Coyote Gulch Backpacking Overview
Coyote Gulch is a backpacking trip that has been on my bucket list for a number of years. My first trip out to the Grand Staircase National Monument I drove down Hole in the Rock Road to visit Reflection Canyon. It was an amazing hike and I couldn't wait to come back and explore more of the amazing hikes that begin driving down Hole in the Rock Road.
📋Coyote Gulch Crack in the wall Trail Stats
- Miles: 10.6 miles (Loop)
- Elevation Gain: 1,614 feet
- Lowest Elevation: 3,742 feet
- Max Elevation: 4,684 feet
- Average Slope: 13 degrees
- Max Slope: 80 degrees
Coyote Gulch is a beautiful Canyon located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area which is accessed via Grand Staircase Escalante down Hole in the Rock Road.
There are multiple options for accessing Coyote Gulch, for our trip we decided to enter via Crack in the Wall and exit Via the sketchy climb next to Jacob Hamblin Arch (More on that later). This entire route is roughly 10.61 miles, and we spent 1 night and two days in Coyote Gulch.
This particular trip we did over Veterans day weekend November 12 to 13, 2021.
ℹ️ Gear Recommendations
If you would like expert gear recommendations for your next adventure check out the Ten Digit Grid Gear Locker. I detail why each item has a spot in my backpack!
Coyote Gulch Backpacking Maps
The Coyote Gulch Caltopo Map above can be viewed in detail and downloaded here.
Driving to Utah and Coyote Gulch Permits
Since we live in San Diego, getting to the Coyote Gulch Trailhead was a 10+ hour drive! We decided to not do it all in one go and broke up our drive by backcountry camping just outside Zion National Park at Smithsonian Butte Road.
If you have never been to Smithsonian Butte Road it's a great place to mark on your map as a free place to camp, first come first serve no reservations needed. This was my third time staying here, and as usual it didn't disappoint!
We left San Diego on 11 November, spent the night at Smithsonian Butte Road and on 12 November woke up and drove to the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center in Escalante Utah to pick up our permits. You can pick up permits at the trailhead as well but the Visitors center is a nice place to stop to pick the staff's brain on recent conditions etc. The Escalante Interagency Visitor Center is also a great last place to use a real bathroom.
There is one pit toilet that we saw in Coyote Gulch, so Wag Bags (Amazon Affiliate) are highly recommended for this hike.
Hole in the Rock Road to Crack in the Wall Trailhead
After picking up our Coyote Gulch Permits we left the Visitors Center and drove a couple miles down the road to the start of Hole in the Rock Road. Since our plan for backpacking Coyote Gulch was a loop starting and ending at the parking lot for Crack In the Wall we had a 43 mile bumpy off road drive.
Inevitably on guides that I write with dirt roads, I often get questions of, "I drive x vehicle will I be able to make it?" My answer is I don't honestly know, but I always recommend 4-wheel drive and high clearance vehicles along with being prepared with the right recovery gear. I have a decent amount of experience off-road driving, and I keep the right recovery gear in my 4-wheel drive Jeep. We had an interesting trip out on this particular trip, so read to the end to hear that story....
With that being said, I have seen 2 wheel drive cars on Hole in the Rock Road before. Additionally Hurricane Wash trailhead for Coyote Gulch is a little bit easier to get to if you can not make it to Crack in the Wall Trailhead. Crack in the Wall Trailhead can involve driving through deep sand to get there.
Changing road conditions are why I always suggest stopping at the visitors center because they may have important updates on road conditions. On this particular trip the road was fine, just bumpy and nothing too technical. One rain storm can change that in an instant though.
⚠️Off Road Recovery Gear
- High Lift Jack (Amazon Affiliate): A car jack meant for changing tires while on technical dirt roads. The high lift jack allows you to lift your car on difficult terrain where a normal jack would not be large enough. Used properly you can use a high lift jack as a mechanical winch. I have used my high lift jack to get myself out of multiple pinches.
- RotopaX (Amazon Affiliate): Fantastic extra fuel storage that attaches and can lock to your vehicle. It's a nice piece of mine to have an extra 50+ miles of fuel to use in an emergency.
- Weego Jump Starter (Amazon Affiliate): After an awesome camping trip, you want to always be able to jump start your car if the battery dies. When you are camping away from people you may not have another car around that can jump start your vehicle in a jam. This portable jump starter allows you to jump start your vehicle by yourself.
- Traction Mats (Amazon Affiliate): Stuck in sand, mud or snow, traction mats can help get you unstuck in a pinch.
