Lush desert canyon oasis
soaring sunset-colored canyon walls
Natural Arches, Bridges, and waterfalls
Thrilling, unique entrance
Gurgling Natural springs
quintessential Escalante canyon
The Undergraduate geologist adventurer will be capable of handling daily hiking mileages of 3 to 7 miles on well-maintained trails with 1500 feet or less of elevation change, and a BackPack weight of 25 to 35 pounds. Participants should be in good health, regularly active and exercise 2 to 3 days per week. Prior backpacking experience is recommended, but not necessary.
Explore a pristine Escalante canyon that has everything but crowds
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument holds some of Utah’s greatest hiking and wilderness adventures. Coyote Gulch is one of them, with world-class narrows, towering canyon walls, and outstanding natural bridges and arches. Our Coyote Gulch Backpacking tour takes us through the famous Crack-in-the-Wall route, paralleling Coyote Creek on its way to the Escalante River. Along the way we will pass under incredible geologic wonders such as Jacob Hamblin Arch, Cliff Arch, and Coyote Natural Bridge among other stunning features. Bring your sense of wonder along with your camera, you will need them both!
Guests will need the ability to hike on established trails with noticeable elevation change over uneven natural surfaces for up to 10 miles per day, carrying up to 15 pounds of gear. Some routes may not have a shorter or turn-around option and the group will move at a 2 to 3 mph pace with breaks.
Guests will move through popular attractions but will spend most of their time in hard-to-reach or less popular areas. They can expect no wait time and a practical lack of crowds once they’ve left these more populated areas. Overnight accommodations are remote and/or private.
The Coyote Gulch Backpacking tour begins at the Forty-Mile Ridge Trailhead in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. After a classic slickrock traverse over burnt-orange sandstone waves, we’ll enter Coyote Gulch through the Crack-in-the-wall, one of the most memorable non-technical rock scrambles on the Colorado Plateau. The group will make its way to the confluence of Coyote Creek and the Escalante River before hiking upcanyon to our camp. We will spend the evening near a natural spring that bursts forth from the sculpted sandstone walls.
Drive Time: 2.5 hours
Distance & Elevation: 7 miles, 500 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAYs 2 & 3
Our second and third days will see us backpacking through more jaw-dropping canyon scenery as we make our way through Coyote Gulch. Get ready for outstanding natural features, cascading waterfalls, hidden secrets, and classic Escalante Country scenes.
Distance & Elevation: 5-8 mi/day, 300 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our final day will see us up and out of Coyote Gulch through Hurricane Wash. It will seem as though we are hiking through time itself, as watery canyon gives way to slickrock desert replete with slots canyons, hoodoos, pinnacles, carved washes, and imposing cliff faces. Upon reaching our shuttle, we will stop in Escalante to celebrate like geologists, with cold libations and great eats at some of our favorite little Utah gems. The group will then head back to Kanab.
Distance & Elevation: 7 mi, 300 foot elevation gain
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will
prepare all trail meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Moab to Dark Canyon and all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail that will fit the day’s activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we’re more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.
All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide. Fresh options will be limited, as backpacking typically requires lightweight, non-perishable foods. There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other “gorp” style mixes.
We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.
Whats Not Included:
Transportation to/from Escalante, Utah
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet
How many people are in the group?
Most backpacking trips in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will accommodate 6 people plus one geologist/guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 10 people plus 2 guides.
Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble’s scheduled trips. This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy
How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation, we require an initial deposit of %50 of trip cost per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking. Your deposit is payable through our online booking platform or over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee).
Where does the trip begin & end?
This trip will begin/end in Kanab, Utah and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Kanab. You will want to fly into St. George or Las Vegas. Please visit our travel page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.
Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation. Most trips will depart between 6am and 8am.
*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.
What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there
What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back at the host hotel by 6pm on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.
Ready for an Adventure?
Join Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism on geology-themed hiking and backpacking adventures! Find the perfect Grand Canyon hiking tour, Utah Canyon Country Tour, Vermillion Cliffs Backpacking or hiking.