*lots of pictures for you dialup people, 2 days of 'em*
Day 26 & 27
Total Miles: 7k'ish, not keeping track so well
Time Zones: 1, 4 total
This was an awesome adventure. We drove out 35 miles or so into the desert on the Hole-In-The-Rock Road and after 45 minutes of hiking came across paradise. The Hole-Rock Road has a pretty interesting history, and info on it can be found here. The day before, we dropped off my sister's car at Hurricane Wash and then spent the night at the trailhead for our 2 day backpacking trip. The trailhead was called Crack-In-The-Wall. Basically, a slice of the cliffwall fell and created a 3 step crack which we could climb down. Between the 2nd and 3rd crack shimmy, we roped the backpacks down. Before reaching Crack-Wall, we had to find it. Instead of taking the path, my sister decided to navigate herself and even though rather frustrated (not knowing exactly where we were going and not having our starting location on the topo), she landed herself right above the Crack. After climbing down the crack, we hiked down a sand dune and eventually to Coyote Gulch. We dropped our packs and hiked downstream to the Escalante River. There we hiked upstream a bit and found a nice arch high on the wall.
Coyote Gulch (and the Escalante) were unbelievable. Sand, sun, heat, rock, cactus, a few lizards, and not much else is where we started. Coyote Gulch was green, cool, wet, and spectacular. After returning from the Escalante River, we put our packs back on and headed up Coyote Gulch. We hiked til late in the afternoon and found a nice campsite just downstream from a nice spring to fill our water bottles. Above the spring was also a pretty nice arch. Arches NP isn't the only place with arches, that's for sure.
The next morning we got up and continued a short ways upstream to Hurricane Wash. One thing that is learned quickly: gulches and canyons = good, washes = bad. Actually the first bit of Hurricane Wash was still wet and middle had some nice canyons to keep the sun off, but the last part was pretty brutal in the sun. I made the mistake with about a mile to go of following a cow path. At first, with all the twists and turns, the ups and down, the bobbing and weaving, I thought I was following the dumbest cows in the world's cow path, but when I came around a bend and found a water trough, I realized they were pretty smart after all. Instead of going back, I put my life in the hands of my GPS and followed it back to my sister's car. Scrub brush, cactus, steep ravines, barbwire, and many other excitements were in my way, but eventually I made it to the car.
If this trip wasn't enough, took a short side trip to the Devil's Garden Unique Rec Area (or somesuch) and wandered around on some sandstone hoodoos. We eventually ended up in the town of Escalante and stayed a night at hotel so we could get a much needed shower.
Looking across the desert from wence I came:
A view of the crack, on the right with my sister standing above it:
A view from the Crack, an arch seen right center. Somewhere down there is the
Coyote Gulch and Escalante River:
Squeezing through a crack:
Lowering the bags:
The final squeeze:
Down the sand dune, arch visible, toward Coyote Gulch:
Weeee, sand... this is supposed to be fun?
Oh my god, it's green down here:
The Coyote Guch, heading downstream to the Escalante. The water is actually
very clear though it looks dirty:
The Escalante River:
Wish I could remember the names of all these arches (I dub thee "Escalante
A tiny spring coming down the side of Coyote Gulch:
A little waterfall:
Collecting some water from the first accessible spring:
Our first obstacle (ok, not much of a challenge):
There were about 4 nice waterfalls, none of which were much higher than 7
feet and all were easy to get around:
Some amazing green areas:
Some of what makes up a hanging garden:
A natural bridge:
End - Day 1 pictures
Begin - Day 2 pictures (not many pictures as most of the remaining Coyote Gulch pictures were crap. Not sure why)
Arch at the location of the potable water spring:
Hard to take picture of one of the biggest natural amphitheaters in Utah:
Where's my climbing rope? Oh yah, don't have one...
View from a natural amphitheater:
Coyote Gulch running upstream left to right, our path out running north,
Canyon walls getting smaller, greenery getting less green...
No water anymore, but some nice canyon walls for shade (it was over 100
Sadly we were coming out of Glen Canyon and looking back at this sign. I
think that was the last Juniper tree for shade too...
Devil's Garden hoodoos:
2 Hikes in Escalante Grand Staircase next...
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