| Paria Canyon:
South Coyote Buttes
The Coyote Buttes Special Management Area sits between Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the upper section of the Paria Canyon Wilderness Area - Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. This desolate land contains a disorderly collection of fantastically twisted and striated sandstone. Multitudes of the beehive shaped hills or buttes appear to be enveloped in a sea of colorful petrified waves while other bizarre formations have been contorted into caverns, arches, domes and fragile fins - all slowly crumbling as they continuously succumb to the forces of nature.
At a Glance
There are no established trails in this area, so please be careful where you walk and do not climb or scramble on rocks in South Coyote Buttes that might result in breaking the fragile mounds and fins.
Paw Hole Trailhead - The first landmark, Lone Tree Reservoir, is just past the turn-off. Even though the name implies that you will find a water supply, you will probably only see a single juniper tree sitting in a dry hole. Continue past it where shortly, you should see a welcome sign for the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, then farther down the road there is a sign for Coyote Buttes. The road is lined with junipers, sagebrush and purple, red, orange and white wildflowers. Parking for the Paw Hole Trailhead is 2.5 miles from the turn-off.Paw Hole - From the parking area, look for the small, but interesting arch at the top of the first hoodoo. The climb to it is a fourth class scramble and not recommended due to the fragile rock. The southeast side of the trailhead offers some nice formations as well and toward the northeast there is a beautiful sandstone bowl at the end of the dunes. From the parking area head north-northeast, going though the fence, heading for the buttes. There are no established trails, instead this route is more of an exploration around the rocks. Hike around the bowl and along the sand toward the hoodoos to the northeast. Once you turn west, and top out on the ridge, House Rock Road appears to the west and a variety of oddly shaped, upright rock structures become visible. Below and on the western slope the sandstone gets really interesting. If you take the route on the western edge of the butte there is some fourth class climbing at the bottom of the cliff. Locate the angular shaped grotto. Inside you will find fragile fins and soft sand, then take some time to explore the area around it before hiking back to the parking area.
Cottonwood Teepee - Set your odometer again and head east. It is 3.25 miles to Windmill Junction at Poverty Flat then another 2.5 miles to the Cottonwood Teepee parking area. Turn north, or left, just prior to the windmill and other dilapidated structures. Travel north through the gate into the South Coyote Buttes Special Permit Area. Leave any gates as you found them. Soon the road becomes impassible. Both north and west from the parking area are large hoodoos called the Cottonwood Teepees. Park and hike over the desert sand to the foremost rock formations on the left or west side of the road. Once on top, Cottonwood Spring can be seen in the wash to the north and below the formations. Tee-pees can be viewed both to the north and south of the slickrock plateau. Fragile windswept layers of tangerine swirls prevail here like an elegant layered dessert. The vivid display of colors is courtesy of generous mineral deposits. Rounded domes and flat-capped stone fill the desert oasis and fossilized dunes of sand show off a wonder of weird patterns.
GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum
GPS coordinates are only references and may or may not be accurate. - Do not rely on GPS coordinates as the sole method of navigation. Always have an accurate, detailed map at hand and have the proper map reading and navigation skills before setting out on any hike. Many of the hikes listed in this guide travel into canyons where a GPS has limited capabilities. Always check your position with a detailed map before dropping into a canyon.
Beta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and www.zionnational-park.com author, Tanya Milligan.
Suggested Gear: Rope, webbing, harness and rappelling device. A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend for canyoneering in Zion . Quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury. Experienced Zion hikers and canyoneers like the Sportiva Exum Ridge. This shoe is great for hiking, bouldering and canyoneering.
The Queen - Head back to where you parked and continue east to where there is another cluster of hoodoos. Look for a rounded, towering formation. This rock has been dubbed, unofficially, as the Queen, signifying its similarity to a chess piece. It is the main show in the sandstone formations to the right of the road.
South Coyote Buttes Paw Hole
North Coyote Buttes The Wave
Stateline Campground - between Arizona and Utah
Coyote Buttes Special Permit Offices
Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.
This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park