Lush desert canyon oasis
soaring sunset-colored canyon walls
Natural Arches, Bridges, and waterfalls
Thrilling, unique entrance
Gurgling Natural springs
quintessential Escalante canyon
Geologic Immersion or Luxury Backpacking
POINT OF ORIGIN
GEOLOGIST ADVENTURER LEVEL
The Undergraduate geologist adventurer is capable of hiking 2-6 miles daily. Trails are generally maintained and have 1500 feet or less of change in elevation. Your backpack will weigh between 25-35 lbs. Undergraduate time traveling hikers must be healthy and relatively fit. Previous backpacking experience is a good idea, but not required.
Explore a pristine Escalante canyon that has everything but crowds
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument holds some of Utah’s greatest hiking and wilderness adventures. Coyote Gulch is one of them, with world-class narrows, towering canyon walls, and outstanding natural bridges and arches. Our Coyote Gulch Backpacking tour takes us through the famous Crack-in-the-Wall route, paralleling Coyote Creek on its way to the Escalante River. Along the way we will pass under incredible geologic wonders such as Jacob Hamblin Arch, Cliff Arch, and Coyote Natural Bridge among other stunning features. Bring your sense of wonder along with your camera, you will need them both!
Hikers should have the ability to walk up noticeable elevation change and over uneven ground and surface for up to 9 miles per day and carrying a small pack of gear. Many routes and trails don’t have a shortcut or turn-around option. The hiking party moves at a gentle but steady walking pace with breaks.
A real back-packing trip, comfort is what you carry with you. There are no showers or electricity on the trail and restrooms are primitive. Backpackers can expect to sleep on a sleeping pad outdoors or in a small tent. Food consists of single-entrée meals, some food are freeze-dried or dehydrated with a few fresh food selections. Meals are prepared by your guide and served “group-style” out of pots and usually eaten out of personal meal-kits while sitting on the ground
While hikers will pass through areas popular with tourists, they will spend most of the time in areas specially selected to be off the beaten path. There will be practically no wait time or crowds anywhere past the trail-heads. Overnighting is private and remote.
Geologic time travel primer
The Coyote Gulch Backpacking tour begins at the Forty-Mile Ridge Trailhead in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. After a classic slickrock traverse over burnt-orange sandstone waves, we’ll enter Coyote Gulch through the Crack-in-the-wall, one of the most memorable non-technical rock scrambles on the Colorado Plateau. The group will make its way to the confluence of Coyote Creek and the Escalante River before hiking upcanyon to our camp. We will spend the evening near a natural spring that bursts forth from the sculpted sandstone walls.
Time in the car: 2.5 hours
Elevation & Distance: 7 miles, 500 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAYs 2 & 3
Our second and third days will see us backpacking through more jaw-dropping canyon scenery as we make our way through Coyote Gulch. Get ready for outstanding natural features, cascading waterfalls, hidden secrets, and classic Escalante Country scenes.
Elevation & Distance: 5-8 mi/day, 300 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our final day will see us up and out of Coyote Gulch through Hurricane Wash. It will seem as though we are hiking through time itself, as watery canyon gives way to slickrock desert replete with slots canyons, hoodoos, pinnacles, carved washes, and imposing cliff faces. Upon reaching our shuttle, we will stop in Escalante to celebrate like geologists, with cold libations and great eats at some of our favorite little Utah gems. The group will then head back to Kanab.
Elevation & Distance: 7 mi, 300 foot elevation gain
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Give me some details!
What is included in the Trip Rate?:
Your geologist/guide with all professional, medical, and backcountry certifications
Gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trek poles
Kitchen: bowls, cups, utensils, backcountry kitchen
Food: Full meals and trail snacks
Transportation: Roundtrip from the host hotel to all activities/attractions
Fees: Permits, Entrance Fees, Camping Fees, all necessary trip fees
What is the Food Situation?:
Blue Marble takes care of all meals on your tour. Starting with breakfast on your first day through lunch the final day, your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of chef-inspired meals on the trail and in camp. All dietary needs are accommodated, so please get in touch with us to give us details of your requirements. There may be times where special needs necessitate a small rate increase.
Meals with include one main dish, which is prepared by your geologist/guide. Fresh options may be limited, as backpacking typically requires lightweight, non-perishable foods. Trail snacks will include meats, cheeses, nuts, chocolate, and other filling, delicious, and varying backcountry food.
Is there anything that i need to provide myself?:
Transportation to and from the host city/hotel
Lodging prior to and following your trip
Gear such as clothes, rainwear, and boots/shoes
Personal items such as toiletries and sunscreen
BMAG does not provide water bottles or Camelback-Style bladders
Personal lighting such as headlamps or flashlights
We suggest gratuities for your guide, typically 10-15% of the total trip cost
*Booked guests will receive a detailed information packet
What kind of group size can i expect?
Standard backpacking tours will accommodate 6 people plus one geologist/guide. The maximum group size is 10 guests and 2 guides.
Can I bring small children?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble’s scheduled trips due to insurance liabilities. This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy
I want to book a trip, how can i do that?
Tour bookings can be completed through our online booking platform or through our office. A 50% deposit is required, and the full trip rate will be due 90 days prior to trip departure. Bookings within the 90-day window require payment in full. Trip rates are payable through our online booking platform or over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee).
Tell me more!
Where do tours start and finish?
This trip will begin/end in Kanab, Utah and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Kanab. You will want to fly into St. George or Las Vegas.
Can I meet the guide before the trip?
A pre-trip briefing is held at the host hotel the evening before trip departure. Any questions will be answered, and you will have the opportunity to discuss anything you wish with your geologist/guide. Most trips will depart between 6am and 9am the following morning.
ummm, what should i do with all my luggage and whatnot?
BMAG provides all transport throughout the trip. Our guests staying at the host hotel may choose to leave their car at the hotel. Our designated host hotels will typically store your luggage if necessary. In the event that this cannot be arranged, BMAG is more than happy to store luggage and personal belongings in a private and secure location during your tour.
how should i plan my travel after the trip?
In general, most trips can expect to be back to the host hotel by 6pm on the final day of the trip. Some trips may return earlier. BMAG typically recommends that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Each trip has its own particular set of circumstances and logistics, so please contact us with any specific questions you may have.
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Join Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism on geology-themed hiking and backpacking adventures! Find the perfect Grand Canyon hiking tour, Utah Canyon Country Tour, Vermillion Cliffs Backpacking or hiking.