Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument Travel Guide
Odd shaped hoodoos
Odd shaped hoodoos
Layered colored rock
Dried up lake/dam
Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument
Solitude, beauty and desert wilderness
Tougher to explore than other Utah parks. 4WD highly recommended
In a nutshell
This what the West was like! Still here for the adventerous!
Escalante Interagency Visitor Center
Escalante has four visitor centers and a few field offices. The one mentioned here is in the northern district in the town of Escalante. Clean bathrooms and very helpful staff. They do not have a gift store exactly, especially not like a national park. This is a good place...
Lower Calf Creek Falls
Lower Calf Creek Fall is easy to find. After coming down out of the Henry Mountains (if you are coming from Hanksville) you will see an entrance for Calf Creek Recreation Area. The trail head is just down the road from the parking lot, walking towards the campsites.The trail...
One of the more accessible slot canyons in the monument Willis Creek is a perpetual water source in the dry desert. Driving up from Kanab via the Johnson Canyon road you pass Lick Gorge and Bull Valley Gorge along the way and can make exploring all of them a day long...
Slither through a slot canyon
There are many good slot canyons in the monument. Those most frequently seen by new visitors are Spooky and Peekaboo down the Hole in the Rock Road, and Willis Canyon off the Glendale Bench or Skutumpah Road or the Cottonwood Narrows on the Cottonwood Wash Road.These are...
Kiva Koffehouse: Best View
The view from the restaurant is wonderful, perched as it is above the Escalante river canyon. This is a wonderful place to rest along highway 12. The building was lovingly made from native materials in the echo of an ancient kiva. The food is healthy, hearty and earth...
Prospector Inn & restaurant: Escalante-Few places to eat in town
It was all good and plenty to satisfy the palate. They get a pretty good crowd at breakfast because not all places are open then in town.
The burger with fires and all you can eat salad bar was just what I needed. It more than filled me up without the price setting me back
Open sky: Best stars
Night life in the monument will be limited to what you bring with you. But one thing you'll most likely be able to count on will be stars like you've never seen them before. Bring a star finder so you can know what you are looking at. Enjoy the Milky Way, Scorpio, the summer...
Griffen's Groceries: Replenish supplies
Thank goodness for the food store. There really is not much of anything if you are driving the back roads and scenic byways to Zion National Park from Goblin Valley. They have everything you need but not much on fresh fruit or vegetable. No deli counter but they do have...
Escalante Outfitters: Outdoor gear shop
This is a small shop on Main street that is together with a restaurant and a small lodge. They have the necessities of outdoor clothing and equipment like some books and maps of the area.Good place if you forgot something.
On par with the averages at other outdoor stores
Cattle Grazing in Open Spaces
There are no fences to hole back the cattle, so they may be right along the roadside to get that greener grass. A National Park Service Ranger had 300 head grazing in and area about 20X20 miles range. They go out every 2-3 weeks to check on the herd. In winter they go out on...
Climbing into Peek-a-boo slot
To access Peek-a-boo slot canyon it is necessary to make a 20 foot climb up into the slot. It is a climb on sandy slick rock that is near vertical. Fortunately they have slight sloping steps called Moki steps to help ascend. Don't misunderstand, these steps only slightly...
Water in the slots!
While checking in at the visitor center is always a good idea to see if roads are open, they can also give you some information how much if any water is in the slot canyons. People will report their experiences and rangers may also be in the slots and report back. Its always...
Wrong way hiking
If you hike Spooky slot canyon, only enter the slot after you exit Peek-a-boo slot as part of a loop hike. Do not attempt Spooky as an in and out hike. The slot is very narrow and there is no place to pass people or let them by. Most people will be coming down the slot which...
Be prepared for the wilderness
No hotels, no lodges are in the monument. If you're going to camp, come prepared with as little as you need. Canyons are narrow. Plan to base camp and then explore with a small day pack carrying food, water, first aid, and/or rain gear.
Actually, go prepared for sunny and...
Spooky slot canyon
Spooky Slot Canyon runs parallel with Peek-a-boo slot canyon and is usually done as part of a loop hike. When you exit Peek-a-boo slot canyon, walk about 100 feet to the right and you will see a cairn marking a trail going up a small hill. There are many trails weaving...
Peek-a-boo slot canyon
Peek-a-boo slot canyon is a great day hike if you can find it. It is a good idea to check with the rangers station in the town of Escalante to see what the water level is. In early March there could be some water to negotiate. As with any slot canyon, do not try this hike if...
Take the loop!
Escalante is great. You will definitely enjoy it. If you hike Pee-a-boo and spooky as a loop, be sure to go up Peek-a-boo and down spooky. Two reasons, trying to down climb out of Peek-a-boo can be nerve racking to say the least, unless you are an avid climber. An in and out...
I have camped many times in this area and on occasion spend many days in the wilderness. When I am done it is nice to take a shower. If you don't want to get a hotel room, your best option is to drive about 30 minutes to Kodechrome State Park which has a public shower for...
There is a trailer park located just down the road from the national monument visitor center, on the same side of the road toward the town of Escalante. The showers are clean but beware the hot water does not last long. I found on my last visit they like to boast their four...
the rules & a Ping Pong Ball
We had stopped by the small backcountry ranger station called White House the day before where a helpful if a bit disgruntled ranger explained “the rules” to us. It seemed he had done this a few too many times and was surprised at how little we knew about it. Basically, 20...
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