Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was the last place in the continental United States to be mapped. It still feels wild and untouched.
On our recent road trip to Utah, we took Cottonwood Canyon Road from Big Water to Cannonville and then up to Bryce Canyon National Park. Cottonwood Canyon Road is 46 miles of unpaved road offering a unique perspective of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. You don’t need 4-wheel drive to travel this route but you DO need to watch the weather. *Do not take this route if it has rained or will be raining.
The land tells so many stories of our past and from our past, we can learn so much about saving our future. I feel rushed to experience it all with how quickly the world is changing. President Trump cut the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in half in 2017. You can read more about that here: https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/utah/grand-staircase-escalante-national-monument.
We loved that we only saw a couple of other cars on the road. If you’re traveling in the southwest and want to escape the crowds at the more popular sites, visit the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Below are photos from our Cottonwood Canyon Road adventure. These photos barely scratch the surface of all that the monument has to offer. There is so much more on my bucket list and I can’t wait to go back in the fall! Some hiking ideas for you are the Toadstools, Cottonwood Narrows and Willis Creek Slot Canyons. Also, visit all four of visitor centers bordering the monument. Each one has its own theme! They are located in Kanab, Big Water, Cannonville and Escalante.
The Grosvenor Arch was named after Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, president of the National Geographic Society.
The trails are very dog-friendly! Just make sure you have plenty of water, even when it’s 50 degrees, that dry heat can be too much for the dogs.
Photos ©Tracy Blowers