Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Geologic Sightseeing > Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (UT) 
Location
85 miles east of St. George, Utah.
 
Description
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is located on the Colorado Plateau in the pristine and spectacular canyonlands of Utah. It contains some of the most remote country in the lower 48 states. The monument’s 1.9 million acres of vast and austere landscape embrace a spectacular array of scientific and historic resources in an unspoiled natural setting. This rugged and remote region of high plateaus and multi-hued cliffs was the last place in the continental United States to be mapped. The monument contains
extensive and remote back country hiking opportunities.
   
The lands of the monument are divided into three distinct regions: The Grand Staircase, Escalante Canyon, and Kaiparowits Plateau. The Grand Staircase is a series of great geological “steps” that ascend northward across the southwestern corner of the Monument, spanning five different life zones, from Sonoran Desert to coniferous forest. The Escalante River cascades off the southern flank of the Aquarius Plateau, winding through a 1,000-mile maze of interconnected canyons. This magical labyrinth is one of the scenic wonders of the West. The Kaiparowits Plateau is a vast, wedge-shaped block of mesas and deeply incised canyons that tower above the surrounding canyonlands. The isolated, rugged plateau is refuge for wildlife and rare plants, and a depository for countless fossils.
 
Directions
The monument is surrounded by the towns of Kanab, Cannonville, Boulder, Bigwater, and Escalante. Each of these towns has a visitor center offering maps and information. Scenic All American Highway 12 (State Highway 12) runs along the northern portion of the monument, and State Highway 89 is located on the southern boundary. Bryce Canyon National Park abuts the monument near Cannonville. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Capitol Reef National Park lie adjacent to the monument on the east, and Dixie National Forest borders the monument to the north. To get to Devil’s Garden, one of the striking landscape features in the monument, go about 4.5 miles south on State Highway 12 from Escalante. Turn right on Hole-in-theRock Road. Proceed another 7.5 miles to the site. Proceed another 7.5 miles to the parking area for Devil’s Garden.
 
Visitor Activities
Hiking, scenic drives, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, four-wheel driving, horseback riding, geologic sightseeing, and interpretive exhibits.
 
Special Features
Calf Creek Falls is one of the most well-known features in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. A trail leads visitors along Calf Creek to a 126-foot-high, spectacular waterfall. The hike is 6 miles round-trip and takes 3–4 hours. A trail brochure highlights features along the way. Another easily accessible feature is Devil’s Garden, where visitors can hike a short trail system to meander among striking hoodoos, arches, and other sandstone formations. The Paria Movie Set and the Pahreah Cemetery and Town Site are well worth a visit, just 5 miles off of State Highway 89 in the southern portion of the monument. Visitors will be treated to a newly reconstructed movie set complete with interpretive panels and a walking tour brochure that explores life on the Paria River.
 
Permits, Fees, Limitations
Fees may be required in the future. Special-use permits are required for commercial users such as guides, outfitters, and large groups.
 
Accessibility
The visitor centers at Anasazi State Park and in Big Water, Cannonville, Escalante, and Kanab all have building entry ramps, wheelchair-accessible toilets, and wheelchair-accessible exhibit facilities. Within the monument, Grosvenor Arch, about 18 miles south of Cannonville on Cottonwood Canyon Road, has a wheelchair-accessible toilet and picnic site, and a hardened surface trail to view the arch. (Cottonwood Canyon Road is paved to Kodachrome State Park.) The Blues Overlook on State Highway 12 has wheelchair-accessible toilets and paved access to viewing spots. Calf Creek Recreation Area has wheelchair-accessible toilets and a few wheelchair-accessible picnic and camping sites. Deer Creek campsite, 9 miles east of Boulder on the paved portion of Burr Trail, has a wheelchair-accessible toilet. Devil’s Garden, about 10 miles east of Boulder on Burr Trail Road, has wheelchair-accessible toilets.
 
Camping and Lodging
Lodging is available in Kanab, Cannonville, Escalante, Boulder, and Tropic, about 5 miles northwest of Cannonville on State Highway 12. Within the monument, campgrounds are located at Calf Creek and Deer Creek, 5 miles east. Primitive camping is also permitted within the monument. Back country permits are required for all overnight stays(backpacking, car camping, horse packing, and boating). State park campgrounds are located adjacent to the monument at Kodachrome Basin, 10 miles west of Cannonville, and in Escalante Petrified Forest, 5 miles west. Other public and private campgrounds are nearby. Check with a visitor center for details.
 
Food and Supplies
No services are available within the monument. Services are available in nearby Kanab, Cannonville, Tropic, Escalante, and Boulder, and in Page, Arizona, 9 miles southeast of Bigwater on U.S. Highway 89.
 
First Aid
No first aid is available within the monument. The nearest hospitals are located in Page, Arizona, and Panguitch (about 60 miles northwest of Escalante) and Kanab, Utah. Limited medical services are available in Escalante.
 
Additional Information
Visitors should check with BLM staff before visiting the monument. Visitors must be cautious, whether riding in a vehicle or hiking. State Highways 89 and 12 and the Burr Trail (a partially paved route from Boulder to Capital Reef National Park), are the only roads within the monument that are paved. Unpaved portions of Burr Trail require a four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicle. Dirt roads can become impassable when wet.
 
Contact Information:
BLM - Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
190 E. Center
Kanab, UT 84741
Tel: (435) 644-4300

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Map


Hikers find solitude and beauty in the Escalante Canyon area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Hikers find solitude and beauty in the Escalante Canyon area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. (Kelly Rigby, BLM Utah State Office)