Coyote Gulch, Southern Utah

Use that 4x4 switch on your Path and go get dirty!

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NVSteve
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Coyote Gulch, Southern Utah

Postby NVSteve » Mon May 05, 2008 11:28 am

A group of 6 people, 1 Pathfinder & 1 Jeep Liberty, headed down to southeastern Utah last week for 4 days of backpacking. It's 380 miles of pavement & another 50+ of horrible washboard dirt roads(one-way). This may be slow loading with the number of pictures I'll probably end up posting.

Day 1:

Stopped and did a short 6 mile hike to a waterfall. Parts of the highway getting to this point are pretty messed up-by that I mean the road follows the knife edge top of rock, with 1000' drops on either side (edit: checked my topo & it isn't 1000', but it sure seemed like it). The road barely fits.
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I don't know if these things were changing from purple to green, or the other way around:
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Everything was in full bloom:
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Not very exciting, but waterfalls in the desert are slightly rare:
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Stopped in the tiny town of Escalante for food & fuel, then drove down the crappy dirt roads to arrive at our main trailhead & camp for the night:
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Day 2:

About a 1/2 mile from the trailhead:
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80% of the time we had to walk in the water because of super dense vegetation, or sheer rock walls.

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The first of many arches we encountered:
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Day 3:

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Natural bridge:
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This was where we had to leave the canyon. 3 people made camp in the canyon, while 3 others (myself included) hiked up to one of the rims and made camp:

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The view from my camp:

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sunset:
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Sunset made yet another of the arches stand out:
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Day 4:

Zooming in on the camp 800' below my clifftop perch:
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I don't know what the hell this bug is, maybe a cricket? 2 of us broke camp around 6:30am to make the brutal hike up to the top of the rim before the sun had a chance to fry everything. There were literally hundreds of thousands of these bugs. I'd say there were probably 2 bugs per square foot of dirt & way more flowers. We had to keep our eyes down to avoid stepping on them every time we moved:

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Pretty close to the top now:
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We had to wait at the base of a 50' cliff for the rest of our group, who finally showed up 2 hours later. The exit is called "crack in the wall" for good reason. There's an actual crack one can squeeze through to get to the top, but it is too narrow for packs. So, we had to drop ropes from above and pull up all the packs. Even marginally fat people would not be able to get out & would have to backtrack a good 12 miles for another exit. Here's a view from the base of the cliff:
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And from on top, once we hauled up all our gear:
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The final 2 miles to the car:
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I brought my big camera along for this trip, and I'm glad I did. It had dirt and mud caked all over it & it really took a while to clean it all off. Fortunately, it is extremely well sealed, so dirt and water can't get inside it unless I take it swimming. All in all a very good trip. I was only carrying around 4 liters of water, so my pack was a much lighter 40 lbs. The next trip is being planned, and I'm pretty sure it will be another "gulch." Grand Gulch is what we're mulling over, and it sounds very cool-tons of Anasazi kivas, ruins, pottery, etc. So much stuff that the archaeologists have not had the time to examine/excavate everything.

I have more pics from last week's trip here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nvsteve/se ... 886289312/
Last edited by NVSteve on Tue May 06, 2008 10:16 am, edited 3 times in total.


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guinnessjim
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Postby guinnessjim » Mon May 05, 2008 12:28 pm

great pics...thx for the post.

love that part of the country.

boogyman
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Postby boogyman » Tue May 06, 2008 9:11 am

Really cool pics. Funny the timing, since they just had survivor man camped out in the canyon for a week. They put him where there was almost no water and he got out on day 6. I think he thought he wasn't getting paid enough to torture his body anymore. At least that show is real unlike man vs wild.

Sorry to get off the subject. The one pic pointing down in the canyon had some weird aspect that made it look like the old dinosaur movies. You got some very good pictures.

yarilo
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Postby yarilo » Wed May 07, 2008 12:13 pm

Steve, could you please briefly describe you photo kit - camera, lens, filters, tripod maybe.

Thanks,
Makc

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Wed May 07, 2008 3:18 pm

yarilo wrote:Steve, could you please briefly describe you photo kit - camera, lens, filters, tripod maybe.

Thanks,
Makc
yarilo,

No problem. I brought along my Olympus E-3 body, 12-60mm lens & lens hood(24-120mm in 35mm speak), 1 extra battery that I didn't use and 24gb worth of CF memory cards. No filters & a tripod would have been extra weight that would have seen no use. With all the weight I had on my back, I never even noticed the camera hanging around my neck, although I did have one hand on it at all times. Oh yeah, I also brought along a few disposable moistened lens cleaners, as my lens is a dust magnet.

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pdslug
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Postby pdslug » Wed May 07, 2008 4:42 pm

Great pics! looks like a nice hike too.

mcm4090
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Postby mcm4090 » Thu May 08, 2008 6:40 pm

Wow. I think I want to move to Utah.

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NVSteve
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Postby NVSteve » Fri May 09, 2008 9:17 am

mcm4090 wrote:Wow. I think I want to move to Utah.
No, you don't. Visit every chance you get, but don't get the notion of moving here in your head. Trust me on that.


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