Canyons of the Escalante
Grand Staircase Escalante
Southern Utah, United States
Even old desert hands, already well seduced by the allure of the American Southwest’s canyon country, are blown away by this pretty little canyon as it flows from the desert of Scorpion Flat toward the mighty and enigmatic Escalante River. As if the ineffably beautiful Coyote Bridge, the only natural arch I’ve seen that still has water running under it, wasn’t enough, there’s Jacob Hamblin Arch, Anasazi ruins, and a litany of other amazing features. I can’t stay away from Coyote Gulch, and so now just refine my strategy to give myself the best experience there.
The attraction of Coyote Gulch lies in its broad spectrum of temptations. Lots of minor canyons are pretty, but few have water; some have arches and bridges, but few have both those and Puebloan ruins; and, finally, the most interesting canyons seldom have good camping. Coyote Gulch has all of those elements, and for a desert walk this rich in experience comes with fairly easy access during much of the year. Ask any hiker who has been there, and what they all take home is how pretty this canyon is. Leave camp and start down toward the Escalante, past the water- falls and hanging gardens, and the ineffable beauty of the place takes your breath away.