Coyote gulch via 40 mile ridge road

BrendanLB

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Jul 21, 2014
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New Yorker here planning a two week trip out to southern utah in late September. I've got company at the beginning and end of the trip, and will be making stops at zion, bryce and arches, but in between I have a few days to myself with which I would like to hike coyote gulch via the crack route.

My question is regarding the potential for deep sand traps along 40mile, and whether making the trip via crack in the wall will be feasible without a high clearance vehicle or some sort of shuttle arrangement.

Additionally, as I will be alone and without ropes, would an exit via jacob hamblin be a mistake? Is it wiser to double back to the crack or is the hamblin exit reasonably safe? I've heard it can be quite daunting with no ropes to a non-climber.

Thanks in advance.
 

Tater Head

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I have only made it as far as the water tanks off forty mile ridge (Jacob Hamblin trail head). I was driving a 2001 Chevy Malibu. No deep sad for me just rough roads. From what I have been told and read that the last few mile of Forty mile Ridge commonly has deep sand drifts that would require a high clearance vehicle. If it rains the road can become impassable. When I went we hiked in at Jacob Hamblin Arch hiked down to Natural Bridge and then back out Jacob Hamblin. The hike down can be a little unerveing but the hike out wasn't bad. Just go slow and place your steps. You could probably hitch a ride back to the crack. If not I think it would be about a 6 mile walk back to the crack? You should check out the trip report section there is a ton of information there. Good luck...
 
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Laura

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I went out there with a high clearance vehicle that only had 2WD and the deep sand on 40 Mile Ridge turned us back. The guy I was with was a local who had tons of off road experience, but he took one look at the sand and said no way.
 

Nick

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As Tater said, the deep sand isn't a problem until between the water tank and the end of the road. From there it's pretty bad. You could always park there and walk down and try to hitch a ride. I haven't done the Hamblin route but from what I've seen there is no way I would do it solo. I'm not even sure I want to do it at all. There is another loop option you can do that starts and ends at the water tank. Walk overland to lower Hurricane, drop in then hike down canyon and exit at Crack. Walk back up the road and you're done. I have a trip report and lots of input on that route here on BCP if you do some searching.
 

BrendanLB

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Jul 21, 2014
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Thanks for the info, guys. Nick I will definitely look for that TR, but I'm curious, would I likely be able to spot the route out at hurricane if I did that loop in reverse? I'm just sort of attached to the idea of starting coyote from that amazing vista at the crack in the wall so I'm searching for a way to do it from there.

Worse comes to worst I will just go out and back from the crack. Happy to know that I can at least get to the water tanks, if I'm not mistaken it's only 4-5 miles from there.

Thanks, again.
 

BrendanLB

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And no, nick, I really doubt I would even seriously consider the hamblin exit solo. Likely wouldn't do it either way, especially with a pack.
 

tetter36

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Jun 5, 2014
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I would not recommend driving on the road out to the parking area closest to crack in the wall. Also, depending on the size of your pack, if you're taking one, I would recommend that you use a rope to lower it down at crack in the wall. The passage getting down from the top into the canyon can be pretty narrow in some places. Just a forewarning, the carins are pretty sporadic at times and some of the carins that my group and I followed led us away from the crack.
 

Nick

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Thanks for the info, guys. Nick I will definitely look for that TR, but I'm curious, would I likely be able to spot the route out at hurricane if I did that loop in reverse? I'm just sort of attached to the idea of starting coyote from that amazing vista at the crack in the wall so I'm searching for a way to do it from there

There are multiple exit possibilities from lower Hurricane, so yes, I think it would be no problem if you are reasonably proficient with off-trail navigation in the desert.
 

Tammy B

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<<<That pic is of me climbing out Hamblin. Pretty scary but I am not a climber and I managed with a full pack. You should have no problem. There was a "regular" car at the trailhead when we went so if you're a good off-road type driver, you should be good to drive to the trailhead at Crack in the Wall.
 

Yvonne

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we hiked out Jacob Hambin exit in June and it was easy. A lot of good handholds and footholds and ledges, none of us, including the kids, removed the packs or had a hard time.
It was not difficult to get out from Jacob Hamblin and I will definitely do it again this way, I even consider getting into Coyote Gulch via this route next time.
The road to the Crack TH was surprisingly in good shape end of June. It was way better than two years ago where I encountered deep and soft sand. Our conditions this time were superb but are only what we had reflected only the conditions at that moment before the monsoon started to kick in.
To play it safe I would definitely go with a high clearance vehicle, even 4x4.
 

Mike Yang

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I went down to the Crack trailhead in October of last year. Had a jeep, and was pretty glad I did though I remember it being more because of pretty massive ruts than deep sand.

Also, just want to echo @tetter36 on taking packs through the crack. Cannot imagine doing it without using a rope. I couldn't get through without taking off my day pack, and there are some spots where pulling the day pack with me was somewhat taxing. Would be pretty difficult with a heavier pack.

Definitely worth doing the route though! The view is spectacular from the top, and dropping into the basin is an amazing experience. Have fun!
 

BrendanLB

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Thanks, everybody. Nick, it took me about a week of searching back through your old trip reports (complete with many detours through newer trip reports haha) but I did finally find the one on that loop. Looks good. I'm debating just doing it in that direction, although I sort of dread climbing that dune.

Thanks, again.
 

Nick

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Thanks, everybody. Nick, it took me about a week of searching back through your old trip reports (complete with many detours through newer trip reports haha) but I did finally find the one on that loop. Looks good. I'm debating just doing it in that direction, although I sort of dread climbing that dune.

Thanks, again.

Don't dread it, just do it early in the morning or in the shade in the evening. I thought it was going to be bad but I actually really liked climbing it. Nice soft sand and great views every time you turn around! :)
 

steve

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You couldn't pay me to exit via the crack in the wall. That uphill sand hike to get to the crack would NOT be fun.

If I only had one vehicle, I'd park at the water tank and try to hitch a ride from a stranger from the water tank over to the crack in the wall trailhead. If I didn't run into anyone to give me a ride, I would take the route Nick mentioned. I'd have no issues going down Jacob Hamblin, but I'm used to hiking on stuff like that. My father in law, on the other hand, had never done anything like it before and it was quite challenging for him to climb out there.
 

WasatchWill

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For what it's worth, when Jess and I did it in 2009, we went in and out via the crack. We used rope to lower the packs but they got beat up pretty good tumbling to over the edge.

Hiking back up the dune was not nearly as bad as it looked. As Nick said, just do it in the morning and you'll be surprised at how quickly you can get up it if you're in average to good shape.

Once we hit the crack, we opted to unpack our packs and take everything through piece by piece before packing it all back together above it. Took a bit more time that way, but spared our packs from any more damage and rips or tears.

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk
 

Yvonne

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You couldn't pay me to exit via the crack in the wall. That uphill sand hike to get to the crack would NOT be fun.

I completely agree. We did it once and I don't know, I must have been insane or something to agree to hike out the dune.
It was awful, the worst climb ever. We started super early but it still took hours to get out as you can't go fast on that steep sand.
Never ever again!!!
Even going down the dune is no fun but going up - you have to be crazy to even consider it.
 

steve

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Hiking back up the dune was not nearly as bad as it looked. As Nick said, just do it in the morning and you'll be surprised at how quickly you can get up it if you're in average to good shape.

maybe not for you superheroes, but for us mere mortals it sounds tough. ;)
 

ledcat

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Jun 21, 2014
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Like others said need high clearance for making the left on the road to crack in the wall. Yeah, don' t come out that way for sure, go in that way.
 
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