Fees and permits: Camping is free in
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is
situated in the Southern Utah in United States. Grand
Staircase-Escalante covers a total area of 1.9 million acres (7,689
km2) and carries one of the best geological formations in the state.
There are three main regions: the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits
Plateau, and the Escalante Canyons, all managed by the Bureau of
Land Management, part of the National Landscape Conservation System.
President Bill Clinton designated the area as a national monument in
1996 thanks to the "Antiquities Act".
The national monument stretches from the cities of
Big Water, Glendale and Kanab in the southwest to the cities of
Escalante and Boulder in the northeast. Its size is comparable to
that of the State of Delaware. The western part of the Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument is dominated by the
Paunsaugunt Plateau and the Paria River Valley, on the eastern edge
of Bryce Canyon National Park.
This area allows you to view the upper geological layers of the
The central section of Grand
Staircase-Escalante consists of an elevated area called
Kaiparowits Plateau when viewed from the west and referred to as
Fifty-Mile Mountain ("50-Mile Mountain") when viewed from the east.
This plateau extends from the southeast of Escalante to the Colorado
River. The western slope of the plateau is a gentle slope while its
eastern slope is a cliff 650 meters high.
Canyon of Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument begin further east of this
plateau. This is an area composed of many canyons limited further
east by the Glen Canyon
National Recreation Area. This area is very popular with hikers.
How to get here
Fly into Las Vegas, Salt Lake City or Phoenix and
rent a car. From Las Vegas take Interstate 15 North or from Salt
Lake City take Interstate 15 South. In either case take State Route
14 east from Cedar City to State Route 12 or US 89, which will take
you through the Monument. From Phoenix take Interstate 17 North to
Flagstaff and then continue north on US 89, which take you into the
Monument. Four wheel drive is highly recommended on any but the
primary roads, although not strictly necessary.