By Michael Lanza

Whether you’re an expert desert backpacker, taking a first multi-day hike in the Southwest canyon country, or heading out with your family, the three-day hike of Coyote Gulch has everything you’d want in a canyon trip: soaring, redrock canyon walls that go for miles, surprisingly lush greenery, a year-round creek that saves you from having to carry a lot of water, and relatively easy hiking. Little wonder that this tributary canyon of the Escalante River, in southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, has earned a reputation as a classic.

Check out the photos below for inspiration. Then read my story about a weeklong family trip in southern Utah, during which we backpacked Coyote Gulch and dayhiked two really fun, beginner-friendly slot canyons in the Escalante, Peek-a-Boo Gulch and Spooky Gulch.

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That story also describes dayhikes we took in Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks, and includes many more photos, a video, and info for planning your own trip.

See all of my stories about hiking and backpacking in southern Utah, including my stories about Zion, Arches, and Canyonlands national parks, and all stories about hiking, backpacking, family adventures, and national park adventures at The Big Outside.


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