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Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: Davis Gulch

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Distance: 14.4 miles


Discover arches, rock art, and clues to the mystery of Everett Ruess on a 14.5-mile hike along the Escalante River.
  • LaGorce Arch from below
  • Walking the creek
  • Bement Arch
  • Petroglyphs
  • Kris Wagner's filthy pants after going knee-deep into a beaver hole in upper Davis Gulch
  • Glen Canyon Mud Pants #2
  • LaGorce Arch #2
  • LaGorce Arch #1
  • LaGorce Arch #3
  • Davis Gulch Waterfall
  • Cottonwoods #1
  • Cottonwoods #2
  • Stump
  • Overhang #1
  • Overhang #2
  • Davis Gulch Petroglyphs #1
  • Davis Gulch Petroglyphs #2
  • Davis Gulch Petroglyphs #3
  • Davis Gulch Petroglyphs #4
  • Alcove and Lake Powell high-water mark
  • View into Davis Gulch #6
  • View from rim into Davis Gulch #1
  • View into Davis Gulch #2
  • View into Davis Gulch #3
  • View into Davis Gulch #4
  • View into Davis Gulch #5
  • View into Davis Gulch #6
  • Approach hike and 50 Mile Bench
  • Reedy Bushwhack
  • Bushwhacking injury
  • Remnants of Everett Ruess's horse corral
  • Pourover
  • LaGorce Arch in shadow

Journeys in Glen Canyon National Recreational Area should be measured by jaw-dropping moments, not quad-busting elevation—which is to say this 14.5-mile trek will keep your mouth hanging open for days. The trail descends through Navajo sandstone domes and open slickrock before entering Davis Gulch proper via chiseled steps and following a lush wash filled with sagebrush, yucca, and snakeweed.

You'll camp in stunning alcoves that were once at the heart of a thriving Native American civilization (they abandoned the area about 700 years ago), fill a memory card with pictures of LaGorce and Bement Arches, and get a taste of last known camp of Everett Ruess, an enigmatic writer and painter who disappeared here in 1934.

-Mapped by Kris Wagner

Trail Reviews & Comments

READERS COMMENTS

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Matt Colver
Jun 15, 2014

We rented boats at Bullfrog Marina and took them to the entrance of Davis Gulch and hiked a few miles up the canyon that way. We saw LaGorce Arch, two waterfalls, and saw the large alcove. We also noted the beaver activity and the return of cottonwoods due to low reservoir levels. Going by boat made for an easy hike. We had moms and office workers not noted for extreme backpacking and everyone had an enjoyable walk up the Gulch. However it is pretty mucky with shoe stealing quicksand at the beginning. We did this in late March when the reservoir was at its lowest level. We also visited Cathedral in the Desert waterfall by boat.

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