South Coyote Buttes Day Tour

Difficulty: Moderate

Our day trips to Coyote Buttes are ideal for those who are not serious photographers. The trip departs from Kanab at 8AM and gets back around 4PM. We’ll do a fair bit of hiking and show you some of the best formations of this vast and varied area. Although no photography instruction is included on the day tours, we’ll still take you to the most stunning spots. It’s a little over 2hrs driving time to get there, with the last hour along a rough 4WD road. You’ll get around 3.5 hrs on location. For those who are more serious about their photography, you’ll want to book our South Coyote Buttes Sunset Tour. Please Contact Us with any questions.

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Tour Length: 8-9 hours

Drive Time: A little over 2 hours each way with 1 hour on pavement and 1 hour on rough roads.

Time Spent on Location: Approx 3.5 hours

Tour Departure Time: This trip leaves Kanab at 8AM and returns around 4PM. Please arrive around 10 mins early to load your gear and finish the check-in process. Note that we operate on Utah time which is one hour ahead of Las Vegas. During the months of Daylight Savings (approx mid-March through early Nov), Utah is also one hour ahead of Arizona. Please take this into consideration if traveling from out of state.

Tour Pricing: Please click on the Book Your Tour button for the latest pricing. Note that most of our tours require a 2-person minimum. Single individuals can always go, but may need to pay the 2-person rate if nobody else decides to join.

Tour Meetup Location: We’ll all meet up in the parking lot of Glazier’s Market in the center of Kanab. The address is 264 S 100 E. Here is the google maps location: Once you arrive, look for the vehicle marked with Action Photo Tours and we’ll ask you to load your gear and sign a liability release waiver. If you haven’t yet paid in full, we’ll take the remaining payment via cash or credit card. Contact us if you are unable to get to the meet-up spot and we’ll make alternate arrangements. Las Vegas is the closest major airport to Kanab. There is no public transportation to Kanab, so you’ll need your own rental car or private vehicle. We recommend that you stay in a hotel in Kanab the evening of your tour. There are many good hotels in the area like Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn & Suites, and the Canyons Botique.

Tour Meetup Outside of Kanab: We occasionally get requests from folks coming from Page, AZ. Rather than meet in Kanab, we can pick you up at the Scenic Overlook on Highway 89A. Expect at least a 1hr 15min drive from Page, AZ. GPS coordinates are 36.722878, -112.060348.
If you want us to pick you up here, PLEASE CONTACT US AHEAD OF TIME TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS. We will come by approx. 45-60 mins after the tour departure time (note that this is Utah Time, not Arizona Time). Look for the vehicle marked as Action Photo Tours.

Areas: South Coyote Buttes is a large area that simply cannot be fully explored in a single day (or even a week). We’ve found the Cottonwood Cove area to be the most photogenic and this is where we take the majority of our clients. However, we may decide to visit the Paw Hole section if we are short on time or due to client interest. The South Teepees can be accessed via a long hike from Cottonwood Cove.

Weather Conditions: We can almost always get to South Coyote Buttes despite what the weather throws at us. The only time we couldn’t get out there was after we got over a foot of snow this past winter. We’ll still go even if it’s raining or windy. If the weather is truly inclement, your tour guide may suggest you visit an alternate destination. This decision will be made the day of the outing based on the consensus of the group. Note that we cannot offer refunds due to weather unless we cannot go out at all. Don’t despise inclement weather – that is often when you get the most dramatic photos! Just make sure you dress and prepare adequately for the weather.

Hiking / Fitness: For Cottonwood Cove, it’s a sandy 0.6 mile hike to the first brainrock sections. The hike is a little shorter from Paw Hole. Once on the brainrock, we’ll show you many of our favorite photo spots. Some will require more agility than others. You will hike anywhere from 2-5 miles on this outing depending on the mobility of the group and how long we spend at each spot. The hiking is not strenuous, but it is over uneven terrain with some short, steep sections. All participants should ensure their fitness level is adequate for this trip.

Food/Water: We do not provide food on our outings. All participants should bring food/water to hold them through lunch and while hiking. We will have a cooler where you can store food and drink.

What to Wear: You should check the weather forecast prior to coming on the trip (search for Paria, UT on If it’s going to be hot, wear light-colored clothing and a hat. If the temperatures are cold, bring some warm layers and long pants. Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen. If it’s very cold and or windy, don’t forget a jacket, warm hat and some gloves. If rain or snow is in the forecast, bring a rain jacket. We recommend wearing sturdy footwear in South Coyote due to the uneven terrain and sand.

Restroom Facilities: There are no facilities at South Coyote. We will stop at a restroom if needed about an hour into the drive. If you need to use the restroom at South Coyote, we will have toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and a shovel available. You can dig a hole back behind a bush to do your business.

Cell Phones: Bring your cell phone along! They are great for capturing candid images. Plus, most folks will have cell service out at South Coyote. Note that cell service is limited during the drive. There are USB ports in our vehicles so bring a charging cable if you need one.

Group Size: Our groups will never exceed 5 people per guide. We like to keep our photo tours small so we can give adequate individual attention. For those photographers that feel more independent, we will allow you to wander away from the group and explore on your own within reasonable limits.

Camera Gear: A wide angle zoom lens is most useful at South Coyote (equivalent 16-35 on a full-frame camera or 10-22mm on a crop sensor). There are opportunities for mid-range, telephoto, and macro shots so you can bring any of those lenses if you like – just ensure your pack isn’t too heavy. But do note that the bulk of your photos will come from the wide angle lens. All participants should bring a tripod. For filters, a circular polarizer can come in handy as long as it’s not a clear, blue-sky day. A neutral density filter can be nice to smooth out rough water or create long exposures for fast moving clouds. Don’t forget extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies. Please contact us if you’d like to rent any camera gear for your outing.

Reviews: We really appreciate Trip Advisor Reviews after your trip. Here’s the link to write a review: You can read what other folks have been saying here:

Safety: Our guides are trained in CPR/First-Aid. All 4WD vehicles are equipped with extraction equipment and a first-aid kit. We carry a satellite beacon with us in case of emergencies outside of cell range.

Cancellation/Re-Scheduling: Please see our full Terms and Conditions

Permits: Permits are required to access South Coyote Buttes and must be obtained via lottery. As commercial guides, we have our own permits for South Coyote Buttes. However, all clients must procure their own permits. To apply for the online lottery, simply visit THIS LINK and look for available dates on the calendar. For the best chances, go to the calendar 3 months ahead of time at 12PM on the 1st day of the month. Dates can fill quickly after the 1st of the month. For example, if you wanted to visit in August, you would visit the calendar on May 1st at 12PM and select the August date for your permit. The other option is the walk-in lottery which is held at the BLM Visitor Center in Kanab Utah (745 E. Highway 89). You’ll want to be there between 9:30 and 10AM Utah Time to submit your application. If less than 10 people are there, permits are issued on the spot. If not, there will be a drawing. There is not usually much competition for South Coyote Walk-In permits. Note that the BLM office is closed on weekends during the winter months. If you wanted a Sat/Sun/Mon permit, you would need to go in on Friday. Check their website for winter hours and holidays. All walk-in permits are good for the next day unless it’s a special case holiday or winter weekend draw. More information can be found here: