May 29, 2013


It has been years since I have been back to the escalante's most remote back country desert hiking but I finally made it back! This time we have over a week to spend here which gave me the opportunity to check out Coyote Gulch, Neon Canyon, Ringtail Canyon, Willis Creek, Zebra Slot Canyon, Bull Valley Gorge, and near by Bryce Canyon.  We were also able to sneak in a visit to the Meadow Hot Spring and Lava Tubes.

We Arrived at the Redwell Trailhead which is one of the starting points to Coyote Gulch.  We followed the dry fork into the desert entrance of Coyote gulch which was nothing more than a moist gravel river bed with cottonwood, yucca, and Juniper trees.  We got to sleep early on a sandy riverbed so we could get a head start to our long and strenuous journey into the escalante.  

 We got up at the ass crack of dawn to get this day started with a quickness.  The skies were blue and the warm, dry air swept through the Gamber Oak and Bitter brush as we followed the dry bed into a flowing stream flowing with life saving clear cool water.  We continued our traverse into coyote gulch watching the canyon walls grow more dynamic at every cut bank.  The gigantic sandstone walls were blazing with a bouquet of Reds, Oranges, and yellows which gave a vibrant back drop to the lush green flora inside the canyon.  The walls were also varnished with mineral and water deposits which had the appearance of a giant painted mosaic gallery as we passed by Hurricane wash. 

varnished canyon walls
Once we past Hurricane Wash we started to see people walking in the opposite direction making short talk as we crossed paths with each other.  
We continued to meander around the gigantic canyon bends and came upon Jacob Hamblins Arch.  We are here!! Finally.  

Jacob Hamblin Arch
 This arch has a break down collapse section which appeared to have fallen creating one of the biggest and most beautiful arches I have ever seen !    

A storm was rolling in and being in a canyon with no way out was not the best place to be so we found escape routes on top of shelves and benches in case a roaring torrent of water came rolling in like a train wreck.   The thunder cleared up and we continued down stream past waterfall cut slot canyons and a natural bridge as we watched the canyon walls rise into the sky around us. Finally, we made it to a section of Coyote Gulch next to the Sky Arch where we set up camp for the night.   


We decided the following day to  start our hike out of the canyon, up hill,  and to the car so we could get to the Egypt System and down to the escalante river for Neon Canyon.   We paced ourselves and made our 10 mile hike back to the car and onto Egypt.  It was a challenge to make it back but it was nothing compared to what we were going to encounter next.

NEXT TO JACOBS ARCH (notice the people in the lower right)

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