Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

 

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The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!

Stay in Mt. Carmel Jct., the heart of the parks, and visit the treasures of the Southwest.

Mileage: Mt. Carmel Jct.
Zion Park 12 miles
Grand Staircase 9 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Coyote Butte 57 miles
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Toroweap 90 miles

Plan your Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument vacation with our Utah and Arizona maps.

In these pages you will find insiders information on the best Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument hikes. This detailed guide includes road maps, park maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history, fees, geology, flora, fauna, campgrounds, things for kids to do and even information on the Grand Staircase hidden treasures.

Making summer memories in Utah's national monuments.
 

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Grand Staircase Map
Grand Staircase Road Map

Directions: East Zion to Staircase

From Salt Lake City, travel south on I15 to U-20. Exit on U-20. Turn south on U-89 and follow U-89 to Glendale.

From Las Vegas: Travel I15 to exit 16. Follow U-9 to the south entrance of Zion and through to the east entrance. Take U-9 for 12 miles to Mt. Carmel Jct, where U-89 and U-9 meet. Drive north on U-89 to Glendale.

From Glendale, turn right on 300 N. (Bench Road) Follow the graded dirt road, Skutumpah, into the Grand Staircase. Remember the Grand Staircase is a wild and remote place. The dirt roads may be impassible when wet and there is usually no water, services or cell phone access. Skutumpah is a backway and should only be traveled in dry conditions. Call for road and weather information before travel: 435.644.4680

Grand Staircase Hiking

The beautiful Willis Creek Slot Canyon hike in the Skutumpah Terrace section of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

 

 

  Grand Staircase Escalante Hiking

Entrance Fees: There are no fees to enter the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument from the Glendale Bench Road or to hike the trails listed on this page. Road Map

Willis Creek Slot Canyon

Photo Album: Willis Creek Pictures
Trail Map: Willis Creek Trail Map
Day hike: Yes.
Trail Distance: 4 miles/6.4km round trip
Average hiking time: 2 hours round trip
Trail Usage: Skutumpah road is impassible if wet.
Bike Trail: No
Difficulty: Easy
Sun Exposure: Sun and Shade mix.
Permits: no
Trail Conditions: Skutumpah Road is remote and can be impassible if wet. Most of the Willis Creek hike is a nice stroll through a cobblestone stream. This is an easy hike that kids and families with enjoy.
Trailhead: Skutumpah Road
Trailend: Same as trailhead
Best Season: Summer when the water is warmer.
Off the beaten path: Yes
Restrooms: None

Willis Creek

This is another easy and shady slot canyon hike in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that the entire family can enjoy. The golden glow and towering canyons walls are magnificent.

Willis Creek Trailhead

Trailhead: From Mount Carmel Junction, follow Scenic Byway 89 north, to Glendale, Utah. Make a right turn on 300 North, also called the Bench Road. It's directly across the highway from the Buffalo Bistro. Travel the graded dirt Glendale Bench Road (road #600) for 15 miles to a marked junction in the road. There is a kiosk at the junction with a map and other information. The road goes in two directions from the Glendale Bench Road. One road is the Johnson Canyon Road and the other is the Skutumpah Road (road #500). Take Skutumpah Road. It's 14 miles on Skutumpah Road to the Lick Wash Trailhead. To find Willis Creek continue down Skutumpah Road 11.8 miles past the Lick Wash trailhead. There are two parking areas for Willis Creek. The trail starts on the opposite side of the road from the registration box.

Willis Creek Trail Beta

Willis Creek is a 4 mile round trip hike. It's an amazing slot canyon adventure with narrow cliff walls and a flat, stony stream-bed path to walk through. Towering slickrock forms the walls of this incredible slot canyon. Some small waterfalls add to the fun and enjoyment of the Willis Creek hike.

Willis Creek can be combined with Bull Valley Gorge for a two day backpack.

Skutumpah Road

Continue another 3-miles northeast on Skutumpah Road to the GSENM kiosk. After the kiosk, it's another 3.5 out of the monument and onto the paved scenic backway to (Kodachrome Basin Road) Cannonville. There is a staffed GSENM Visitors Center in Cannonville.

Caution: Flash floods are a danger with any hike through a slot canyon. As with Lick Wash hike, check weather information prior to hiking.

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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - UTAH!

Escalante Grand Staircase

All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.
-- T.K. Whipple

Photo: Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
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Photography by Tanya

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