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An arching alcove at the bottom of Coyote Gulch, Escalante, Utah.


I have hiked many of Utah's remote canyons and I must say that Coyote Gulch is one of the most beautiful canyons that I have ever explored. It has a year 'round stream at the bottom that allows trees and vegetation to grow there, unlike most that I hike. Several canyons that I've hiked were dry canyons with no more than a dripping seep or stagnant pot hole to draw water from.


This particular part of the canyon is quite amazing in its arches and amphitheater alcoves that soar hundred of feet into the sky. This particular one is very near Lobo Arch (aka Jacob Hamblin Arch) and was so impressive in its immensity.


I'm counting the days until this years run to the canyons trip in May.


As a side note, I want to thank everyone that attended the Meet the Artist event last night at the Wy'east Book Shop and Art Gallery. It was more than I had hoped.

miles deep into the Escalante backcountry, but just a short hike from our campsite, part of this canyon switches back at such a hard angle, with such high walls, that it appears as a tunnel or alcove...

there was a bright moon this night, which illuminated the inside of the canyon walls, but also drowned out the stars to some extent... With that much moonlight, high in the sky, 22 minutes was as long as I felt comfortable exposing for...

Luckily, this "river" was but a stream-like trickle during this expedition, as the monsoon season had long since passed...

This was my first time getting out in quite some time, so doing a shot like this was extra special for me...

A rare desert waterfall in Coyote Gulch in the Escalante area of southern Utah.


Happy Waterfall Wednesday. :)


Explore - Apr 5, 2012 #18

Here is one of the many photos I have neglected sharing from my road trip to Utah back in April. This natural arch in the Escalante wilderness was incredible to see. It was easily over 100 feet high and provided a nice window to watch the passing clouds.

Coyote Gulch in Utah's Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument on a beautiful autumn evening.


More of my photos are available at Fine Art America


Coyote Gulch Trail - My trekking guide took me on a trail along Coyote Gulch towards Cliff Arch. On the way back up to the Black Lagoon she found an alcove that she had not explored before. As I descended from the mouth of the cove I asked her to take a photograph of me with the backdrop to the cliffs.

Please View Large!


Call me impulsive, but sometimes I plan trips based only on a single photo of a place. The first time I did this I visited L'ile de la Reunion in the middle of the Indian Ocean, all because of this amazing photo by Yann Arthus Bertrand. More recently I decided to backpack through Coyote Gulch, Utah, thanks to a spectacular shot by Michael Anderson. The Gulch did not disappoint: soaring walls, massive amphitheaters, gigantic rock arches, and even a waterfall or two. Truly a southwest paradise.



Tech notes on this photo


Nikon D7000

Tokina 12-24 f/4 at 12mm, image cropped in photoshop to ~14mm


f/9 - sharpest spot on my lens, allows for sufficient DOF on a crop sensor

Two shots at 1/6 sec and 10 sec in order to get sharpness in the tree leaves and smoothness in the water

Lee 3, 2, and 1-stop soft GND filters stacked to use as a solid ND for a longer shutter speed




In Raw Converter (Nikon Capture NX2)

- Processed two raw files once each

- Levels adjustment

- Global "s-curve" curves adjustment


In Photoshop:

This has got to be one of the most photoshop-heavy images I've ever produced and it's taken me 5 months of fiddling to process it in a way that I like. Since May when I took this I've been experimenting with some new techniques, many of which are incorporated into this image. Here's the full run-down, starting with the lowest layers.

- Background layer from 1/6 sec exposure as baseline image

- Selective sharpening layer for rocks, trees, and canyon walls

- Empty layer set to "color" blend mode, some greens painted in over the top of a few dead branches

- Minor saturation bump to everything except the canyon walls

- Color balance to add a teensy magenta hue

- Dodge and Burn layer set to "soft light" blend mode, rocks and canyon walls burned, tree leaves and water channels dodged in patches to create mottling

- S-curves adjustment applied only to dodge/burn layer in order to enhance it

- Tiff file from long exposure layered on here, masked to show only the waterfalls and stream channel

- Dodge/burn layer, soft light blend mode. Waterfalls and water channels dodged, stream bed heavily burned

- Curves adjustment to only this dodge/burn layer to enhance it

- Major saturation reduction of the stream bed

- Empty layer set to color blend mode, orange tones painted in over the lower section of the splash in the lower left because there was too much white too close to the edge of the frame

- This same area burned via a soft light layer in order to match the dark tonality of the stream bed

- Curves adjustment to tree leaves only to get the highlights to pop a little more

- "Fairy dust" layer: high-radius gaussian blur, high contrast layer set to low opacity for dreamy look. A Marc Adamus technique, Ryan Dyar lingo.

