Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is truly a hidden gem that isn’t really hidden at all. In fact, this entire area takes up a whopping 1,003,863 acres. Before Trump reduced it in late 2017 the national monument encompassed 1,880,461 acres. This entire area is immensely large and beyond beautiful. It is filled with treasures and gems including but not limited to things such as waterfalls, wildlife, slickrock, slot canyons and many, many hiking trails.
Now, I’m not telling you about this because I want this area to become overpopulated like many of our national parks, but I’m telling you this because I feel it is a crying shame that more people don’t know about this place or even take it in to consideration when planning a vacation. It is my duty to tell you the wonderful places in this country to explore and to share with you my experiences.
When we first visited this area a little over a year ago, we were truly amazed by the immense vastness this place portrayed. You could look on for miles and miles and see no real end in sight. It was almost like looking at an ocean, but of land. The colors and formations are truly astounding. This place is one that you could sit down, have lunch and stare off into the abys for hours and then come to wondering where all the time went.
Well little did we know then what this area really had to offer. It isn’t just a beautiful drive with endless views. This place offers BLM land and LOTS of it, waterfalls, atv trails, off-roading, random hidden places that will leave you scratching your head wondering how and why it’s there, seclusion, wildlife, unbelievable blooms, points of interest, camping, fishing, hiking, petroglyphs, rivers, streams, and complete solitude (yeah, that’s right, don’t expect any cell service in this national monument area).
If you truly want to get off grid and boondock this is your place. Everywhere you look there are places to pull off the road, go deep into the area and go off grid. There is nothing quite like waking up with no neighbors and limitless views. If that isn’t something that interests you, well honestly, you should get checked out, but besides that, this isn’t the place for you. I kid, but seriously, if it’s not something you have experienced before, you have to at least give it a try. I promise it will be like nothing you have ever experienced before and who knows, you might just fall in love with the experience.
Now, I realize I might be a little partial because I fell in love with Southern Utah a little over a year ago, but I am quickly falling in love with the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area. So much so that I have been there more times than I have explored Bryce Canyon and I live right outside of the park. I have explored many little areas within Escalante and intend on exploring many more in the near future.
So far, I have explored the following within the park and will have write-ups for you shortly on each:
Burr Trail Road
Escalante Natural Bridge
Lower Calf Creek Falls
Upper Calf Creek Falls
Fun Facts about Grand Stairecase-Escalante National Monument:
- Numerous dinosaur fossils over 75,000 years old have been found since 2000
- Humans did not settle in the area until nearly AD 500
- 12 new species of dinosaur have been found since the area was declared a national monument
- The national monument contains 85% of the plants found in all of Utah