Crack in the Wall to Coyote Gulch
From the dirt parking lot it's about a 1.78 mile hike through the desert to Crack in the wall which is where we decided to make our entry into Coyote Gulch.
If you did not stop at the visitors center on the way in, there is a post at the trailhead where you have to fill out a self permit before starting your hike into Coyote Gulch.
The parking lot is on a small plateau and you immediately start descending with your first few steps on the trail. Coyote Gulch Trail starts off pretty well defined from the parking lot and is nice and sandy. Very quickly the nice outline trail disappears as the sand trail leads into more hard rock.
I stress this in most of my trail guides, but if you are starting out looking to enter Coyote Gulch through Crack in the Wall you better be very comfortable with backcountry navigation and need to rely on a well marked trail. There is no easy path to follow once you get down from the parking lot. There are no footprints to follow on the hard stone sections, and when the stone breaks into a sandy area there are lots of footprints leading the wrong direction. I am not sure if its because people kept following the wrong footprints but I felt as if the footprints in the sandy sections kept pulling me way towards the east.
This picture is a picture looking back over the more sandy section towards the parking area:
The closer you get to the Crack in the Wall the sand disappears and its mostly hard stone that you are hiking across. Also as we got closer to the Crack in the Wall we began to see more and more cairns guiding us to the entrance to the canyon. Cairns can be super useful, but again be competent in your map and compass skills because Cairns can fall down and people not knowing any better sometimes stack their own rocks which can accidently push you off course if you are blindly following them.
As we slowly approached the canyon and the end of the flat desert, I was getting a little nervous hoping the "entrance" or the crack in the wall wouldn't be hard to find. I am not a huge fan of heights so I was hoping I wouldn't have to explore the cliff too much in order to find the way down.
Climbing Down Crack in the Wall
From Crack in the Wall to the start of Coyote Gulch Canyon is about .75 miles, with a drop of just under 700 feet in elevation as you descend to the canyon floor.
Crack in the Wall should be renamed in my opinion to "Cracks in the Wall" because there were three distinct cracks to climb down into the canyon.
The first crack in the wall was the widest, and took an easy climb down into it. My wife climbed down first without her pack on, then I lowered both of our packs down to her before climbing down myself.
I was prepared with a rope to lower our packs down having read online prior to our trip that you could not fit packs through the crack in the wall. I assumed the second crack in the wall was the one we would not be able to fit through and was about to get the rope out when my wife said she thinks the packs would fit through the crack in the wall.
In between Crack two and Crack three is where there is a slight opening and is the spot where you have to lower your packs with rope because they will not fit through crack three.
My wife climbed down first without her pack, so that I could lower the packs down on the rope to her one at a time. To get to Crack in the Wall, Crack number three there is a short amount of bouldering after the opening where you lower the packs. And then you just squeeze on down, and hopefully you are not claustrophobic.
After both packs were down it was my turn to squeeze through and drop down the sand dune below! This part was so much fun and was one of my favorite parts of the entire Coyote Gulch Hike! What a way to get down into the canyon!
Once through the Crack in the Wall we took a seat and enjoyed the view while having a snack. The view down is almost overwhelmingly beautiful. After hiking through the flat desert with not a whole lot to look at you get to the edge of the desert and there is this entirely beautiful fertile land hidden down below you. I felt like I had discovered a secret place!
Getting back onto our feet it was time to hike down the sand dune all the way down to the water. The sand dune wasn't too bad hiking down, but I could imagine on a hot day hiking up and out through Crack in the Wall, this could be a miserable hike. Luckily for us it was pretty cool out and we were hiking down!
As you hike down stay to the left of the massive rock structure in the middle of the sandy bowl. At this point there is a pretty well defined trail, and it was pretty easy navigating. The large rock structure in the center of the sandy bowl looked like the Enterprise from Star Trek had crash landed in the desert.
As you hike down towards the canyon, make sure you look up and out towards the horizon so you do not miss Stevens Arch out in the distance!
As we got closer and closer to the actual Coyote Gulch Canyon I could see the canyon walls approaching. Despite dropping down Crack in the Wall, which was a big descent, my mind kept telling me there must be another drop down to get to the water in Coyote Gulch.
As we approached the walls of Coyote Gulch I was a bit curious what the route down would look like, because we were getting pretty close to the ledge of Coyote Gulch and there didn't seem to be enough room for a gentle hike in. As the sun was getting lower, I was nervous there would be a bit of scrambling down into the canyon but luckily there were just a few short switchbacks and it was easy to reach the water.
