Use this humble town as a peaceful base for exploring the forest and lake in this immense region of canyons.
Escalante is a charming city in the midst of a picturesque forest and the otherworldly rock formations of Utah’s canyons. Its iconic red cliffs and valleys fill the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which has the largest land area of any U.S. monument. Bring the whole family to explore the scenic area via a series of postcard-pretty treks.
Get to know the local culture in this peaceful town and enjoy the views of sprawling fields and mountains. Stay at one of the roadside motels or hotels just off the main street. Admire the works of art on display in the Serenidad Gallery.
Take the Hole-in-the-Rock Road to access the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is composed of the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau and the Canyons of the Escalante. The staircase is known for its colorful cliffs, while the Escalante is made up of caves and jagged rocks.
Snap photos of some of the unusual rock formations, including the lined walls of Willis Creek, the Devil’s Garden and the various cliffs and arches. Go camping in Kodachrome Basin State Park and climb Canaan Peak for spectacular views of the surrounding forest and canyons.
Just northwest of Escalante is the Wide Hollow Reservoir in the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. Rent a canoe or standup paddleboard to take out on the water. Chat with locals to hear about the haunting legends surrounding the park.
Note that the city takes its name from Franciscan missionary Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, who was part of the first European trip to Southern Utah. Find Escalante in Southern Utah’s Garfield County. It is 28 miles (45 kilometers) southwest of Boulder and 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Henrieville. Fly to Salt Lake City International Airport and drive south for 285 miles (459 kilometers) to get here in about 5 hours.
Have a great outdoor vacation in and around Escalante, a tranquil town enclosed by mesmerizing peaks and canyon troughs.