Friday, June 27, 2008

Coyote Gulch - Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah - Backpacking

Jake, Rob, and I spent Memorial Day weekend backpacking in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah. The area was designated as a national monument in 1996 by Bill Clinton. This created a huge amount of controversy in Utah because many people living in the area saw it as a land grab by the federal government. They would rather have the land free to themselves to strip mine and drill for oil. This was my first time in the area and Coyote Gulch was definitely one of my favorite hikes of all time. Perhaps the people living in Escalante are benefiting from tourism more than they would like to admit.

Check out all the bullet holes! That's how southern utah folk show their love for environmentalists.

We started our hike at Hurricane Wash. The dry wash gradually descended from the open desert into a canyon.

Me standing in Hurricane Wash. The canyon walls gradually rose up around us as we headed towards Coyote Gulch.

Jake and I at the confluence of Hurricane Wash and Coyote Gulch

Rob in Coyote Gulch

Jake and I under Coyote Natural Bridge

Me near Cliff Arch

Rob standing in Coyote Gulch

Jake and I (and Jake's greasy fingerprint on the lens) in one of the many waterfalls in Coyote Gulch

Jake and I above a waterfall

Rob under Jacob Hamblin Arch

Pictographs above Coyote Gulch

Me at the end of the hike back in Hurricane Wash