Coyote Buttes South
Please keep in mind that all the following information is not an official guideline, they are our opinions and points of view related to this topic. You can only access Coyote Buttes South on an official permit which has to be displayed on your car and backpack while hiking.
Coyote Buttes South are in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument near Paria. To get there you need to travel west from Page about 55km on Highway 89, past the Paria Contact Station and turn left onto House Rock Valley Road or east from Kanab about 60km, turning right onto House Rock Valley Road.
Drive about 26km on House Rock Valley Road, which is an unmaintained gravel road. Then turn left on a narrow dirt track and drive 0.4km and park near a lone tree next to a small reservoir.
Below is the view of the area from the Horse Rock Valley Road:
We had problems finding this narrow dirt track as this road didn't show up on our GPS. It was supposed to be on BLM1079 road. According to our GPS we crossed roads BLM10 (on the right hand side) & BLM16 (on the left hand side). Then go past Winter Road on your right hand side and only then you should turn left on to the narrow dirt track.
If you park next to the lone tree, be prepared to hike about 3.2km through a deep sand road till you reach Paw Hole which is the official access point to the South Coyote Buttes. We had a 4WD and managed to drive another 1km or so before we got stuck in the deep sand and couldn't drive any further. If you want to drive all the way to the Paw Hole, you need a high clearance 4WD and have a good knowledge on how to drive in the deep sand. Carrying a shovel in your car is a good idea in case you get stuck.
There are no trails, direction signs or other navigational information once you leave the parking area. We recommend visiting the Paria Contact Station or Kanab Field Office for more information (like maps, navigation advice, road condition etc). The maps are however very insuficient, you need to have great backcountry navigation skills to find your way around this area. We recommend carrying a personal GPS to navigate around this park.
Please bare in mind, that you can't access this place without an official permit which you can either obtain online or at Kanab Field Office each morning. The permit costs $5 per person and is limited to 20 people per day.
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Before you start hiking, make sure that you have enough water and food with you because water is not available at the trailheads or in the Canyon. The nearest source of supplies is in Kanab or Paria.
From Paw Hole it is only a short walk through the sandy path to the beginning of the trail. Most of the time we were trying to follow footsteps in the sand as there are no markers anywhere.
As you walk around these "bee nests", you will see this landscape. From then onwards it's up to you how much of this area you want to explore but please remember that it is very difficult to navigate. You can get lost very easily. This is a very remote area with no phone signal and if something happens to you it could take a long time before help arrives. During our 6 hour hike we didn't meet a single person.
After a long hike we reached the landscape that in a way reminded us of the famous "Wave". That day we experienced very strong wind and it was very hard to take pictures without damaging our lenses from the harsh sand flying around us. We managed to take only a few shots.