I originally wanted to see if the first night we could sleep outside of Coyote Gulch and along the Escalante River. I inquired about this at the Visitor Center and they said it was possible but took a little bit of scrambling. As we got closer to Coyote Gulch we looked for a path toward the Escalante and saw one. We explored it briefly but then decided against it and went straight into Coyote Gulch. The sun was pretty low and we didn't want to start some scrambling down an unfamiliar route in the dark
We were finally in Coyote Gulch Canyon and it was an awesome achievement for the day! I was excited to be in the canyon finally and was fascinated by the beautiful flowing creek. I could have stopped here and took pictures for ages, but the sun was low and we needed to find a place to set up camp for the night.
If you enter in through Crack in the Wall you start at the eastern end of Coyote Gulch. The eastern end is a lot narrower than the western end, which means campsites are more sparse. We saw a couple ok of spots, and made mental notes to ourselves as we continued down through the canyon. We told ourselves if it got too dark and we didn't find anything we could turn around and take one of those spots.
We eventually found a fantastic spot under a nice tree, where we could hear the sound of the running creek all night long and it was far enough away from the trail for some privacy. The spot we found was about .32 miles from where we entered Coyote Gulch at the creek.
Outside Zion National Park the previous night it was below 32 degrees fahrenheit, inside Coyote Gulch was surprisingly warm. We didn't even put the rain fly over the tent and slept looking up at the stars!
There was a pretty good halfish moon that night, so it eventually got pretty bright. Luckily the narrow canyon walls at least blocked the moonlight for a little bit.
After all the driving the previous two days from San Diego, the climb down into the canyon and the excitement of finally making it to Coyote Gulch it could not have been a more perfect place to close my eyes and fall asleep. The soothing sound of the leaves rustling above our heads and the running creek were absolutely perfect.
Exploring Coyote Gulch
As the sun rose we had a beautiful morning. We filtered water the previous night with our LifeStraw Flex Gravity Filter (Amazon Affiliate) while we ate dinner and just spent the morning drinking some nice hot tea as we broke down camp.
We had a pretty loose plan for the day. Just hike up Coyote Gulch and probably camp near Jacob Hamblin Arch before hiking out the next morning and driving back. Of course our plans changed but that's what's fun about exploring canyons.
The main reasons why I picked to do this hike this time of year in early November was two fold. The first was I had a long weekend and wanted to plan something fun. The second part was that it's not the most busy time of year and I hate crowds.
What I really didn't think about until the drive out here was we may catch the leaves changing in the canyon, and they did not disappoint!
Coyote Gulch Footwear Recommendations
With Coyote Gulch there are a couple of different styles for how you can hike it. We started out with "style one" which was to try and stay dry.... If you have researched Coyote Gulch before you are probably laughing at us right now. Our thought process was that it was late fall and cold at night so why not try and keep our socks and shoes somewhat dry.
Hiking with "style one" and trying to stay dry adds a lot of time to your hike in Coyote Gulch. While hiking here you need to cross the creek a lot... I lost count. Trying to stay dry, we spent a lot of time hiking a little more back and forth along the creek looking for the best place to cross and not get wet.
There was even one spot in the beginning where we didnt think we could make the jump across without packs on so we took them off and threw them off then jumped across packless.
The other problem with "style one" was even when we didn't have to cross the creek, staying dry meant squeezing through tight brush forests, when we could have just walked up the creek.
"Style Two" is to take off your boots and socks at water crossings and wade across barefoot. This was a great idea to keep our socks and shoes dry... but then again there are a lot of water crossings, and if you took your socks and boots off at every single crossing it would take forever.
"Style Three" is probably the best idea for hiking Coyote Gulch and that is bringing some sort of water shoe or water sock. What is a water sock? I have seen neoprene socks that some people have used, but I am a huge fan of Skinners as a camp shoe that is what we both ended up wearing once we got tired of taking our boots on and off. If you have not heard of Skinners, they are by far the best camp shoe/sock. I don't have any affiliation with them at all and I recommend them to everyone!
Is there a downside to "Style Three" and just wearing a water shoe? The two things I can think of are extra gear (weight) that you need to carry into the canyon and most water shoes/socks don't have a lot of support. If you are not used to hiking with a pack on with flat shoes or socks on for miles at a time, it can do a real strain to your lower muscles, like your calves and ankles.
