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 Escalante National Monument - Lick Wash

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.

Staircase Road Numbering
Cottonwood Canyon: 400s
Skutumpah: 500s
Glendale Bench: 600s

 

 

 

Grand Staircase-Escalante
National Monument

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.

Grand Staircase Escalante

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.

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.

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
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.

Adventures 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.

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.

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.

Big Water

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

Current Road Conditions

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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - UTAH!

Escalante Grand Staircase

One ship drives east and another drives west. With the self same winds that blow. 'Tis the set of the sails. And not the gales. Which tell us the way to go. Like the winds of the sear are the ways of fate. As we voyage along through life. 'Tis the set of a soul. That decides its goal, And not the calm or the strife.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Photo: Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
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Photography by Tanya

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