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Roads through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah obviously appeals to the wilderness hiker, but the ancient beauty, varied ruggedness, and the impossibly shaped stone also draws the casual hiker and the windshield tourist. The Grand Staircase is so vast and the roads entering it come from so many directions, its difficult to know where to find something of interest without hours of driving.

Stair steps of the Grand Staircase

Climbing the Grand Staircase - The Grand Staircase is not your average staircase. The bottom layer is the deep bottom layer of Arizona's Grand Canyon and the pink hoodoos of Utah's Bryce Canyon are the top riser. When driving on 89A from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, toward the Utah town of Kanab, all the visible steps of the Grand Staircase-Escalante can be seen at once.

Borders of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument - The entire 1.9 million acres of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is in southern Utah. The monument is divided into three sections: The Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits Plateau and the Escalante Canyons. The Grand Staircase is a wonderful part of the monument that is surrounded by some of the most popular national parks in the country.

The Roads in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Bench Road (300 N) in Glendale, Utah. The Bench Road is located on Highway 89, 9 miles northeast of Mount Carmel Junction, on the east side of Zion National Park. This is a scenic and fun dirt road and 2WDs are fine if the roads are dry. The Bench Road is directly across the highway from the Buffalo Bistro in Glendale. The dirt road will intersect with Skutumpah at the 15 mile mark. map

Skutumpah Road - Skutumpah captures the beauty of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with its rugged 34 mile dirt road that winds past some great slot canyon hiking. Allow 2 hours to travel the entire distance. Entering and exiting Skutumpah Road is from the following areas.
The road may be impassible if wet.

Johnson Canyon Road is 11 miles east of Kanab, Utah. Lots of homes and privately owned land are located here, but the road is paved until it meets with Skutumpah Road. The road is 24 miles long from Highway 89 until it meets with Skutumpah Road.
Skutumpah may be impassible if wet.

Cottonwood Canyon Road is 32 miles east of Kanab, Utah. This is a 46 mile long dirt road backway that runs from near Big Water to Cannonville. It would be an out of the way road to get to Skutumpah Road, but it has its own adventures along the way. These include: Old Paria Movie Set, ( burnt down in 2006) Cottonwood Slot Canyon and Grosvenor Arch. The road may be impassible if wet.

Map: Zion National Park Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Grand Staircase Road Numbering
Cottonwood Canyon: 400s
Skutumpah: 500s
Glendale Bench: 600s

Scenic Loop in the Grand Staircase Escalante

From Zion National Park drive to the east side and out the east entrance. Continue to Mount Carmel Junction at the junction of highways 9 & 89. Drive 6 miles northeast toward Glendale. Enter the Grand Staircase Escalante at the Bench Road. It's directly across the highway from the Buffalo Bistro. Turn on Skutumpah Road and drive towards Cannonville. Along the way visit Bull Valley Gorge, Lick Wash and Willis Creek. Make sure to visit Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon before leaving the area. The road may be impassible if wet.

 

Hiking near Big Water, Utah

Big Water - A unique corner of the monument where the toadstools, known at the Rimrock Hoodoos and the towering white Wahweap Hoodoos are found.

Hiking along Skutumpah Road

Bull Valley Gorge - A backpack loop, starting at Bull Valley Gorge, then winding through Sheep Creek and ending at the trailhead for Willis Creek slot canyon. Look for the1950's truck wedged under the bridge.

Lick Wash - A moderate hike through a wonderful slot canyon filled with magnificent sculpted designs and fun cubby holes. Located just off Skutumpah Road.

Willis Creek - A fun hike through an impressive slot canyon. The erie lighting in the slot canyon is a photographers dream. Willis Creek is located just off Skutumpah Road.


Along Johnson Canyon Road

Gunsmoke Movie Set - Located on private land, so it's viewed from a distance. It's located just off the the Johnson Canyon road.

Along Cottonwood Canyon Road

Hackberry Canyon - A very nice hike down a stream to some dinosaur tracks.

Yellow Rock - Exploration of a large, photogenic rock.

Cottonwood Canyon - A short slot canyon the whole family can explore.

Grosvenor Arch - Grosvenor Arch is an impressive sandstone double arch.

Paria Movie Set - The Paria Movie Set is an old set where many 1960s movies were filmed. It's located 14 miles west of the Cottonwood Wash Road and highway 89 junction. Sadly vandals burned down the movie set in the fall of 2006.

Directions: East Zion to the
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase Map
Grand Staircase Road Map

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

Zion National Park Maps
 

 

 

Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.

 

Grand Staircase-Escalante Roads - Pristine and remote describes the roadways within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Highway 89 defines the southern border and Highway 12 accesses the northern side. In addition to Highways 12 and 89, there are 959 miles of open road in the Grand Staircase. Glendale, Utah, located on Highway 89, northeast of Zion National Park, connects the east side of Zion to Bryce Canyon via the Glendale Bench Road and the scenic backway, Skutumpah Road. To the north, Highway 12 connects Tropic and Boulder, Utah. At the southern end of the monument, roads connect Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona. The most popular roads in the Grand Staircase are probably Skutumpah Road accessed either by the Glendale Bench Road, near the east entrance to Zion, or the Johnson Canyon Road near Kanab, both leading to Kodachrome Basin near Bryce Canyon. All interior roads except for portions of the Burr Trail and Johnson Canyon Road are unpaved and may be impassible if wet.

Map: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

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