The perennial stream in Coyote Gulch begins about 1 mile down wash from the Red Well trailhead and in Hurricane Wash about 3.5 miles from the Hurricane Wash trailhead. Wading shoes are a must as you will be walking in and out of ankle-deep water all the way to the Escalante River. Upstream from where the water flow starts, the washes are dry and sandy. Hurricane Wash joins Coyote Gulch approximately 5 miles from the Hurricane trailhead.
Because of its outstanding natural features, including two arches, a natural bridge, and several waterfalls, it is easy to understand why Coyote Gulch is by far the most popular hiking destination of all the Escalante Canyons. When planning a hike here during the spring and fall hiking seasons, plan on encountering a number of other visitors.
It is suggested that a minimum of 3 days be spent exploring the length of Coyote. By beginning from the Red Well or Hurricane Wash trailheads, the canyon is seen to develop from sandy washes to a narrow canyon with towering walls.
For an abbreviated day-hike, Fortymile Ridge to Crack-in-the-Wall is an excellent choice. At Crack-in-the-Wall, an outstanding view from the canyon rim will be enjoyed. After scrambling down through the crack – a narrow route between the cliff face and huge rock slabs which have peeled off – a trail leads down a steep sand dune to lower Coyote Gulch. It is great to hike down but definitely strenuous hiking back up. The elevation difference is about 700 feet.
The hike through the lush riparian zone of Coyote is relatively easy with two minor exceptions. At the second waterfall below Cliff Arch, follow the ledge along the south wall to a place about 100 feet downstream where it is possible to scramble down off the ledges.
About .4 mile from the Escalante River is an impenetrable boulder jam. To bypass this obstacle, a trail leads downstream on the right across the lower portion of a sand slide, then traverses a fairly steep sandstone slope. It is best to cross this slope by staying low and near the edge. This sandstone slope ends at a ledge about 6 feet high, against which several small logs lean to assist hikers in climbing back up.
A free backcountry permit is required and can be obtained at the Interagency Office located at 755 West Main Street, Escalante, Utah. Group size limit is 12. No fires are allowed in Coyote Gulch, so please use a backpacking stove. A pit toilet is located on the second bench upstream from Jacob Hamblin Arch; if camping in this vicinity, please utilize it for restroom chores.