Suggestions for mid-Nov backpacking trip

Eugene

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Mar 13, 2012
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137
Wanted to do a SW backpacking trip in mid October but with all kinds of scheduling problems won't work till Nov 11-16. Was thinking about Coyote Gulch Escalante. Would mid Nov be too late? Any other suggestions? Also thinking about Grand Gulch on Cedar Mesa. Looking for 20 or so miles not overly difficult with water available. We are from Houston TX so not looking to hike in snow or extremely cold temps
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
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May 31, 2015
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If it were me, I'd pick Grand Gulch over Coyote Gulch for that time period if I were planning a trip more than a week in advance, just to avoid having to wade through any water in case of cold temperatures. I also just really like Grand Gulch though. Couldn't tell you much about the extent of water availability there though. You'd have to plan around reliable springs.

And there will always be a risk of temperatures being colder than average and/or getting snowed on that time of year. So be prepared for that possibility as you plan.
 

LarryBoy

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Jan 4, 2015
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If you're looking to avoid the cold, Coyote would be a better choice than Grand Gulch (at least upper Grand Gulch, where most of the rock art and ruins are). The elevation difference (6k for Grand Gulch vs 4k for Coyote) definitely makes a difference at that time of year. Both are perfectly doable, but you'll need fewer layers if you choose Coyote.

I would think about two things if you're planning to do Coyote at that time of year:
1) You'll be walking through water constantly, so your feet will likely get a little cold in the mornings and evenings when it's not so warm out. Neoprene socks are probably overkill, but I might double up with two pairs of conventional socks were I you
2) Part of the beauty of Coyote is the idyllic lushness of the canyon. By mid-November, the leaves will definitely be falling and things may appear more brown and gray than John Q. Influencer's instagram portrays. Still a lovely place, but just be prepared for that. If you're lucky, you may catch a few late-falling aspens in color.

One other suggestion would be the Needles or Maze of Canyonlands. Permits are definitely easier to score in November than in October, and though the temps will be a little cooler than in Coyote, you won't be walking through water.
 
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