Coyote Gulch Attractions
HIking up Coyote Gulch was such an amazing hike. The creek that cut this beautiful canyon has so many twists and turns, and you never know what the view is going to be around the next bend. I could go back to Coyote Gulch and just spend a week down here photographing each section.
The entirety of Coyote Gulch is amazing, but the first really cool iconic waterfall is the waterfall I labeled "small waterfall" on my Caltop Map. This waterfall was about 0.76 miles from our campsite.
This was one of my favorite spots in Coyote Gulch and I think the magnificence of it was enhanced by starting in the narrow eastern end of Coyote Gulch. Starting this backpacking trip in the narrow section was awesome because the canyon slowly opened up and became more grand the farther and farther we hiked. This particular small waterfall was right when the canyon was really starting to open up and I was just in awe!
Other than being an awe inspiring location, this spot can inspire some other bodily functions. Just past the waterfall we saw a sign pointing up the hill to the right to a pit toilet. The pit toilet was very clean and seemed well taken care of. You need to bring your own toilet paper, but it was an unexpected find. I would never count on the pit toilet always being there, so do not take this as an excuse to not be prepared with your own wag bag.
If you are a fan of waterfalls you will not be dissapointed. There are a handful in Coyote Gulch and we are just getting started. The next one was the first of the larger waterfalls. It was beautiful but also presented a little bit of a problem solving situation.
After checking out the waterfall and enjoying its presence, it was time to continue hiking. Easy enough but since this waterfall was actually falling, we were not sure how to climb up and continue forward. We ended up deciding to scramble up the rocks just to my left when I was taking this picture:
If you are a competent climber this is probably pretty easy for you. But once we got up the ledge there was this smooth bowl section of rock we had to climb up which proved a little difficult for us. We met another super nice hiker here and he got up on the first attempt no problem. He offered to help us but we were too stubborn and said thanks but we would get up eventually.
The picture above is on top of the smooth bowl after we got past it. You can see the smooth section is pretty short and there are plenty of hand and foot holds right after it. I couldn't do it with my pack on, so I took it off and then got up on the first try without any added weight. We then used the rope to pull the packs up and continued on.
Once you pass this small obstacle, you are quickly rewarded with another great waterfall!
We got a pretty cool treat at this waterfall. My wife had super sharp eyes and spotted a cool moth just chilling on a rock sitting in the pool of water at the base of the waterfall.
But wait there's more! Yet another waterfall and another small obstacle. This was another waterfall where we were scratching our heads looking for a way up to continue hiking. Luckily on this one we didn't have to do anymore scrambling or taking off our packs to rope them up. For this one there was a thicket to the right of it where you can push up. Look for the cool moss to the right of the waterfall and just to the right is a spot you can squeeze through some vegetation.
After these waterfalls Coyote Gulch continued to open up wider and wider. As the banks of the river became larger so did the vegetation and it was more small forest we got to walk through as we continued following the meandering creek through the canyon.
The next Coyote Gulch Attraction labeled on the map is the Black Lagoon. We actually ended up not going to it, so we may have missed out. We did start to go towards it and found the water flowing from the Black Lagoon into the main Coyote Gulch Cree and to be honest the black water kind of looked gross. So we decided to just skip the lagoon and continue hiking towards Jacob Hamblin Arch. At this point in the hike we had made the decision to try and exit the canyon and start our drive home. We really wanted to spend another night but thought the safe decision would not be to do the 10 hour drive back to San Diego in one day. By just spending one night in the canyon that would allow us to break up the drive home which also contributed to the decision to skip the Black Lagoon. There are also pictographs not too far from here, but we didn't go hunting for them either.
Not too far after the Black Lagoon you come to Coyote Natural Bridge! Coyote Natural Bridge is absolutely stunning! Coyote Natural Bridge perfectly arches over the creek and is just spectacular to see the water flowing underneath it. We stopped here to take a break to sip some water and have a snack. This was not a time to chow down the snacks and get back on the trail. I could have sat her all day enjoying the sounds of the water flowing under the arch and the changing colors of the leaves.
At this point we were getting pretty close to the Jacob Hamblin arch, and my mind was more and more starting to focus on that. I am not a huge fan of heights and was unsure how the scramble up and out would be for us. We had more than enough supplies to spend an extra night or two in Coyote Gulch if we decided the scramble out would be too difficult. Our back up plan was to hike back down Coyote Gulch and exit back through Crack in the Wall if we had too.
