Coyote Gulch

Coyote Gulch, Jacob Hamblin Arch, Escalante, Utah, arch

Jacob Hamblin Arch : Prints Available

A wideangle panoramic view of the impressive Jacob Hamblin arch in Coyote Gulch.

After our trip in Robbers Roost Canyon, we headed to Escalante for another backpacking trip into one of my favorite canyons of all – Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It’s been about 12 years or so since I’ve been here, but I still remembered how awesome it was.

See LOTS more photos below!

Coyote Gulch, Escalante, Utah, sandstone

We camped in the truck yet again at the Chimney Rock trailhead before starting off. Above is a view into the sandstone wilds around the head of Coyote Gulch.

Coyote Gulch, Jacob Hamblin Arch, Escalante, Utah, arch

Arch Overhang : Prints Available

Wideangle view under the Jacob Hamblin Arch in Coyote Gulch.

One of the main highlights of this canyon is the massive and impressive Jacob Hamblin Arch, which is an arch on one end of an enormous sandstone overhang. Since this canyon is well known and well traveled, we were fortunate to be able to camp by ourselves on that beach right below the arch!

Coyote Gulch, Escalante, Utah, hiking

The other highlight of backpacking in Coyote Gulch is that a spring-fed creek runs down through the entire canyon. This means that it’s possible to hike barefoot the whole way directly in the center of the ankle-deep water of the soft, sandy creek bed! That is some serious hiking luxury! Since the creek was quite chilly in the mornings, we’d wait until noon or so to start hiking, when the water had warmed up.

Coyote Gulch, Escalante, Utah, hiking

The trees along the creek were brilliant green with their freshly-budded springtime leaves.

Coyote Gulch, Escalante, Utah, hiking

alcove, Coyote Gulch, Escalante, Utah

Coyote Alcove : Prints Available

A natural alcove in the sandstone cliffs above Coyote Gulch.

Coyote Gulch, Escalante, Utah, moonlight, camping, tent

For the second night we scrambled up out of the canyon a little bit to a higher bluff that offered an incredible view of the rugged canyon ridges all around, along with a large angle of sky above, for a change.

Coyote Gulch, Escalante, Utah, hiking

Sleepy Hollow, Coyote Gulch, Utah, Escalante, hiking, canyon

For our third day and night out there, we backtracked back up Coyote Gulch and explored Sleepy Hollow, a much less-visited tributary canyon of Coyote Gulch. This involved a bit of frustrating bushwhacking, but eventually we found some of the hugest overhanging alcoves I’ve ever seen before.

Sleepy Hollow Canyon, tent, Escalante, Utah, alcove

We ended up camping on a high sandy bench in the biggest alcove of all – a spectacular but eerie campsite!

Dirty and exhausted after a week of backpacking trips, we headed back to the town of Escalante for the obligatory beer and calzones at Escalante Outfitters, then made the long drive back home to Ouray. Finally my outdoor-satisfaction-reserves are full again, at least for time being!

23 thoughts on “Coyote Gulch

  1. Really good stuff, Jack. The two below “Coyote Alcove” are especially great…love the reflection of the green in the water from the trees.

  2. Hi Jack,

    fantastic places !
    You must have had good time in such a nice and spectacular environnement. Looks like it was a great season to go there, for the color of the foliages & for temperature of the air and of the water !

    Which was the shortest focal length you used ? 21 mm or less ?

    On the 3rd one I think I would have tried to use a gold & blue filter to have golden reflexion in water. As the sun was in front of you the effect would have been maximum and maybe interesting. Maybe you couldn’t use it because of the diameter of your lens.

    Thanks for sharing the photographs.

    Best regards,


    1. Hi Guillaume, yes it’s a great time to go there this time of year… not too hot, not too cold. I used my 17mm lens quite a bit on this trip; the first photo is a four-shot panorama with this lens. That lens has a bulbous front glass element, so no filters for that one.

  3. We just got back hiking 2 nights in Coyote Canyon. Dropped in at Chimney Rock and came up through the Crack. We shuttled trucks. The weather was perfect! I loved how the lime-green Cottonwoods reflected in the canyon stream. We explored a few side canyons and rock mesas too. Good time was had by all. Coyote is so photogenic.

    1. Nice! That’s pretty much the same trip we did, except we turned around near the waterfalls and hiked all the way back to Chimney Rock. The shuttle sounds like the best way to do it!

  4. I really like that shot of titled “Jacob Hamlin Arch.” That is such a beautiful picture. Going to be in your area the last week of August, can’t wait to be there.

  5. Not sure if you get Backpacker magazine, but the recent issue lists America’s best campsites and Coyote Gulch made the list! They should have used some of your photos!

  6. hi

    amazing photos and places.

    My name is dimitris and i leave in Greece/Xanthi ( North Greece )

    I am intersted for landscape photos, but now i take photos my son in TaeKwonDo games.

    Recently i saw Large Format camera’s photos and i am impressived Are there digital Large format cameras in logical price or is in enough a FF dslr like Nikon D800 or Canon 5DIII?

    Best regards,

  7. I found this blog and the photos are stunning. it’s truly inspiring, each photo/blog inspire me, and I want to buy a flight ticket right away. Well done!


  8. Hello Jack!
    Excellent photos!
    Though I also can’t visit in these parts, but photos as though helped to make it virtually.
    Forgive, if transfer wrong, it is simple I from Russia.
    Good luck Vam Jack!

  9. Hey Jack, great trip report and some really well captured wide angle pics. Your article actually inspired us travel to Grand Staircase Escalante all the way from europe 🙂
    Coyote Gulch and the slot canyons in the area are just stunning – we had much fun crawling + climbing around there!
    Thanks to people like you who share their journeys! Though we didn’t overnight at outstanding campsites like you’ve been fortunate to find, we’ve had a blast and if interested check out our experience

    brgrds from berlin


  10. Beautiful photos of the country I am as raised in. Seeing parts of it from you photos I have never seen. I love you scenic photography.
    Linda King, raised in Boulder,Utah.

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