The Websheikh first visited Grand Staircase Escalante in 1996 after a friend hiked down Coyote Gulch and before its 1.7 million acres were designated a National Monument by former president Bill Clinton. I have been going back there ever since. One for the solitude offered with only about 7,000 visitors a month, and second for the amazing natural sculptures comprising of slot canyons, fairlytale rock formations and expansive views.
Hole-in-the-Rock Road, an over 50 mile dirt road that dead ends, has numerous slot canyons (Peek-a-Boo, Grand Gulch, Spooky, Brimstone, etc.) to the east of it almost all the way down to Lake Powel. The road can become impassable, even in 4x4, and be washed out after heavy rains, so be prepared.
Camping can be out in the open plains on the east or nearer the Kaiparowits Plateau to the west where you will find many old roads that once led to mines/mining-claims in the area.
It gets hot in the summer. I have been there twice in July/August and temperatures were over 100F in mid day. It is a dry heat therefore bearable but you MUST continually drink water to avoid dehydration. A type of camel-water-pack is ideal. Summer however is ideal for going into Brimstone which is almost always waterfilled and given that the water is never exposed to the sun it can get COLD!
Other slot canyons can be found to the south-east of Bryce Canyon such as Bull Valley Gorge, Round Valley Draw and Willis Creek.
Grand Staircase Escalante can offer never ending adventure to those
Slot Canyons along Hole-in-the-Rock-Road:
Slot Canyons SE of Bryce Canyon NP:
Bull Valley Gorge:
Round Valley Draw:
United States Geological Survey: (USGS)
Seven 7.5-minute maps of the area
These maps cost about US$4.00 each and can be ordered by mail (foreign orders accepted, payment via credit card). So instead of paying US$10.00 or more at your local supplier, why not order them. I've done so and the USGS is fairly efficient.
Utah Geological survey: Offical info on the area
Desert USA: general information
GORP Site: general info
The American Southwest: Extensive Online information on a large number of slot canyons
Southwest & Canyon Country: Lots of trip reports to slot canyons, by Jack Sanders-Reed
Images / Trip Reports:
The American Southwest(TAS): Nicely done reports into Peek-a-Boo, Brimstone and Spooky by John Crossley
TAS: Information on Bull Vally Gorge
TAS: Information on Round Valley Draw
TAS: Information on Willis Creek
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