Coyote Gulch
Utah Backpacking
An Epic Experience

Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Trip Code: UTCG

Duration: 4 Days

Distance: 27 mi/43 km

Fitness: 3
Comfort: 1
Solitude: 4

Origin: Kanab, Utah

Cost: $1150/person

Trip Description:

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument holds some of Utah's greatest hiking and wilderness adventures.  Coyote Gulch is one of them, with world-class narrows, towering canyon walls, and outstanding natural bridges and arches.  Our Coyote Gulch Backpacking tour parallels Coyote Creek on its way to the Escalante River and Lake Powell.  Along the way we will pass under incredible geologic wonders such as Jacob Hamblin Arch and Cliff Arch among other excellent features.  Our trek back along Forty-Mile Ridge is just as spectacular and intimate, and this is truly a grand hiking adventure in the Grand Staircase.  We will also brush the Straight Cliffs, which is the second step on the famed geological progression that gave this National Monument its named, John Wesley Powell's aptly named Grand Staircase of the Colorado Plateau. 

  1. Coyote Creek, Grand Staircase
  2. Coyote Creek, Coyote Gulch
  3. Coyote Natural Bridge, Grand Staircase National Monument
  4. Crack in the Wall, Coyote Gulch
  5. Waterfalls in Coyote Gulch, Grand Staircase
  6. Cliff Arch, Coyote Gulch
  7. Coyote Narrows, Coyote Gulch
  8. Coyote Gulch Hiking, Grand Staircase National Monument
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Coyote Gulch Backpacking tour begins at the Hurricane Wash trailhead in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We soon enter the mouth of Coyote Gulch, as sunset-orange walls of sandstone creep higher and higher around us.  After a few miles of world-class hiking, we reach Jacob Hamblin Arch, an arch of monumental proportions, as it towers over our heads.  We will make our camp in this gorgeous area, and your geologist/guide will prepare a delicious dinner as you kick back and enjoy the epic scenery.
Drive Time: 2.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 160 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

Our second day will see us backpacking through more jaw-dropping canyon scenery as we make our way down to the Escalante River.  Once we near the river, we will set up camp, and use the rest of the day (with just daypacks!) to hike and explore Coyote Gulch, including wild side canyons, springs, a great swimming hole, deep alcoves, and more incredible natural arches.

Distance & Elevation: 8 mi, 200 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:

Your third day offers an adventurous hike up the Crack-in-the-Wall route, as we exit the Escalante River drainage onto gorgeous Fortymile Ridge.  This thrilling exit offers some scrambling and exposure as we carefully traverse the sandstone walls.  As we break onto the ridge, we will be greeted by endless views into the expanse of the Grand Staircase country.  Though the mileage is short, we will earn our elevation and scenic views.  From here, we will trek down an old 4wd trail to the beautiful and remote Sunset Arch, where we will make camp on our final evening.
Distance & Elevation: 5 miles, 900 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

Our final day will begin with sunrise yoga near beautiful Sunset Arch before we set out towards our shuttle.  Along the way we will continue to revel the beauty and stunning scenery of this outstanding wilderness in Grand Staircase country.  After we reach our transport, we will celebrate like a geologist, with cool beverages at a local watering hole before returning to Kanab.
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, no elevation
Breakfast, Lunch

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all trail meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Flagstaff to Grand Staircase National Monument and all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide.  Fresh options will be limited, as backpacking typically requires lightweight, non-perishable foods.  There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other "gorp" style mixes.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from Kanab, Utah
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Most backpacking trips in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will accommodate 5 people plus one guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 8 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $500 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Kanab, Utah and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Kanab. You will want to fly into St. George, Utah (1.5 hour drive). Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in Kanab. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 5am and 6am.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in Kanab and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Kanab by 6pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
March: 13-16
May: 13-16
September: 9-12
October: 3-7

2018 Dates
March: 13-16
May: 13-16
September: 9-12
October: 3-7

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.