- Whew, that's it!


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Waterfall in Coyote Gulch, part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah canyon country.


A rebuttal to the belief that the desert is a dry, parched place.

Coyote Gulch is one of my favorite places to visit in Utah's Grand Escalante. Join us this May on our 5-day photo workshop in Escalante. More details here:

Happy Friday! Here's a recent image from an outing to Coyote Gulch. This is one of my favorite spots in the canyon and I enjoyed using my ultra-wide angle lens to acheive a new perspective on these falls. No focus-stacking needed - I was able to nail the hyperfocal distance.

Backpacking in Coyote Gulch is a rewarding and unique experience on so many levels!


More of my photos are available at Kunal Mehra Photography

Another shot from my backpacking trip in Coyote Gulch. This is the most photogenic spot in the canyon, and one of the best spots I've seen in the Southwest.

A desert waterfall in Coyote Gulch, Utah.

A waterfall in the lower section of Coyote Gulch in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area of Utah. USA. sping.

I love photo trips that produce a number of quality images and this trip to Escalante Grand Staircase was quite fruitful. Willie and I explored a number of slot canyons, played amongst gigantic hoodoo rock sculptures, and practically repelled into gorgeous red rock river canyons.


We found this pool of water whilst walking through Coyote Gulch Canyon. 300 foot red rock walls surrounded us as we walked through the river in search of waterfalls and autumn color. Shortly after photographing a stunning waterfall we came upon this pool of water with decaying leaves in it.


As the leaves die they leak oils into the water. Light reflects and refracts off the oils, causing the wavelength of light to change and giving this puddle the multi-colored spectrum you see here. I walked around until the yellow leaves from the tree above were reflected in the puddle. From a different angle the entire pool looked blue but I loved how the yellow water matched the yellow leaves.


Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:

70mm (then cropped), f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO 400


Viewed best nice and large


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Coyote Natural Bridge, Coyote Gulch, Utah. Part of an adventurous all-day hike to the Escalante River and up a prominent side canyon. See also the wide angle view further back, with description of the hike.

Coyote Creek has a number of surprises -- in some places it is 15 feet wide and only a millimeter deep. Other places, its a few millimeters wide and a few feet deep and rushing and carving and turning and eroding and gouging...

Reflecting pools, in a rincon off the Escalante River

I've just returned from a trip that took me through a good chunk of the American southwest. We drove through the Mojave desert, camping in a few areas along the way, and up through Utah to the Colorado plateau in southern Utah.


Our ultimate destination was a three day backpacking trip into the heart of canyon country in the Escalante region. It was wild, rugged, dynamic and profound. A truly life changing trip... exactly how, I am not sure yet.


I hope to write a full account of the trip including my photographs, maybe in the form of an ebook- not so much because I want others to read it, but because I want to organize my memories into something cohesive so that I can remember all the treasured details.


Thought I would start by sharing this one. A gem of a waterfall in the canyon country- remote but not unknown. It is only a few feet high but is exceptionally beautiful. I don't think it has a name- as it should be. It stands before a group of verdant cottonwoods in their fresh spring regalia, flowing over red slickrock into a shallow pool of churning sand.


Occasionally I plan trips solely around getting a certain shot or visiting a particular location. Without finding enough people interested to head up to the Canadian Rockies I fell back on a years old plan to Escalante. Escalante has always been a spot I wanted to visit but timing never quite came together for such a trip. Although my primary focus for Escalante was Zebra slot, this shot became increasingly the feature piece and the photo I really wanted to capture.


Located in Coyote Gulch, this cascading waterfall is arguably one of the most photogenic in the southwest. After visiting Coyote Gulch, I understand why many consider it the premiere hike of the southwest. In stark contrast to the surrounding desert, Coyote Gulch is a deep canyon filled with lush vegetation and towering sandstone walls that create breathtaking amphitheaters.


Initially I was anxious to find out the conditions in the canyon hoping the fall colors were not past peek or even worse completely gone. Luckily my fears were allayed after slogging through the desert and arriving at the rim of the canyon. Below, I saw the lush vegetation full of fall colors.


Everything seemed to all come together as Aaron and I arrived at the waterfall. The back wall was glowing, the water flow was excellent and the cottonwoods were a beautiful golden yellow (though a bit past peak). All in all, this is pretty close to a southwest paradise.


Sony A7r

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II


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If you're gonna be a southwest photographer, you gotta have one of these...

