Located in the vast Grand Staircase-Escalante desert, Coyote Gulch is a winding, semi-narrow canyon that snakes its way down through incredible red rock country, and joins with the Escalante River just above Lake Powell. The hike is long, best suited for an overnighter, though it can be hiked in one day by those satisfied with a march instead of a casual exploration. Either way bring plenty of water, or even better, a water filtration system to use in the multiple springs. Hikers will pass a good number of arches, as well as the hardy wetlands that thrive within the shade and moisture of Utah’s desert oases.
If you’re planning to stay the night (or two) anywhere in the Grand Staircase, you’ll need a backcountry permit. Pick those up in Escalante at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center or nab one at the entry trailheads. Groups are limited to 12. While the permit is free, you’ll still need to pay the per-vehicle fee to enter the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Backpackers flock to this canyon more than any other in the area, so be a responsible user. You know the drill. Pack it in, pack it out. Take only pictures. Leave no breadcrumbs or gum wrappers for the squirrels. Same goes for the mandatory climbing rope (at least 50-feet long) you’re going to bring.