Next up is the "Swiss Cheese" Waterfall... but we ended up walking right by. Unfortunately there was a photo group at this point and they were all taking pictures of the "Swiss Cheese" waterfall and I didn't really want to wait my turn to take a picture. The group was super nice though as we walked by and we even paused for them halfway crossing the creek so they could have some backpackers in their picture for some scale. I bet their pictures came out amazing, and maybe I will stumble on them on the internet at some point!
Right before the "Swiss Cheese" Waterfall is some deep water we had to make it through. For the most part, hiking up through Coyote Gulch the water was only an inch or two deep. Right before the "Swiss Cheese" Waterfall there was a short narrow section that came just about up to our knees.
The water here wasn't very clear either, so I ended up taking it super slow. Each step forward seemed to get deeper and I couldn't tell how deep it would get. Each step forward I was worried I would just fall into a deep spot, but luckily the water never quite got up to my knees!
After this deep part we were in the final few twists and turns of Coyote Gulch before we were to climb out the so called sneaker route and be back in the desert.
Jacob Hamblin Arch and the Sneaker Route
As we approached Jacob Hamblin Arch we passed by the climb we would take out of the canyon. We stopped and took a look up and saw there was already a rope set in and a group climbing out. Before climbing out ourselves though we rounded the bend to go explore the massive Jacob Hamblin Arch.
We ran into a really nice group earlier on the trail near Coyote Natural Bridge and we saw them here again at Jacob Hamblin Arch. They suggested we at least walk around to the other end of Jacob Hamblin to get the full experience. We gladly took their advice and dropped our packs to walk to the other side just with my camera gear.
While walking around Jacob Hamblin Arch I took a few pictures and mostly just took it all in. The Arch is absolutely massive and standing in its shadow made me feel super small. Gazing up at the arch, also was a constant reminder of how high we were about to climb out of the Coyote Gulch. I didn't spend too much time taking pictures here, due to my mind being a little distracted by the climb we were about to take out of the canyon.
Coyote Gulch Climb Out
At the base of the climb out of Coyote Gulch, my mind was focused. A switch went off in my head the minute I picked my pack up after exploring Jacob Hamblin Arch. This was going to be the most dangerous part of the hike that could potentially result in serious injury or even death. It was time to take slow deliberate steps each foot up the rock face.
The climb out of Coyote Gulch is nowhere near vertical, and plenty of skilled. climbers would easily scurry right up with no rope. Climbing is not my most robust outdoor skill and having a backpacking backpack on my back with all my camping and camera gear added to the difficulty.
We brought our own rope and the plan was to climb up without my pack in, tie it in and then come back down for the packs. When we got there, a rope was already tied in and a group was three quarters of the way up. Observing this group on the rope we decided to use the one already there and not tie in our own. Ideally I should have still climbed up before using the rope to check its tie in, but I did not. If you use a rope that is already there just be aware of the added risk of trusting someone else's knot.
I will describe the climb out in three distinct sections. The first section we didn't need the rope at all. The first part had a good crack with some great places for hand holds and places to shove your boot into. I did feel around a little before committing to each step and each hand placement. There was one slick part towards the beginning, and with the added weight of a pack on, I wanted to make damn sure I was comfortable with each upward movement.
After I made it up this short steep section, my wife elegantly followed right after.
The last little bit of part 1 was easy enough to scramble up to the steep slick section where we would need to use the rope. As the group ahead of us was finishing up, we stayed off the rope and easily walked up.
It was nice to be able to walk on my own two feet for a short bit and not have to get on all fours while we approach the super sketchy section as I call it. At this point we had a few minutes to hold tight while the group ahead of us finished up. Once they were fully off the rope and had moved on, it was our turn.
At this point, I grabbed a hold of the rope tight, looked up and took slow deliberate steps, while slowly and carefully moving my hands up the rope as I progressed.
With the weight of the pack I didn't feel comfortable just quickly going hand over hand. I wrapped the rope tight around my left hand to kind of anchor it and stabilize myself as I moved my right hand forward.
As I slowly crept near the top I could happily see the rope anchor! Once I got to the top I was excited to get off the rope and not be literally pulling myself and my pack up this slick rock. I did notice there was a little bit more scrambling past the rope, and although it wasn't that bad of a section, I would have loved the security of the rope there as well.
Before moving onto section three of the climb out of Coyote Gulch, it was my wife's turn to get on the rope and make the climb.
As I got off the rope and caught my breath, I literally peered over the edge to look for my wife and yelled, "off rope." It was nerve wracking to climb up this rope but even more nerve wracking to watch my wife climb up because all I could do was watch at this point and shout some words of encouragement. She handled it like a champ though and was probably more sure footed then me!
