Trek Hurricain Gulch to Coyote Canyon to Escalante River
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, United States
Trek Hurricain Gulch to Coyote Canyon to Escalante River Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Reviews
Feb 09, 2008
This is a 3 day, 2 night unguided trek through the deep desert canyons in Southeastern Utah. This whole region is filled with strange sandstone rock formations that range from deep red to pink, orange, white and all shades in between. This hike begins on a plateau but quickly descends into several washes as canyon walls start to rise around you. Soon the wash is a full creek and you must remove your boots to walk through the gently flowing water. As you continue down the canyon the river begins to wind in exaggerated curves as the canyon walls grow higher and higher around you.
Although we made camp the first night right before the really stunning part of the canyon, we dove into it first thing in the morning. The deep red sandstone canyon had eroded quickly over the years leaving smooth natural bridges, arches, caves and stone walls in it's path. These delicate features were punctuated with the splashes of green spring foliage. After several miles of twisting towering canyon walls we reached the small beach of the Escalante River. Above us etched high into the thin canyon wall a natural window framed the fluffy clouds in the deep Utah sky. Breathtaking.
It was within a mile or two of our first camp we found the most magical part of the canyon and marked it for our second night's camp. Around a particularly sharp, almost 360 degree turn of the river the canyon wall rose so high above that it look like a giant stone tidal wave had frozen in stone right as it crested. There is a little beach right at the peninsula, with the river flowing all around you. When you sit at night and watch the stars the sound of the trickling creek floats all around you echoing off the walls surrounding camp.
The next morning brought thunderstorms and downpours. We watched it all unfold over breakfast sheltered under the lip of the giant stone wall. Spontaneous waterfalls fell as water rushed quickly off the desert floor and into the canyon. We packed camp quickly eager to get out in the thick of it. As we ascended back out the canyon the storm grew thicker, as we rose in elevation it got colder until a thin blanket of snow blanketed the tops of the red stone walls and pillars. We arrived back to the car exhausted after walking miles through wet sand but happy to have seen some of the hidden spots that are so plentiful in this part of the country.
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