Coyote Gulch Backpacking

Trip Description

This classic Utah hiking tour is perhaps the most famous backpacking trip in the Escalante region. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream featuring endless sandstone canyons, waterfalls, natural arches, hanging gardens and ancient Native American ruins. And hiking Coyote Gulch is the single best way to experience all of these highlights. The towering Navajo Sandstone cliffs reach higher and higher as you make your way through this picturesque gorge. You will sleep peacefully beneath star-studded skies, drink from crystal clear springs and stand under immense natural arches. This 25-mile long canyon joins the Escalante River by Steven’s Arch, one of the largest in the entire Escalante region. Discover ancient relics left by the Fremont Indians, who occupied this area over 700 years ago. Their stone structures and rock art still dot the landscape. Our professional Utah hiking guides have been traversing this region for nearly 20 years and know it intimately. They will ensure you don’t miss a thing. Join us for an unforgettable adventure through this fantastic canyon wilderness!


Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Days: 4 Days

Distance: 25 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

Origin: St. George, UT

Cost: $1675 (plus Utah sales tax, 6.5%)


Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

Depart St. George early for your scenic drive through Southern Utah. Upon arriving in the Escalante area, we will stop for lunch in Devil’s Garden, a land of impressive hoodoos and sandstone formations. After some exploration here, it’s off to the trailhead for final packing and the beginning of our hike into Coyote Gulch. A cross-country route brings to an easy descent to the canyon bottom. Our first night’s camp hints to the wonders that await further down canyon.
Drive Time: 4 hours
Distance & Elevation: 6 miles, 600 foot descent
Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

After a tasty breakfast, we will breakdown camp and head on downstream. The lush canyon is a striking contrast to the dry, slickrock mesas above. Enjoy the new and exciting views that unfold around every corner. The towering sandstone walls twist and turn and we explore ever deeper, passing through giant alcoves and beneath massive natural arches. Camp tonight will be somewhere in the vicinity of Coyote Natural Bridge.
Distance & Elevation : 6 miles, minimal elevation change
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:

Onward down the canyon! Today’s adventure is with small day packs, as we leave camp behind and explore without the burden of backpacks. Visit some ancient archeological sites and pictographs and maybe take a dip in hidden, spring-fed pools along the way. Our goal is the confluence with the Escalante River where we’ll enjoy views of the impressive Steven’s Arch. After lunch along the banks of the Escalante, we’ll head back to camp, enjoying the numerous sights missed on the way down.
Distance & Elevation: 8-10 miles, minimal elevation change
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

Enjoy a tasty breakfast while your guide packs up camp before heading off on the final day’s hike. We will head back the way we came but utilize another exciting tributary canyon for our exit. Upon reaching the rim, we will enjoy the far-reaching views across the entire Escalante region as we find our way across open slickrock benches back to the trailhead. After a delicious lunch overlooking this amazing canyon country, we will head back to St. George.
Distance & Elevation: 6-7 miles, 600 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch
Drive Time: 4 hours

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.


What's Included

  • A professional, licensed and medically trained guide
  • All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
  • All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your guide will prepare all meals)
  • All meals from a light breakfast on Day 1 through lunch on the last day + trail snacks
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in St. George, UT to trailhead
  • Entrance fees and backcountry permits

What's Not Included:

  • Transportation to/from St. George, UT
  • Lodging the night before/after the trip
  • Clothing, raingear, and footwear
  • Personal toiletries, sunscreen
  • Water bottles/hydration bladder
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (suggested 10-20% of trip cost)

*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?

Most backpacking trips in Utah will accommodate 5 people plus one guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 10 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?

Children under the age of 13 are generally not permitted on backpacking trips. This restriction may be negotiable on private tours. Please contact us with any questions regarding this policy.

How do I sign up?

In order to confirm a reservation, we require an initial non-refundable deposit of $250 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 over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. You can also pay by personal check or PayPal (PayPal incurs a 1.5% surcharge). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-877-272-5032

Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?

This trip will begin/end in St. George, UT and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in St. George. You will want to fly into either Las Vegas (2 hour drive) or St. George.

Where do meet our guides?

We will meet for at 6:00am the morning of your trip’s departure at the Best Western Abbey Inn in St. George. It is best to plan on staying at this hotel the evening prior to your trip’s departure.

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 your hotel in St. George and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the Best Western Abbey Inn (recommended) can leave their cars at the hotel. The hotel will often store your luggage for you, as well, but please confirm this option in advance. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car/luggage there.

What time will we get back on the last day?

Expect to be back in St. George by 5pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Many 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.

Trip Dates

2024 Dates

April: 24-27

May: 9-12

September: 23-26

October: 7-10

Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!

Call 1-877-272-5032 or email us for details.

Guest Testimonials

Guest Testimonials

“We had heard about Coyote Gulch for years and wanted to explore it. We opted to go with Four Season Guides due to its remote location and our inexpereince in desert/canyon hiking. We are so glad we found FSG…our guide was amazing! He had been exploring the Escalante region for almost 20 years and knew every twist and turn in the canyon, every great camping spot, and had an unbelievable eye for the ancient rock art and structures. Our group was perfectly cohesive and we made some great new friends. We are already planning our next FSG adventure with them. Absolutely the trip of a lifetime. Top-notch professionalism at every step!” – Wendy K.

“We have used Four Season Guides many times over the past 6 years. Our recent trip to Coyote Gulch with guide, Scott, was so much more than we expected. The scenery is spectacular, wading in and out of the river was so much fun! Scott is an absolutely wonderful guide with much knowledge of the area. He has explored this area on his own to get to know the ins/outs & passes along all of the history he has learned. Scott tailored the trip to my husband and I. Safety was first, and always is with FSG, when storms were brewing. Scott knew safe places to sleep where we could get out of the wind and rain. Not only is Scott excellent company but an excellent backcountry cook also! Thank you Scott and FSG for another awesome trip out to the beautiful west!” – Larry S.

“The Coyote Gulch hike was the third time that I have used Four Seasons. As in my previous hikes, this guide service provides impressive support both before and during the hike. Scott, our guide, sets the “Gold Standard” for excellence in guiding: assured trail leading, deep and detailed knowledge of geology and ancient civilizations, a gifted conversationalist, and a superb cook. You could sense that this was not just a job to Scott, but that he genuinely wanted us to enjoy every minute of the hike. Furthermore, the scenery in the canyons was absolutely stunning!” – Richard B.