Help! Looking for a 1-2 day trip


May 8, 2014
Looking for some suggestions. Wanting to go backpacking mid September, but I haven’t been for YEARS, and I’ll also be going with someone who has never been before. What are some easier 1-2 night backpacking trips? Looking at some in the uintas, but I’m afraid it may be too cold by that timeframe. I was also looking at coyote gulch, but it seems like that may be a bit too difficult for a first time backpacker. Any suggestions would be so appreciated!
At least in my opinion, the Uintas aren't too cold in mid September. I'd guess temperatures would be high 20s or low 30s at night, 50s or 60s during the day. Low chance of precipitation. No bugs. Far fewer people. Perfect time to be out and hit the normally busy areas, if you ask me. For a novice, I'd take them up above Clyde Lake to near the Three Divide Lakes, John Lake, etc. Easy drive, low mileage/high reward hike, and plenty of space to spread out and get away from other people.
I actually think that Coyote Gulch is ideal for first time backpacking, especially if starting at Hurricane Wash ... the hiking is straightforward with very minimal obstacles, there is available water everywhere, with an abundance of great camping spots and, most importantly, the scenery is absolutely glorious

You may have read some trip reports where people start the hike from Forty Mile Ridge and descend into the canyon above Jacob Hamblin Arch, or via Crack-in-the-Wall ... these are definitely a bit more tricky than the simple walk in from Hurricane Wash
If you're interested in canyon country, perhaps it would be good to hike the Escalante River between the town of Escalante and the Hwy 12 bridge. I'm not sure what conditions are like there in September (is it still monsoon season?) and assume that others on BCP can advise about that. But the hiking is pretty easy (hardly any elevation change), you have a constant supply of water you can filter so you don't have to carry too much, if it's hot you can cool off in the water, and as you get closer to the Hwy 12 bridge you can explore the side canyons if you want. You'd have to figure out a shuttle or be willing to hitchhike (unless you'll have two cars). If you decide to do this, there's lots of information available online or I can share some details with you (where to see a few Native American remains and other interesting structures).
I'd skip Coyote Gulch for a first-timer because you're not on a trail much of the time. You're walking on loose rocks in the wash for a good bit and then you'll likely have wet feet for most of the trip. Give your friend a proper easy trail so they'll be comfortable and want to do more difficult trips later.

Any location, or only Utah? This mid-September I'm taking a friend to Yosemite for a relaxing old favorite with some of the most beautiful water features I've seen anywhere: Grand Canyon of The Tuolumne. If you want to make it easier, just do an out-and-back from Tuolumne Meadows via Glen Aulin and go as far as you'd like to see more waterfalls and slides. The further you go, the fewer people. Get the "Glen Aulin Pass-Through" permit so you don't have to camp with others at the closed High Sierra Camp, unless it's reassuring to your friend to see other tents. "Walk-Up" permits are easy to get and are released online at 7am Pacific Time one week before travel. You could even do the standard full trip all the way down the river to exit at White Wolf, but that's 3 nights at a relaxed pace and has a tough climb at the end. You could fit both people's food into a single small canister (required).
Yellowstone ... Dayhikes
Coyote Gulch is maybe not the best... long drive on a pretty crappy road, what trail exist are only use trails, and it's pretty much all going to be walking in sand with a good bit of walking in water. May or may not be great for beginners (I met plenty of first time hikers when I was there so it sure can work, just may or may not be what you're looking for).

You could camp somewhere near Escalante just far enough off the highway and do some very excellent day hikes. Steve Allen's Canyoneering 3 can be a decent reference, though you have to read between the lines sometimes to find good single day hikes. Could also start wandering along the Boulder Mail Trail and just explore. I've only hiked in from the airstrip a few miles but that's some very neat country.

Yellowstone is not a bad suggestion. Long as you're paying attention to the weather(especially for the high country), there are tons of options in the greater Yellowstone area. I might be biased because I spent a few days there recently, but there are pretty much endless options.

Might be worth looking into Moab area that time of year... if temps are mild the Needles district is an area of endless day hikes also. Can camp just outside the national park in either campgrounds or use dispersed camping.
Looking for some suggestions. Wanting to go backpacking mid September, but I haven’t been for YEARS, and I’ll also be going with someone who has never been before. What are some easier 1-2 night backpacking trips? Looking at some in the uintas, but I’m afraid it may be too cold by that timeframe. I was also looking at coyote gulch, but it seems like that may be a bit too difficult for a first time backpacker. Any suggestions would be so appreciated!

