Alternate Route to Crack-in-the-Wall
This information comes from an article on hiking to Steven's Arch. I have not traveled this route so I don't know how difficult it is. However, it looks like a safer alternative to hiking the ledge. Basically, you exit the Escalante River before you get to Coyote Gulch and drop into Coyote Gulch beyond the rock barrier and ledge. Then you hike out Coyote Gulch and up the sand hill to crack-in-the-wall. The link to the Steven's Arch article is here. The alternate route is mentioned at the end of the article and should be read for more information.
As you are floating down the Escalante River, you will see Steven's Arch. Then you go past the arch and you won't be able to see it for a while. That is when you start looking for a drainage on river right. You exit that drainage and hike up the hill.
After you drop down into Coyote Gulch, you hike towards the Escalante River and up the sand hill. The photo below shows where the trails merge. The trail on the right is from the ledge and the trail on the left is from Coyote Gulch. If anyone has hiked this path, I would like to hear how it worked out.
Lynne Carpenter has floated the Escalante many times. I asked her if she was familiar with the alternate route and she wasn't. However, she took Google Maps and tried to draw the path of the hike out, resulting in the picture below. Disclaimer: Neither of us have actually walked this route, so this is just a guess at the path, don't rely on it. The alternate route looks like 1) it probably adds about a mile and unknown elevation to the takeout hike and 2) the alternate route may also have some exposed sections (it’s difficult to tell from google earth).