Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Scenic Driving

Scenic Highway 12 is one of this country's great drives. It cuts through the northern portion of the monument, connecting the Bryce Canyon National Park and Dixie National Forest. In the southern portion, Highway 89 between Kanab, Utah, and Page, Arizona offers spectacular vistas of the Vermilion Cliffs layer of the Grand Staircase geologic feature.

Other roads that are partially surfaced include the Burr Trail (to Capitol Reef National Park) and Johnson Canyon (to the Skutumpah turn-off). Gravel roads include the Glendale Bench Road and a portion of Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Driving conditions on sandy and clay roads, such as Cottonwood (connecting Kodachrome State Park with Highway 89), Smoky Mountain, Skutumpah, and Croton depend on weather and current maintenance status. Please check current road conditions before traveling on theses routes.

All roads within the monument's interior, except for portions of the Burr Trail and the Johnson Canyon Road, are unpaved. The principal access roads within the monument are dirt or gravel and intermittently maintained late spring through fall. Unmaintained routes are rough, rocky, or traverse areas of deep sand requiring high clearance or four-wheel drive. Bad weather can leave any dirt or gravel road impassable, sometimes for several days. Some roads, including the Skutumpah, Cottonwood Canyon, Smoky Mountain, Hole-in-the-Rock, and the Paria River Valley roads, cross sections with a clay surface, which becomes extremely slippery when wet.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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