The last bit of scrambling wasn't too bad, but my arms were definitely a little tired at this point.
Part 3 of the Coyote Gulch Rope climb was all walking at this point but we weren't quite out of the danger zone yet. One accidental trip to the right or left would send you tumbling down to your death. There was a really cool view of Jacob Hamblin arch at this point that my wife pointed out. I unfortunately wasn't ready to stop and take out my real camera. I was ready to get off the rick.
Back in the Desert
Once we were finally on safe flat ground it was a sigh of relief. The climb out was a little more sketchy then I would have wanted and we both agreed that the next time we came to Coyote Gulch we probably wouldn't climb out that route again unless we had climbing harnesses on. But looking back I am not sure if I have the skillest to climb up without a rope at this point. If there was not a rope already set we would have to spend an extra night and hike back out Crack in the Wall.
My suggestion to anyone looking to hike this hike is that if you are not regularly climbing then you should not take this route out of Coyote Gulch under any circumstances.
According to the Caltopo map there was a "trail" the veered left (South East) to loop us back to where we parked:
We kind of completely missed that "trail." Not sure if its because we had the adrenaline running after the climb out or more likely it wasn't a clearly defined trail like the trail through the desert on the first day. Either way since there wasn't a clearly defined route and we were starting out on hard rock, it was another great opportunity to practice some land navigation. I took a handful of different bearings toward rock features and slowly worked our way back to the car.
It was smooth sailing for us through the desert and we were walking at a good pace. We were starting to get hungry for a real meal and were daydreaming of where we wanted to stop on the drive home for a delicious meal.
As the shadows grew longer and longer we got closer and closer to our car. We thought we were done with obstacles at this point but we ran into one final obstacle....a fence popped up in our way.
We stopped at the fence, took our packs off, threw them over then slithered under the fence like a snake. We just had to get a little bit more dirty before heading home!
The Ride Home - One Last Obstacle....
We made it back to where we parked before the sun went down. We de-packed and drank some water before packing the car up. Just as we were getting ready to leave, one of the guys we saw solo hiking (He was a much better climber than us) arrived at the parking lot as well. We briefly caught up and chatted about how amazing Coyote Gulch was.
At the end of our conversation I jokingly said, "Let me try starting the car just in case I need a jump before he leaves."
I placed my keys into the ignition of my 2013 Jeep Wrangler and immediately heard click click click... and the car didn't start. I had my Weego 70 12-Volt Portable Lithium Jump Starter (Amazon Affiliate) in the car which I had never had the opportunity to test out. I quickly let our friend know that I may need a jump, and he thankfully waited around a few extra minutes while I attempted a self jump.
In a minute or two I had my car jumped and the Weego worked like a champ! I was pumped because I have had this thing in. my car for over a year or two and always wondered if it would actually jump start my car! With that we said thanks to our friend and we were both off driving back through the desert!
I wish that was the end of our story.
About 10-15 minutes into our 50+ mile off road drive back to civilization, every alarm in the Jeep started to go off! Additionally the entire dashboard and every light, and my android auto all just began to flash on and off. At least the car engine was still running fine....
At this point the sun was very very low in the sky and it was starting to get dark. Since the car was still moving and steering fine I didn't want to stop moving towards civilization. We had plenty of food and water and obviously all our camping gear so we could have been fine if we had to stay an extra night or two, but I wanted to keep moving. I even had my Garmin inReach (Amazon Affiliate) so I had communication options as well if we got stuck and could call for help.
So for over an hour of driving we had the entire car flashing on and off every light inside (headlights were fine thankfully), along with a loud audible beep going off every 8 seconds. To say the least, the smile I had on my face while off roading on the way in was gone. This was a miserable drive out...
We eventually made it off the bumpy Hole in the Rock Road onto pavement, and I hoped everything would just return to normal. It did not. We quickly saw a hotel on the side of the road and pulled over into their parking lot to troubleshoot. I figured if we had problems the hotel staff could help jump the car or we could spend the night if we had too.
When we popped the hood we instantly saw the issue. A screw must have come loose somehow on the cable that attaches to the positive terminal on my battery. All the bumps on the road shook the cable off the battery terminal and it was bouncing on and off the terminal the entire ride back....
I pushed the cable back and jumped the car one more time with the portable jump pack and we were back on the road! We didn't have any more car issues and ended up stopping outside Bryce Canyon in a hotel where we grabbed dinner and a couple strong beers! The next day we made it back home to San Diego and luckily had no more car issues. What an edventure!