This Utah Photograph depicts tiny waterfalls flowing over rich rust colored sandstone


This is a cave in the remote Coyote Gulch in the Escalante area of southern Utah.


This is not an artistic photo but rather a photo that means more to me than it would to anyone else.


This was my last full day in the canyon before hiking back out, this after hiking through the canyon for five days.


Coyote Gulch is an amazing place. It has a year 'round creek that runs through it, which is not so common in this area. I have been on several backpacking adventures in Utah where water was a rare commodity. Several times where I was conserving what was left in my water bottles for fear of running out and not finding more. A hike that took me into the Grand Canyon via Tanner Canyon required that I carry extra water in my pack because there is no water until you reach the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.


On this particular day I had encountered an amazing thunder storm, with winds whipping and lightning crashing around me. The sound of thunder directly overhead and the subsequent echo through the canyon is more of an experience than I could ever describe.


As the storm increased I backtracked up the canyon a ways to a cave that I have encountered that seemed like the best option for shelter.


As I was sitting there with my back against my backpack like a recliner, I played my NAF (Native American Flute) while the wind blew past and through the cottonwood trees. As I played and watched the storm blow through I was struck with the feeling that I wasn't alone. I'm not a very metaphysical person, but knowing that generations upon generations of humans had used this very same place for the very same purpose is hard not to contemplate.


I wanted to remember that point in time and so I took this three shot pano of my point of view from the back of the cave.


About an hour or two later the storm subsided and I went on my way.


My wilderness treks are a treasured part of my life.


Have a great weekend everyone. Take pictures!

Leaf Aptus-II 12

Phase One 645DF

Phase One 28mm f/4.5D


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Like a gateway to paradise, Coyote Natural Bridge is one of many highlights on the challenging all-day hike up Coyote Gulch. This colorful side canyon of the Escalante River, carved in Navajo sandstone, takes some grit to explore, but rewards the adventurer with arches, waterfalls, reflections and greenery along its length. See also a closer view.


After driving the terrible washboard Hole-in-the-Rock road for some 40 miles from Escalante, you take a side road east, doing your best to avoid getting stuck in the sand. Then you get up at daybreak, hike out to the edge of the world, looking far down at the Escalante River below (picture). Searching the edge, you find a crack in the rock wall, slither down, then traverse down steep sand dunes to the river. Then you wade up Coyote Gulch for several miles, enjoying the beauty and snapping pictures at spots like this. At Jacob Hamlin Arch you must scramble up a 45-degree wall; no missteps allowed. If you make it, the going gets easier as long as you can find your car before dark.


The first obstacle I encountered in Coyote Gulch -- a small waterfall that must be bypassed. This shot was taken near sunset on the way back of a long day hike.

This is the hike out from Coyote Gulch in Southern, Utah.


If you look close you can see the river down below. That's the bottom of the canyon. The exit includes a trudge through sand up this hill. Once you get to the top of the hill you need to tie a rope to your backpack, take a rock and tie it to the other end and throw the rock up to the top of a cliff. You then go through what is called The Crack. It's a just that, a crack in the rock that is like a narrow claustrophobic hallway. Once through the crack it's a scramble up some rock fall to where you threw the rock. You then pull the backpack up the cliff and prepare for a hike over the mesa where everywhere you look it look the same. It is very easy to lose your way from there as there is no discernible trail over the slick rock.The day that I hiked out there were no rock cairns to speak of and so I took a compass heading that would take me to the truck and started walking. I eventually saw a glimmer of something shiny in the distance, which turned out to be the truck at the trailhead.


Once to the trailhead I was entertained by a beautiful thunder storm while I drank my warm beer.

A second take of this amazing feature in Coyote Gulch. This was captured in the morning, hence the far more golden colors than the previous image.


Leaf Aptus-II 12

Phase One 645DF

Phase One 28mm f/4.5D


Follow me on Instagram @coulombic

A beautiful section of Coyote Gulch were the river intricately cuts through red sandstone. I did this as a brutal 25 mile day hike that could have been a lot easier had I adequately prepared for the water, mud, sand, and obstacles along the way.

I do NOT have this postcard and would love to trade for it. One of my wishes... Thanks for looking!

Jacob Hamblin Arch and Coyote Creek. Seen on backpack trip through Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument, Utah.


To read about the great places we have been go to

This little waterfall is upstream of the copper cascade by about half a mile. Perhaps a bit too contrasty but I wanted to bring out some structure in the stream.


If I had moved about six inches to the left the foreground would have made a better composition.

A waterfall in the lower section of Coyote Gulch in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area of Utah. USA. sping.

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