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

Paria Canyon - The Wave

The Wave is a multi colored wonderland of carved stone that fascinates the mind and the eye.

Suggested Gear : A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend to hike many of the SW Trails. Quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury. Experienced hikers and canyoneers like the Sportiva Exum Ridge. This shoe is great for hiking, bouldering and canyoneering.





North Coyote Buttes "The Wave"

The Coyote Buttes Special Management Area is in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Arizona's Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness.

Photo Album: The Wave Pictures
Day hike: Yes. No overnight camping inside the hiking route.
Trail Distance: 5.76 miles to the wave and back.
7.2 miles/11.6km round trip from the Wire Pass parking lot to "The Wave," the Arch, the Grotto and back.
Average hiking time: 5 hours
Accessible Trail: No.
Trail Usage: Limited to 10 people per day
Bike Trail: No and no Pets
Difficulty: Moderate to the Wave. Difficult slickrock scrambling to the Arch and Grotto. Excellent navigation skills are a must. Do not attempt this hike without a map from the BLM or a GPS.
Sun Exposure: Full sun. There is no shade and the dark red rock and sand will reflect the sun and amplify the effects of heat, Carry at least 1 gallon of water per person in the summer.
Permits: Required. Limited to 6 in a group. Day use only. Apply for an online permit or pick them up in person. Choose Coyote Butte North. Cost is $5 per person. Kanab BLM Office: 318 N 100 E 435.644.4600 Paria BLM office is 4 miles east of the Wire Pass turn-off.
Trail Conditions: Good. The start of the hike is uphill through the sand, but most of the hike is over rock.
Trailhead: Wire Pass - Located 35 miles west of Page, Arizona 40 miles east of Kanab, Utah.
Trailend: Same as trailhead
Best Season: Spring and Fall. Hot in the summer, when the weather cooperates this is a good winter hike.
Off the beaten path: Yes
Elevation gain to the Wave: 661'/201m
Starting Elevation: 4877'/1487m
Wave Elevation: 5219'/1286m
Restrooms: Vault toilet at the Wire Pass Trailhead

North Coyote Buttes "The Wave"

The Wave: Located on the Colorado Plateau near the Utah and Arizona border is a gallery of gruesomely twisted formations of sandstone resembling deformed pillars, cones, mushrooms and other odd creations. Deposits of iron claim some of the responsibility for the unique blending of color twisted in the rock, creating a dramatic rainbow of pastel yellows, pinks and reds.

Wire Pass Trailhead: To find the Wire Pass Trailhead, drive about 35 miles west from Page, Arizona or 40 miles east of Kanab, Utah. The turn-off is located on the south (right side coming from Kanab) side of highway 89 between mile markers 25 and 26 at a curve in the road at the end of a guard rail. Turn at the un-marked dirt road. This is House Rock Road. It is 8.3 miles on the dirt road to the parking area. Park near the vault toilet on the right side of the road and display your parking permit in your window. Cross the road and start hiking east on the path of use past the register box for Buckskin Gulch. Pass through the hikers gate and follow the foot prints through the sandy, dry Wire Pass river bed. Follow the obvious path out of the wash and up hill and to the right over the crossbedded sandstone. Sign in at the Coyote Butte register box. This was Wire Pass.

The Wave Beta: From the register box there is not a formal trail to "The Wave," but landmarks or GPS coordinates can be used. Continue the uphill trek southeast over the slickrock and sand to where the ground levels out. Watch for foot prints in the sand. The route turns south - southeast. Stay close to the rock formations to your right for the next mile, keeping away from the lower ground. The smaller domes will be to your left.

Landmark notch for The Wave

Keep your eyes peeled in the distance among the buttes, for a large, dark notch in a tall butte ahead. This notch is your landmark to find the Wave. The Wave is directly below the notch. Rock formations will become more interesting when approaching "The Wave." Drop into the wash heading toward the multicolored sandstone.

The Wave: The area called Top Rock is a collection of white Navajo sandstone formations. The south end of Top Rock divides north and south Coyote Buttes. "The Wave" is a chasm located on the northeast edge of Top Rock. If there is too much water in the chasm to pass through safely it is easy to go around. When you arrive at "The Wave," you are about .04 miles south of the Arizona and Utah state line.

Natural Arch: To find the arch continue up the sandstone and to the right. Look for the arch at the very top of the mountain. Find the easiest way up the steep slickrock. The arch is approached from the back side of the mountain. Only those experienced in slickrock climbing should attempt to go to the arch. From the arch the red cones of South Coyote Butte is a nice scene.

The Grotto: To locate the Grotto return back to the way you approached the arch but stay to your left hiking over the crossbedded sandstone. The Grotto is a fun alcove with a wonderful pile of sand in its bowels.

Best Trail Features: The Wave is not just a simple end to a hike, but a place in itself to be explored. There are various rock formations to explore in addition to the striated sandstone.

GPS Beta: Coordinates and other trail information by Kane County search and rescue vice commander and training officer Dean Kurtz and Zion Park search and rescue team member Bo Beck.

UTM: WGS 84 Datum

Parking lot at Wire Pass
12s 408723mE 4097394mN
Elevation: 4877'/1487m

The Wave
12s 410461mE 4094916mN
Elevation: 5219'/1286m
Distance from parking lot: 2.88 miles/4.63km

The Arch
12s 410562mE 4094731mN
Elevation: 5538'/1688m
Distance from "The Wave" 0.5 miles/.08km


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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - UTAH!

Escalante Grand Staircase

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Photo: Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Photography by Tanya

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