Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
by Erik Molvar & Tamara Martin (Falcon Guides)
© 2013 Erik Molvar & Tamara Martin/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Trail is a generous word for this hike. The majority of the trail is in a secondary dry wash leading to the Coalpit Wash. That being said it is worthwhile. The unimproved road off Hwy 9 has a name it is Dalton Wash Road the directions and distances are accurate and it is easy to find the parking area described in the guide. The road is not well maintained but was passable with a two wheel drive as evidenced by the number of SUV’s without 4 wheel drive at the first parking lot where local come to mountain bike. GPS coordinates to the parking lot are N 37 13’ 18” and W 113 06’ 35”. The parking lot has a weathered sign at the green metal gate indicating you are entering the US NPS Boundary. The first couple of hundred yards the trail is well foot worn and easy to follow without any markers or cairns. Without warning it fans out and disappears as you get to the dry wash. Any downstream trail will lead you to Coalpit Wash and the spring fed creek. At the bottom of the rock scramble is a designated backcountry campground marked only with the tent symbol and the #5. The end of this trail intersects the Chinle Trail at the spring fed creek. The water was running cool and clear in Oct when we did the trail but not with enough volume to make any of the waterfalls run. Coordinates for the trail intersection are N 37 12’ 57” and W 113 04’ 38”. We returned straight line instead of retracing the dry wash and were rewarded by coming across some really large petrified wood logs and scattered agate in varying colors. Remember you are in a US National Park and collecting samples is not allowed. The Juniper forest between the parking area and Coalpit Wash has been mostly destroyed by fire and provides no shade. Once in the wash the Cottonwoods have survived and do provide shade. Crater Hill makes a good and visible reference point for most of the hike.
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