Explore the Regions
Escalante Canyons Section
Escalante Canyons draw interest year round for hiking and canyoneering. Spring and Fall offer better Escalante Utah weather for outdoor adventures. Hike Utah.
Learn all about Utah’s Grand Staircase. Visitor center information, lodging, weather and everything you need to plan a trip can be found here.
The Kaiparowits plateau falls between the Grand Staircase region (to the west) and the Escalante Canyons region (to the northeast). It is separated from the proposed Grand Staircase National Monument by the Paria River.
On December 4, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to draw new boundary lines for Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument. The proposal introduces three new units in this area named, west to east, Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits and Escalante Canyons.
The three smaller regions all fall within the former monument designation's boundaries. All other lands that were covered by the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument designation retain their existing level of federal protection.
The Escalante Canyons section is the most popular area of the monument, especially among hikers. Active waterfalls, arches, riparian oases, sculpted slickrock and narrow canyons are part of the appeal of hikes through the Escalante’s backcountry.
The Grand Staircase area is more remote and less visited. It is spectacular and contains the most extensive network of slot canyons in Utah.
These two areas are separated by the 1,600-square-mile Kaiparowits Plateau, which features unique sedimentary rock formations containing an unbroken record of fossils spanning 30 million years.
Visitors will find a vast and pristine backcountry that affords excellent opportunities for solitude and unconfined wilderness recreation, along with great scenic driving opportunities and endless camping options, both developed and primitive. But wherever you travel in this magnificent landscape, whether a drive down remote desert roads or a hike up lonely canyons, you will be rewarded at the end of your trip with vivid memories and a yearning to return.
Much of the sweeping Grand Staircase region is quite remote. Very few trailheads can be reached on paved roads.
Visitors to the backways should carry plenty of water (at least one gallon — 4 liters — per person, per day) and be equipped to get themselves out of any difficulty they might encounter. Summer temperatures can range over 100° F (38°C) and winters can drop well below freezing at night. Perhaps most importantly, sudden heavy rains may make this road impassable — even for high-clearance, 4WD vehicles.
Read the Grand Staircase–Escalante Expert Journal to make sure you're prepared.