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It was still quite early by the time we completed setting up our tents. It was officially a 'lazy afternoon' and we had time on our hands. We therefore decided that a short walk down to the Coyote Gulch-Escalante River confluence might be a nice way to burn off a couple of hours before dinner. With just a water bottle in hand, we started off down-canyon. According to the map, the confluence was less than a mile away.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Hike to the confluence
A little deeper
Slideslope to a point
We very quickly reached the point at which the backpacking route headed off uphill, up the sandy slope that led to crack-in-the-wall, and the way out onto the flat desert tablelands above. But we weren't interested in that right now - we wanted to see if we could get down to the confluence of Coyote Gulch's stream and the Escalante. Given the ranger's warning the previous day, I was especially keen to see the Escalante River myself, and compare his warning to the actual state of the river.

Unfortunately, streambed access was soon blocked by a 30-foot high vertical drop. There was a scramble route around the obstacle, but it had a rather exposed, slopey section, and I didn't feel comfortable asking Ewart and Roy to cross it. So, we instead decided to hike up onto the ledges above, up to an excellent lookout point above the confluence that Jenn, Roland, Pu and I had explored in 2006.
Amazing lookout
Jenn and mom
Jenn and Roy
The lookout is a wonderful spot to take in the very impressive canyon scenery of the lower Escalante. We could also see the thin ribbon of the river itself from up here, and... well, it didn't look too bad. Perhaps the distance [between us and the river] was fooling us?
Escalante and Stevens Arch
On a ledge above the Escalante
Amazing lookout
The time of day and the weather conditions made for much better photography than the last time I was here, and I took time getting lots of great shots looking both upstream and downstream. I also climbed up above the rest of our group and got a few shots looking down upon them, including some wide-angle shots with them looking tiny in the corner - the sort of thing that puts scale into the scene and which shows a bit more of the grandeur of it all.
courtesy JInnes
Stevens Arch, Closeup
Hiking back
Andrew at camp
We then hiked back to camp, arriving with plenty of time to laze around some more. We sat out on the warm bedrock opposite our tents and dangled our feet in the gently-flowing stream. Ewart was keen on having a proper bath, but the depth of the stream wasn't enough. To remedy this, he embarked upon an extensive waterworks project to create a tub of sorts in which to immerse himself. In the end, mother nature proved the victor, and the too-shallow tub was slowly but surely reclaimed by the current.
Splashing near camp
Tentsite, Camp 2, Coyote Gulch
Lounging streamside
courtesy JInnes
Lounging streamside
Welsh Water Berm
Always at work
Excavation work, part II
Excavation work, part III
It was finally time to retire to our campsite for dinner, and then prepare to set in for the night. This we did, followed by an impromptu live reading of Murder in the Chilcotin -- by the author himself. It's not every day that you get an author all the way into a desert canyon to give a reading of one of his works!
Second night's camp
Glowing archway
Stevens Arch from camp
Final rays of light
Dinner at camp 2
Giving a reading
The audience
Below is a video sequence containing scenes from the second day of our Coyote Gulch Backpack. Click directly on the image below to start it.

Video, Coyote Gulch Backpack Day 2 - Click on video to start

Interactive Trackmap - Coyote Gulch Day 2 - Click Map to Expand
Hike Data - Coyote Gulch Backpack, Day 2
Start Time: 8:36a.m.
End Time: 2:54p.m.
Duration: 6h18m
Distance: 9.05 km (5.62 mi)
Average Speed: 1.4 km/hr (0.9 mph)
Start Elevation: 3953ft (1205m) *
Max Elevation: 4346ft (1325m) *
Min Elevation: 3829ft (1167m) *
End Elevation: 3848ft (1173m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 306ft (93m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 762ft (232m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
Walk to Confluence
Start Time: 3:48p.m.
End Time: 5:34p.m.
Duration: 1h45m
Distance: 3.04 km (1.89 mi)
Average Speed: 1.7 km/hr (1.1 mph)
Start Elevation: 3768ft (1148m) *
Max Elevation: 4047ft (1233m) *
Min Elevation: 3712ft (1132m) *
End Elevation: 3777ft (1151m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 332ft (101m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 290ft (88m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
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[ Introduction | April 30 - Fairyland | May 1 - Red Breaks: Slots and Ashtrays | May 2 - Diversion into Coyote Gulch | May 3 - A Walk in Paradise : Coyote Gulch Day 2 | May 4 - A Tight Squeeze : Exit from Coyote Gulch | May 4 - Back on Track : Harris Wash Backpack | May 5 - Backcountry Rest Day : Harris Wash, Day 2 | May 6 - A Stiff March Out: Harris Wash, Day 3 | May 7 - One Last Outing: Taylor Creek Trail | Epilogue | Video Clip Index | Backcountry Barrie | GPS Data | Planning Page ]

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