I have a plan to see Jacob Hamblin Arch and Coyote Natural Bridge, which are located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. I have only one day and I would like to avoid climbing, so I started to wonder if it is possible to do that. I've read a few articles about that and I know that the most of authors recommend 2-day trips. I found a map of this area and I have few quastions:

  1. Where should I park if I want to go through Hurricane Wash? How long does it takes to get to the Arch and return to the parking area?
  2. There is a short trail named "Water Tank," but I think I need some ropes to do that (at the final stage); am I right? It is possible to return using the same route?
  3. Are there any other trails to these places?

1 Answer 1


The US National Park Service always provides definitive information for this and other such areas. Parking is commonly located at trailhead.

Coyote Gulch may be enjoyed as an overnight backpacking trip or as a long day hike. The mileage and length of time required will depend on your point of entry into the canyon.

  1. Red Well - Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road 30 miles to the signed junction, then drive 1.5 miles to the trailhead.
  2. Hurricane Wash - Follow the Hole-in-the-Rock road 33 miles to the parking area beside the road. The trailhead is located across the road.
  3. Fortymile Ridge: Water Tank- Follow Hole-in-the-Rock road 35 miles to the signed junction, then drive 4 miles to the trailhead. This route requires 100+ feet of class 5 friction climbing.
  4. Fortymile Ridge: Crack in the Wall - Follow Hole-in-the-Rock road 35 miles to the signed junction, then drive 7 miles to the trailhead. The last two miles of this road is through deep sand and is not suitable for low-clearance vehicles. This route contains a large sand dune (700 feet of elevation) that can be strenuous to climb.


  1. From Red Well trailhead to the Escalante River - 13 miles (one way)
  2. Hurricane Wash trailhead to the Escalante River - 12.3 miles (one way)
  3. Fortymile Ridge: Water Tank to Coyote Gulch- 2 miles (one way)
  4. Fortymile Ridge: Crack in the Wall to Coyote Gulch– 2.5 miles (one way)

The State of Utah has a more descriptive guide to hiking Coyote Gulch

Located in the vast Grand Staircase-Escalante desert, Coyote Gulch is a winding, semi-narrow canyon that snakes its way down through incredible red rock country, and joins with the Escalante River just above Lake Powell. The hike is long, best suited for an overnighter, though it can be hiked in one day by those satisfied with a march instead of a casual exploration. Hikers will pass a good number of arches, as well as the hardy wetlands that thrive within the shade and moisture of Utah’s desert oases.

The trailhead is co-located with some water tanks on the Fortymile Ridge, just south and west of the confluence of Coyote Gulch and Escalante Canyon. From that position, hikers can choose to follow the popular route, going from the tanks up to Crack-in-the-Rock, and down to the river, before heading upstream, and eventually climbing out of Coyote Gulch at Jacob Hamblin Arch, or they can choose any of the other routes, such as beginning at Hurricane Wash, which is just under a mile and a half upstream (northwest) of Jacob Hamblin Arch.

Though non-technical, this route is long and strenuous, and requires experience with both overland navigation and major rock-scrambling. Water tanks

Water tanks
Only 4.4 miles up the Fortymile Ridge Road, off of the Hole-in-the-Rock Road coming from the town of Escalante, the water tanks seem to sit out in the middle of nowhere. But it makes the perfect starting point to reach any of the possible trailheads that visitors might choose as the beginning of their adventure.

A crack in the 50-foot cliff allows hikers to shimmy their way down to the sand dune below, and on down to the confluence of the Escalante River and Coyote Gulch. This is a challenging climb, and it is recommended that hikers lower their packs by way of a rope, instead of trying to climb down with them.

Stevens Arch
With a span of 225 feet, and at 160 feet tall, Stevens Arch is one of the largest arches in the country. It sits just to the northeast of the Escalante-Coyote Gulch confluence, and is worth the extra time for a short hike to get a closer look.

Coyote Natural Bridge
Eight miles into the hike, visitors will pass Coyote Natural Bridge, a small arch with a stream that runs underneath it year round.

Jacob Hamblin Arch
The Jacob Hamblin Arch marks the ascent back up to Forty Mile Gulch. The exit climbs the slope that sits atop the arch itself. It is a very steeply pitch climb that requires hikers to be able to hoist themselves and their packs up a 100-foot, nearly 45-degree incline, before it deposits them at the edge of the Fortymile Ridge. The next step is to navigate back to the water tanks and the vehicles.

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