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 Utah Travel Center Cities Escalante

Called Potato Valley when settled in 1875, it was later named after Spanish Missionary, Father Escalante. Read more Escalante history. Find Escalante Lodging.

Most Famous For: Gateway to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; Escalante State Park; Hole in the Rock; access to Boulder Mountain.

Population: approximately 818

Elevation: 5,868

Visitor Information: Visitor Information center on Main Street

City Parks: Escalante Municipal Park

Churches: Baptist, LDS

Medical Services: Medical Clinic (open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays); Dental Clinic (open Fridays); state health clinic

Auto Services: 3 gas stations, 2 auto repair

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is a very unique region of canyons, arches, plateaus and cliffs. Click here to see maps of our location. This area, which comprises 1.7 million acres, was designated a National Monument just recently in 1996 and is considered to be one of the last explored areas of the continental United States. Bryce Canyon National Park lies to the south and west of the monument, Capitol Reef National Park is to the North and Glen Canyon National Recreation area (Lake Powell) is to the East. Scenic Highway 12, one of the top-ten scenic byways in America (Car & Driver Magazine) passes through the Grand Staircase and is the major access road for the monument. There are backroads which offer access to the monument such as:
1- The Burr Trail – Going south east from the town of Boulder
2- The “Hole-in-the-Rock” road – going south east from the town of Escalante
3- Cottonwood Canyon Road – which goes south from Cannonville and connects with highway 59 going to Lake Powell.

This area has been inhabited for nearly 2,000 years by various Native American Indians and their dwellings, writings and even their food storage areas are still visible in the cliffs and canyons of this region. In 1776 Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante explored the region and had great difficulty finding a way to cross the Colorado River because of the maze of deep canyons and rivers. One hundred years later John Wesley Powell did significant research along the Colorado River and during that time frame many pioneers settled the valleys around Bryce Canyon and the Grand Staircase.

Within the monument there are more trails and areas for exploration than can be experienced in a year, but we can recommend some excellent places to go such as: Coyote Gulch, Bull Valley Gorge and Devil’s Garden, just to name a few. If at all possible, you’ll want to spend at least three to five days in this area, more if you can spare the time. Whether you want to experience, scenic overlooks, slot canyons, ancient Indian pictographs and petroglyphs, waterfalls, rivers, mountains, forest or wildlife, you find it is all here in and around the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

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