Calf Creek Recreation Area is an oasis of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It is near Scenic Byway 12 and has a gorgeous 126 foot water fall and grotto. Of course, there are some creeks and swimming holes for swimming or cooling off on hot summer days.
Exploring the Escalante River will excite hikers because of its side canyons and many slot canyons. For instance, there are many swimming holes fed by waterfalls in the Navajo Gorges area that are great for a family hike. The Rincons is a green area where the Anasazi established storage facilities, homes, and gardens. Jacob Hamblin Arch in Coyote Gulch, near Escalante, presents various challenges such as a 100 foot inclined stretch of slick-rock. Hurricane Wash, Red Well, and Jacob Hamblin are some of the many trails that traverse Coyote Gulch. Egypt Canyon is a narrow passageway that requires some climbing and claustrophobes may not wish to venture through this canyon. The Escalante River region is beautiful and has many Indian and cowboy remnants.
The Kaiparowitz Plateau deepens the beauty of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument area. This 50 mile mountain is near Escalante and parallels the Hole-in-the-Rock Road. The plateau offers dramatic view of the surrounding region and is rarely accessed. Ancient Anasazi Indians used the cliffs of the plateau as granaries and for secluded dwelling areas.
Hogsback adds excitement to the stunning scenery of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument along Scenic Byway 12. There are steep cliffs on both sides of the road that roll off to the canyon floors over 1,000 feet below. Panoramic views will captivate travelers who stop at any one of the many scenic viewpoints.
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is a great area for year-round recreational activities like camping, riding ATV's, wildlife viewing, biking, and hiking. Many enjoy cross country skiing and snowmobiling in nearby mountains during the winter. More information about recreational activities in this area is available in the towns of Cannonville, Escalante, and Boulder.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is southeast of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Glen Canyon spans the area between Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs in Utah. Lake Powell is the centerpiece of Glen Canyon, and the lake is where many people go each year to fish, boat, and swim in its warm waters. It began forming in 1957 when Glen Canyon Dam construction began near Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River. The Glen Canyon Dam is over 500 in height and has caused the Colorado, San Juan, and other rivers to back up into many side canyons, creating over 2,000 miles of shoreline for the lake. Visitors also enjoy riding ATVs, camping, and hiking. They also use Lake Powell to explore arches, bridges, canyons, and Indian remnants such as pictographs and petroglyhs.
Maps and information of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument are available at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center and Anasazi State Park Museum. The BLM maintains picnic areas for public use and campgrounds in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument area. Services and lodging are located along Scenic Byway 12 in Cannonville, Escalante, and Boulder. Please note that there are no services in the national monument area. Visitors need to make sure that they have plenty of gasoline, food, water, and emergency supplies in stock when they leave Scenic Byway 12, towns, camping grounds, or visitors' centers. Please remember that most of theunpaved roads here are only suitable for travel during dry weather.