Although most of Glen Canyon has been lost to Lake Powell, you can experience a similar quiet beauty in the Escalante canyons. They begin just below the town of Escalante and extend all the way to Lake Powell, about 85 miles away. Only one road—UT 12—reaches the canyons in this long stretch. Beautiful side canyons invite exploration and provide additional access points, mainly from the Hole-in-the-Rock Road.

Many different trips are possible, ranging from easy day hikes to lengthy expeditions. The canyon system is so huge that it's easy to find solitude, even in the busy spring season. The eastern side canyons rarely see hikers. Best times to go are early March to early June and mid-September to early November. Summer is possible if you're acclimatized to the heat and check forecasts for possible flash floods.

The upper section from Escalante to the UT 12 bridge is 15 miles and easy walking. The section from the bridge to Harris Wash is 26.5 miles; Harris Wash, a 10.25-mile one-way hike, is reached by a side road from the Hole-in-the-Rock Road and is a worthy destination in itself. Harris Wash to Lake Powell is 42.75 miles; Coyote Gulch provides access to the lower canyon. Be sure to check current conditions and regulations before setting off. A permit is needed for backpacking or car camping.

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East and southeast of Escalante
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, 755 W. Main
Escalante, Utah 84726
Parking: always open, weather permitting

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 435-826-5499
Transportation: car
Neighborhood: Escalante
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Away Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.