nature trips

hiking

views

walking

dogs on leash

birding

kid friendly

wildlife

river

no dogs

wild flowers

historic site

camping

dog friendly

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument spans nearly 1.9 million acres of America’s public lands. From its spectacular Grand Staircase of cliffs and terraces, across the rugged Kaiparowits Plateau, to the wonders of the Escalante River Canyons, the Monument’s size, resources, and remote character provide extraordinary opportunities for geologists, paleontologists, archeologists, historians, and biologists in scientific research, education, and exploration.

Probably best for people new to narrows/slot canyons. Very easy, you drop in right off the road, but nothing spectacular. Best parts were a couple canyons off to the side, one where you can climb up a couple giant boulders near the north end.

No water or mud, Sept 25th.

It really does look like you’re on another planet! Insanely hot, no shade.

off road driving
4 days ago

Drove from Boulder to Capitol Reef 9/15. Amazing drive with unreal views. It really takes into the middle of nowhere. Beware, though, this was a long drive of almost 3 hours. Once into Capitol Reef the switchbacks are crazy and not for everyone. If going up from Capitol Reef I think a Jeep or some other off road vehicle would be necessary. During our trip we only saw a few cars and dirt section was in good condition. If you have the time the drive from Boulder to Bull Frog and back is worth it. If you’re into camping there are some really secluded areas that would be incredible.

Loads of fun! We took the trail up and the river walk back, if the water isn’t too high we would highly recommend it. The natural bridge alone is worth the trip but the granary along the left canyon wall is the best we’ve seen in two weeks of exploring Utah! Keep hiking until you’re tired of wrestling with the sand, pop into the river for a cool, leisurely and solitary walk backcourt

off road driving
5 days ago

Traveled this route by motorcycle from Bull Frog to Escalante. Nice drive. Go early to beat the traffic. Can be quite a few other vehicles. Careful on the switchback corners as some vehicles have made some big ruts. Washboards are bad by the west entrance Grand Staircase.

off road driving
5 days ago

Nice drive especially in October when aspens are turning color. We also did this route in late May. Washboards are bad at the start but then thin out and are almost non-existent as you travel on. Both times we turned off onto Forest Rd #154 and went out to Bicknell. Posey Lake is a nice stop for lunch.

The falls are definitely worth it but take the time to enjoy the rest of the hike as well. Very large and visual pictographs, exceptional rock formations and clusters of plant life not often seen in the desert. It is a busy trail but late in the day it was very manageable.

I took this hike in the middle July, which made the arrival to the falls well worth the hike. The trail is mostly sandy and rocky. The sand can get hot towards the middle of the day, but people hike in sandals and chacos nonetheless. Consider getting booties for your dog, and have something to carry their feces in (unfortunate but courteous), a mason jar typically works. There isn’t a substantial amount of elevation change either during the hike. Upon arriving to the falls, it is very much an oasis, with plenty shade from trees. The water is very cold, as it should be. It’s fun swimming as close to the falls as possible too. During the hike back, I encountered some light rain, so be rain ready too. Be sure to check out the upper calf creek trail if you can. As far as traffic goes, be sure to arrive as early as possible if you want to have good parking. During the time I went, the crowd was small enough for everyone to swim and play around. I’d estimate 50 or so other hikers at the falls. The weather at the time was about high 90s during the day, and lower 70s at night. Be sure to take lots of water too.

One of my all time favorite hikes!! We had to drive on a long dirt road to get to the trailhead and it wasn’t very heavily trafficked which I LOVED! The trails were marked by cairns at at some point got iffy to follow so make sure to pay attention, especially in the wash at towards the end by the tunnel slots. Also towards the end you will find yourself walking in heavy sand which ends up being a great workout but depending on when you go it can be hot—at least when we went so bring lots of water—make sure you’re in shape for this one & Check the weather before you go also because you are in a wash most the time. The slots were up to my chest in water when I went in and it got pretty narrow so I couldn’t go all the way back but it was gorgeous! definitely recommend this one!!!

Amazing hike, dogs loved it. Great views. Not much water when we went.

Decent hike, but very strenuous on the way back up. Looking down from the top of the falls was breathtaking. Also saw a few fish in the little swimming hole. Only rating it a 3/5 because most of the hike was fairly desolate. Was a great workout though!

12 days ago

Beautiful little stop on the Burr Trail Road. I got down on one knee and proposed to the love of my life just inside. It was perfect.

Not a hike more of a drive and a stroll but well worth it. Don’t stand on the concrete with your camera go explore. It really is a beautiful formation up close. Wander around and you’ll find easy access to climb around and gain excellent vantage points for photos. Several cars stopped when we were there and none explored at all. Unfortunately like so many places in the Park narcissists continue to deface the beauty by carving names and dates in the stone. Please report anyone you see doing this!!!

Just a great drive with scenery everywhere. We took the trail to the bullfrog intersection and turned north to Capital Reef!!!

Awesome hike. Easy trail. Bring at least 2 liters of water and definitely jump in the water. It’s like an ice bath, but you gotta do it lol . I tracked it at a little over 6 miles.

Straight down for a mile, means straight up for a mile. Prepare for that. There is zero shade, so time of day should be considered. Trail is not marked well, so download this map before your trip. The falls are pretty. Go about another 100 feet past Upper Falls to the swimming hole with an awesome little waterfall.

