Backpacking in Coyote Gulch the first week of March

mike54704

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Feb 17, 2015
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Hey everyone I am planning on doing a 3 day hike in Coyote Gulch with some friends the first week of March this year (so next week). We are driving from just north of Atlanta, GA. I know that the closest town is Escalante, but on Google maps it says that from Escalante to Coyote Gulch is about 48 miles, but it takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes?! Is this because it's mostly dirt roads or something?

My other question is regarding the weather. I have been keeping up with Escalante's weather for the past week and it seems to be snowing like every other day. I know that Coyote Gulch is almost an hour southeast into what looks like the desert. Will Coyote Gulch have pretty much the same type of weather as Escalante, or will it generally be a bit warmer?

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

IntrepidXJ

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Depends what you are driving and what condition the road is in, but I have made it to the Hole-in-the-Rock from Escalante in less than an hour with good conditions of the road. It's just a graded dirt road the whole way and if conditions are favorable, it shouldn't take you more than an hour or so to reach the trailhead.
 

Nick

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Weather at Coyote is usually warmer than Escalante. You drop a lot of elevation, Escalante is at like 5,800' and usually has a forecast a lot like Salt Lake City while Coyote Gulch is at and below 4,000'. The NWS spot forecasts are good for that, or use the forecast for Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell. The end of Coyote Gulch is basically at the same elevation (just under 3,700').

Depends what you are driving and what condition the road is in, but I have made it to the Hole-in-the-Rock from Escalante in less than an hour with good conditions of the road.

Holy crap! That's averaging 60mph!! You sure about that? I've been told I drive like a maniac, but it still takes me at least 90 minutes or so just to make it to Davis Gulch. Going through all the washes and then that last 7 miles of rough stuff to Hole-in-the-Rock really slows me down.

As for you, Mike. I'd bet it takes your average person 1.5-2.5 1-2 hours to make it to Fortymile Ridge. And if you're extra cautious it could be longer.
 

IntrepidXJ

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Holy crap! That's averaging 60mph!! You sure about that? I've been told I drive like a maniac, but it still takes me at least 90 minutes or so just to make it to Davis Gulch. Going through all the washes and then that last 7 miles of rough stuff to Hole-in-the-Rock really slows me down.

Yep, I was hauling ass that day to reach the end before sunset. The road was in the best shape I've ever seen it that day. I typically drive pretty fast on those kinds of roads to begin with :)
 

Nick

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That's nuts. I'd hate to imagine how fast you were going on the straights to make up for the slow parts and still average 60. Must have been a wild ride!

I'm driving most of the way down it next weekend. Hope the snow melts off quick.
 
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mike54704

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Depends what you are driving and what condition the road is in, but I have made it to the Hole-in-the-Rock from Escalante in less than an hour with good conditions of the road. It's just a graded dirt road the whole way and if conditions are favorable, it shouldn't take you more than an hour or so to reach the trailhead.

@IntrepidXJ Thanks for the heads up! I definitely won't be driving this fast on this road. haha
 

mike54704

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Weather at Coyote is usually warmer than Escalante. You drop a lot of elevation, Escalante is at like 5,800' and usually has a forecast a lot like Salt Lake City while Coyote Gulch is at and below 4,000'. The NWS spot forecasts are good for that, or use the forecast for Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell. The end of Coyote Gulch is basically at the same elevation (just under 3,700').



Holy crap! That's averaging 60mph!! You sure about that? I've been told I drive like a maniac, but it still takes me at least 90 minutes or so just to make it to Davis Gulch. Going through all the washes and then that last 7 miles of rough stuff to Hole-in-the-Rock really slows me down.

As for you, Mike. I'd bet it takes your average person 1.5-2.5 hours to make it to Fortymile Ridge. And if you're extra cautious or in a car or something, it could be a lot longer.


@Nick Thanks for the advice. That is good news about the weather. We are actually driving a '98 Chevy Malibu haha so we will be taking it slow and easy assuming the road is even open. We will be driving there on Monday.
 

Nick

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@Nick Thanks for the advice. That is good news about the weather. We are actually driving a '98 Chevy Malibu haha so we will be taking it slow and easy assuming the road is even open. We will be driving there on Monday.

I wouldn't try to drive that to the Fortymile Ridge Trailhead. Some really deep, soft sand out there. Hurricane Wash is okay for cars if the road is dry and in good shape.
 

Laura

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Actually, I remember it only being a little more than an hour or so from Forty Mile Ridge to the start of Hole-in-the-Rock, and we weren't driving particularly fast…..
 

Nick

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I was a little long in my estimate, I suppose. It's 36 miles to Fortymile Ridge, so yes, an hour or so, but maintaining a 36mph average on a dirt road is a pretty good speed. I usually go 40-50 on the open, straight parts but nowhere near that on the windy parts through washes, etc. (and I'm usually flying past people) And if the roads are bad...

I'm using this thread as my defense the next time someone tells me I'm driving too fast on that road!
 

IntrepidXJ

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Driving too fast on a backroad near Moab in my old XJ:



The nice thing about steel wheels is that I was able to beat it back into shape with a sledgehammer and fill it back up :)

When I first got my JK I ended up hitting the front bumpstops too much by driving fast on the backroads and bent the bumpstop holder so that it made contact with the spring. I had to cut it, straighten it and weld it back into place. I added 1" lift all around to give me a little more room and haven't had a problem since :)
 

Bob

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Rocks and more sharp rocks on that road...lots get flats, slower and easy...
 

mike54704

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Feb 17, 2015
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I wouldn't try to drive that to the Fortymile Ridge Trailhead. Some really deep, soft sand out there. Hurricane Wash is okay for cars if the road is dry and in good shape.


Alright isn't the Hurricane Wash trailhead off of Fortymile Ridge Road as well though? Does it just not get bad until after the Hurricane Wash turnoff?
 

Tater Head

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I have taken my 2001 Chevy Malibu down forty mile ridge road before, but only as far as the water tank (Jacob Hablin arch). The road is a rocky mess but if you go slow you should be able to make it that far. I have never been past the water tank I have heard reports of deep soft sand. A lot of people don't like this way into the canyon due to the steep angle of the slick rock. If you can get passed the exposure and you don't have a ton of time it will get you right in the middle of it all real quick. I have never hiked in from Huricane Wash but am sure it would be a beautiful hike and well worth your time...
 
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