Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
This remote and unspoiled 280,000-acre monument is a geologic treasure with some of the most spectacular trails and views in the world. The monument contains many diverse landscapes, including the Paria Plateau, Vermilion Cliffs, Coyote Buttes, and Paria Canyon. The monument borders Kaibab National Forest to the west and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to the east. The monument includes the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Elevations range from 3,100 to 7,100 feet. The monument is also home to a growing number of endangered California condors. Each year, condors hatched and raised in a captive breeding program are released in the monument. To visit the monument, you'll need extra planning and awareness of potential hazards. Most roads need a high clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle due to deep sand.
Getting to the Monument
travel north on U.S. Highway 89 to U.S. Highway 89A at the Bitter Springs turnoff.
From Kanab, Utah
take U.S. 89 to the east or U.S. 89A to the south through Fredonia and Jacob Lake.
There are no paved roads within the monument. While House Rock Valley Road (BLM 1065) is a maintained dirt road, it may be impassable when wet. You'll need a four-wheel-drive, high clearance vehicle on other roads due to deep sand.
Things to Do
You can enjoy scenic views of towering cliffs and deep canyons. Paria Canyon offers an outstanding three- to five-day wilderness backpacking experience (permits required). People come from all over the world to see the colorful swirls of cross-bedded sandstone in Coyote Buttes. There are also opportunities to view wildlife, including California condors.
Dispersed camping is allowed outside the wilderness area in previously disturbed areas.
You must have a permit to hike in Coyote Buttes North (The Wave), Coyote Buttes South, and for overnight trips within Paria Canyon.
There are no visitor centers on the monument.
You can get Arizona Strip visitor maps online and at
BLM Kanab Visitor Center, and
the Interagency Information Center in St. George, Utah.
You'll need special planning and awareness of potential hazards. Expect rugged and unmarked roads, venomous reptiles and invertebrates, extreme heat or cold, deep sand, and flash floods. Bring a full-size spare tire and plenty of water, food, and gasoline.