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Backpacker Magazine – September 2005

ESCALANTE: A Complete Adventure Guide

When Utahans really wants to disappear, they head to the magnificent canyons of Grand Staircase-Escalante.

by: Steve Howe


Quick Hit
Dry Fork Coyote Gulch
It's no secret, but if you like your canyons narrow, this is your place.

Three incredible slots - Peek-a-boo, Spooky (on the cover and at right), and Brimstone - enter Dry Fork from the north. The first is an easy hike, making this a popular trail on weekends and holidays. But most visitors turn around after visiting Peek-a-boo. Spooky, .6 mile downcanyon, is long and scrambly, with winding corridors and exotically textured rock. Brimstone takes more effort. Continuing 1.5 more miles, you must downclimb a 20-foot boulder jam to locate the unremarkable beginning of the ultratight gulch a few feet beyond mile 2 (12S 0482623E 4147514N). Spooky and Brimstone both favor skinny hikers; several sections require you to suck it in, hard and your pack must be dragged. Turn around in Brimstone once the canyon becomes too narrow for passage.

The Way
From UT 12 just east of Escalante, drive 26.5 miles south on Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Follow the signed spur road for .7 mile, turn left at the fork, and go 1 mile to the trailhead. Dogs are specifically prohibited here.

USGS quad Big Hollow Wash




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