AftT #ParkPics posts are short, informative posts to get you acquainted with one of America's National Parks. For a complete list of U.S. National Parks, click here.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Pictures

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument pictures
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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and encompasses an incredible one million acres of public lands.Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

The landscape is varied, and the list of things to do here is nearly endless. The park has three distinct areas – the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Canyons of the Escalante River.the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Canyons of the Escalante photos

If the scenery here looks familiar, it’s because it shares the same geologic features of other parks on the Colorado Plateau like Canyonlands, Colorado National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, and the Grand Canyon.Exploring Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with kids

Things to see and doGrand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Interagnecy Visitor Center Escalante

Start your visit at one of the Visitor Centers. We stopped at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center in Escalante to learn about the park and get a feel for what we could see and do. They have a small museum and provide maps for different sections of the park. Since it’s an interagency center, it’s a great place to get lots of stamps for your Passport Book!
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center

If you happen to be driving on historic state highway UT-12, make a stop at Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, UT.

Hell's Backbone Grill Boulder Utah

This little gem is a James Beard Award semifinalist (2017, 2018, and 2019) and turns out some amazing dishes. Don’t miss it!

Dessert at Hell's Backbone Grill Boulder UT
Dessert at Hell’s Backbone Grill – Boulder, UT

Other things to do in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

  • Camping
  • Backcountry trips
  • Floating the Escalante River
  • Hiking
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • So much more – it’s huge!

Getting Here

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument can be reached from points all over Utah and Arizona, including by boat via Lake Powell in Glen Canyon Recreation Area. We drove over from Bryce Canyon National Park from the west along State Highway 12 on our way to Capitol Reef National Park.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Stats

Date created: 1996
Historical Significance: Research shows that the ancient Anasazi and Fremont cultures made contact here as far back as AD 950-1100.
Fun Fact: The term Grand Staircase refers to the name geologist Clarence Dutton gave the area as he was studying the unique rock formations here. He noted that they seemed to form a staircase rising from the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

It’s because of this ‘staircase’ that makes this area special – it provides more Earth history than any other place on Earth. Geologists can look back at more than 600 million years of continuous Earth history in these rock layers. It’s one of the only places on the planet where glaciers, volcanic activity, and geologic movement hasn’t affected the sedimentary rock layers that formed here.

Visitor Centers and Passport Stamps

Grand Staircase Escalante Interagency Visitor Center
Interagency Visitor Center

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has  five Visitor Centers. The only one we visited was the Interagency Visitor Center in Escalante which is run by Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Bureau of Land Mangement), Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (National Park Service), and Dixie National Forest (U.S. Forest Service).

Click here to learn more about each Visitor Center.

Other Nearby Parks

Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, and several state parks border Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Read more about all of Utah's National Parks here.

Horseshoe Bend - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Horseshoe Bend – Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Have you visited Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument?

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AftT #ParkPics: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

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