Trail starts at the Escalante river trailhead. First river crossing is about 50 yards into the trail. Sand is deep, so makes this trail slow going. Water feels refreshing. I just wore a pair of shoes that I didn’t mind getting wet. Swapping out for each crossing would suck. After Natural Bridge, watch for the Indian ruins and a jug handle arch on your left. I tracked it as 4.6 miles. Feel free to dm me if you have questions @anderson.outdoors

the falls are beautiful. the hike is predominantly in sand which made the experience slow going.

Exceptional beauty relative to the geology and flora. The falls are gorgeous and offer a great respite on a hot day. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic in the shade. Another wonderful Utah experience.

Sooo beautiful. Yes quite a few people, but you don’t notice. Worth every step.

Fun short trail, definitely go in the early day to avoid the heat since it’s all in the sun

Easy, but worth it

We took Cedar Wash road west from Hole-in-the-Rock road and soon came to a deep wash. Recent heavy rains had made it nearly impassable - our 4x4 truck bottomed out pretty hard. NOT PASSABLE TO CARS unless you approach from Escalante side. Couldn’t find the trailhead to either Cedar Arch or Covered Wagon. Saw side roads but no obvious signs. Since the last sign we saw noted that we were passing through private land and never back in the GSE, we opted to be conservative and left. We were told that very strong storms had come through a week or so earlier, and maybe some signs are missing? The only reason for the low rating is that there were no real directions/descriptions of the trailhead and therefore, no hike for us!

Went in early April with just ankle deep water in the creek. Temps were in the high 70's and pleasant. The walk was interesting and the hoodoos spectacular. Saw just a few people in the 10 miles we walked. Having the hoodoos to ourselves will make this walk a lifetime memory.

So fun! Getting within one mile of the trailhead was easy in a small 2wd rental car and took about an hour from the paved road - however the last mile before the trailhead was definitely *not* passable in a low clearance car.

The hike was incredible! So much fun. There’s lots of scrambling involved - the first crux is climbing into peek-a-boo canyon which was a little slippery, and the second crux was going deep into spooky slot under a few large boulders. Was definitely glad to have GPS navigating between the end of peek-a-boo and the start of spooky - the trails and cairns are all over the place.

Such a fantastic adventure! Last word of advice is to not keep any soft fruit in your backpack, it will likely be crushed 

hiking
20 days ago

About an hour hike all together. Don't really see how you can be "stranded on the cliff" as another hiker mentioned. I think the trail route is showing the fact that you can walk right up to the top of the arch and see it from that angle.

The part that shows the way down into the wash is correct. However, after that, just follow the deepest part of the wash instead of trying to stick to the slick rock. Though don't miss an impressive collection of huecos just around the bend once you climbed down.

Really fun hike! Quite the long, empty desert drive out to the hike though. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you make the drive ‘cause there are no gas stations nearby—at least not when we did the hike, (which was in 2013). Also, it’s a very rough road...four-wheel drive adventure vehicles recommended for the road to this hike.

It offers great, beautiful canyon exploring. My family & I really enjoyed the hike. Just be prepared with water. Though it seems like it would be a short hike, it is hot and it does take awhile. Snacks and other random things you might not normally bother to hike with, like tissues, are also a good idea for just-in-case scenarios. (For instance, my brother had a major nosebleed half-way through the hike, prob. b/c the extreme, dry heat. Tissues would have been nice...) Also, a compass might be useful, or using this gps trail map. Once you leave the first canyon, it is a little difficult to find the next canyon. Maybe directional signs have been added since we hiked it, but there weren’t any indications of where to go back when we hiked it.

Great family hike. Kids will love the water, just be aware with kids you might not make it very far down the slot because of the water, mud and formations. Also plan to have a change of clothes for the kids after the hike.

This is NOT a dog friendly trail. It's barely human friendly with some pretty risky rock scrambling. I have an active border collie mix and he wasn't able to traverse safely. There was another couple with 2 husky/malamutes who also couldn't make it. So unless you have a small(ish), very agile, experienced climbing dog save yourself some time and skip this one.

The road getting to the trailhead is about 26 miles of washboard, gravel, sand and decent sized rocks. If you have a vehicle built for these conditions you can make it there pretty quick but we took our time to spare the wear and tear on our vehicle and it took us about 2 hours to get to the trailhead (from the paved road). When making the turnoff from the road to the trailhead most vehicles can make it to the first parking lot (about 1 mile) but the last mile plan on walking in cause the ruts in the road are very large.

As for the trail. The first portion of the trail is descending down into coyote canyon. From Here you will see about a 10 foot wall with some handholds, this will get you in to peek a boo gulch. From here you can take your time exploring the gulch. It gets pretty narrow towards the end. The gulch widens and ascends back up.

You then are above the ground for a while as you follow the cairns to spooky gulch.

Spooky gulch is much narrower than peekaboo and you are a lot further down. We were in this gulch around 5 PM and there was not a ton of light. Our saving grace was these reviews that stated about when you get to the obstruction of the trail by the rockslide. We found the opening on the left side. My husband went down first, then we used a rope to drop our bags down, then he helped me through. There is about a 9 foot drop down onto a flat and stable rock. At this point there is no turning back. The gulch gets EXTREMELY narrow and you have to carry your backpack for most of it. Just keep going because there is an end the the gulch eventually widens. The footing is not flat through the very narrow portion. You then follow the dried up riverbed back to coyote canyon.

I highly recommend downloading an offline map, that saved us from getting lost from peekaboo to spooky gulch. (We used the app maps.me). Thanks to the offline map keeping us on the trail took us about 3 hours including the 1 mile walk in from the first parking lot.

Bring lots of water!! This would be a difficult/scary hike to do alone!

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