Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument spans across nearly one million acres of America's public lands and contains three distinct units: Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits, and Escalante Canyon. From its spectacular Grand Staircase of cliffs and terraces, across the rugged Kaiparowits Plateau to the wonders of the Escalante River Canyons, the Monument is a diverse geologic treasure speckled with monoliths, slot canyons, natural bridges, and arches. Due to its remote location and rugged landscape, the monument was one of the last places in the continental United States to be mapped.
The Monument is also an outstanding biological resource, spanning five life-zones - from low-lying desert to coniferous forest. Deep within this vast and austere landscape, the Anasazi and Fremont cultures made contact in the period AD 950-1100, leaving behind rock art panels, occupation sites, campsites and granaries. Stepping further back in time, fossil excavations have yielded more information about ecosystem change at the end of the dinosaur era than any other place in the world. The Monument’s size, resources, and remote character provide extraordinary opportunities for geologists, paleontologists, archeologists, historians, and biologists in scientific research, education, and exploration. This unspoiled natural area remains a frontier with countless opportunities for quiet recreation and solitude.