the trail seems to run to the back, but really you need to CLIMB TO THE LEFT - look for the cairns and keep looking up up up, you won't see it until you're on top because it faces the other way, back towards the river-ish

scenic driving
6 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

pretty, but hot and sandy in summer

Great hike to an arch if you have dogs since they aren't allowed on trails in Arches State Park. Some difficult footing spots for dogs and two 'ladder' points where the dog will need to find their own path around since it's steep. Small dogs could be carried here. You can see the arch at a distance prior to these points though.

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