I agree with TrailScot that Coyote Gulch via Hurricane Wash is a good choice, and I've met a number of hikers for whom Coyote Gulch was one of their first backpacking trips. The navigation is mostly pretty easy, there's water in Coyote Gulch itself, there are no serious obstacles, and the canyon is spectacularly beautiful. However, I'd like to add a few caveats. The big one is that the access road (Hole in the Rock Road) is an infamously bad dirt road that's almost always washboarded (often severely so), and a roundtrip drive to the Hurricane Wash TH will be ~66 miles of brutal wear-and-tear on your car. And while mid-September tends to be dry, a rainstorm could make Hole in the Rock Road impassable in places. The other consideration with Coyote Gulch is that it can still be unpleasantly hot in September.

We could narrow down the options if you could provide a few additional preferences for the route. For example, are you looking for an obvious and easy-to-follow trail, or is a cairned route OK? How about mileage per day and elevation gain? Any preferences for the geographic location? And are you open to dayhikes as an alternative to a short backpacking route?
You had already mentioned the Uintas- so I'd 2nd @Jackson recommendation with Clyde lake. Easy trail with a good payoff, not much distance. Keep an eye on the weather report and should be a great one!
for me, September is on the cusp of being too warm in the desert -- as people suggest it would be excellent to have flexible plans and if the desert is hot go to the mountains, and if the mountains are stormy go to the desert.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
U Help with a Winds itinerary Trip Planning 31
wsp_scott Redwoods planning help Trip Planning 6
balzaccom The Beatles were right: Help! Trip Planning 0
balzaccom A little help, please? Backpacking 0
B 1-2 Night Sierra Trip Help Trip Planning 3
regehr Help identifying stone tool? General Discussion 6
balzaccom Help on the trail--literally General Discussion 7
Miya Down Gear Odor Help Gear 31
Duketogo13 Questions about packrafting the Escalante/Lake Powell in September. Need help! Trip Planning 5
The Trout Whisperer HELP w/ lightweight chair recommendations!!!!! Gear 3
J Yikes, I need help deciding.... Trip Planning 5
Titans Paw prints, help pls! General Discussion 32
J Need Park City area Hiking help Trip Planning 2
Matt Van Natta HELP: Wind River Range, Baker Lake to Green River Lakes Trip Planning 7
pstm13 HELP NEEDED- Idaho in Early June for 2-3 Days Trip Planning 6
JBPHXAZ Dark Canyon Backpacking Help Trip Planning 9
DrNed Need Help With Mosquitoes? General Discussion 2
wsp_scott Help me buy a bike Gear 10
N Avenza IOS app help with Caltopo Resource Discussions 4
o2bav8 10/12/18 - help? General Discussion 12
Jimmy Glacier Route Help Trip Planning 0
TrektheWorld Need help with Uintas trip - camping Trip Planning 8
marquiri Help with Bridger-Teton National Forest Trip Planning 2
MurrMan81 Help Planning Utah Backpacking Trip Trip Planning 9
Cburton Teton Crest Trail Permit Issues - Help! Trip Planning 15
B Trip Selection Help: Tumble Creek or Sanford-Dadina Plateau (WStE AK) Trip Planning 12
LoneWolfOutdoors Help choosing between two tents Gear 8
Devin Ashby Southern Utah Backpacking Loop Help Trip Planning 9
N Help choosing trekking footwear General Discussion 3
uintahiker App building help General Discussion 10
AKay09 Teton Shuttle Help 8/18 or 8/19 Trip Planning 0
CCoC Yellowstone Itineraries Help Trip Planning 3
DrNed Help With Float Trip Planning Trip Planning 3
genez Teton shuttle help 7/10 ? Trip Planning 23
Artemus Help Requested - Conserving the San Rafael Swell Wilderness - Interested? General Discussion 16
DrNed Help With Water On White Rim Trip Planning 11
AKay09 Yellowstone/Tetons Help Trip Planning 40
WasatchWill Seeking a little help for Fall Break with family in GSENM Trip Planning 4
Outdoors24 Tent help Gear 10
Noun Sequitur Sunglasses Help Gear 15
stu heilsberg Help planning Uintas trip Trip Planning 1
Ross Water Canyon to White Wave (help & invite) Trip Planning 8
Ross Help/Invite:Cape Solitude at rim of Colorado & Little Colorado confluence Trip Planning 0
Nick Waterproof Camera: Help me decide! Gear 16
Ross Help choosing which GPS to hike in USA if buying in UK Gear 2
Blake Merrell Help! First Trip to the Winds. Trip Planning 90
Nick Help me win a float trip down Cataract Canyon General Discussion 19
rich67 Need help gearing up for multi-day paddle..1st time out. Gear 12
bscuderi capitol reef help Trip Planning 7
MVS Can you help me? General Discussion 2

Similar threads