Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s central feature is Lake Powell, a 200-mile-long reservoir created by the damming of the Colorado River in Glen Canyon in the 1960s. From Scenic Byway 12, the nearest route to Lake Powell is via Hole-in-the-Rock—a Mormon pioneer historic site 57 miles out to the end of the rugged Hole-in-the-Rock Road where a steep, jagged gouge in the sandstone walls drops about 600 feet to the waters of Lake Powell. The recreation area includes more than a million acres of canyon country that encompasses the lower two-thirds of the Escalante River and its winding side canyons, many of which are accessible from trailheads off Hole-in-the-Rock Road.
One of the many popular hiking destinations is Coyote Gulch, a 13-mile side canyon and a photographer’s paradise of brilliant sandstone natural bridges, arches, as well as a sandy, shallow streambed that provides a respite from the summer heat. Check at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center for information, current conditions, and permits for this backcountry experience.