"Stories from the Staircase" Top 5 Page for this destination Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument by richiecdisc

With a name like Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument you would think the National Park system had grandiose plans for this sublime piece of Utah real estate when it was designated a protected area in 1996, but the young park was relegated to the Bureau of Land Management and hence lost a bit of the gloss associated with its more famous National Park cousins in the state. No matter, it appears enough people are finding out about it just the same and perhaps the reasoning behind the managerial choice was to keep it less developed and hence more wild than a bona fide National Park.

With little known but sure fire attractions like The Wave and Buckskin Gulch, it might be for the best to keep roads to them unpaved and relegated more for adventure seekers. Even this growing group is having to be kept at bay with permit requirements to protect this fragile ecosystem.

What they seek is a communion with nature that the National Park system has used as its calling card for a century but has lost sight of in its quest for convenience. Many will complain that such national treasures should be more accessible to the masses who in tax dollars fund them but this is one grand experiment that seems to be proving that less can indeed be more.

  • Last visit to Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument: May 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (33)

Comments (18)

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    Fantastic page Richie, enjoyed to bits! I had never heard of the Wave before, but got fascinated by it after seeing the photo on your homepage. Now I am so eager to go here, just hope to be one of the lucky ones to get a permit! :-)

  • Grazina's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    I had the balls to do this in the winter time at -2F...WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!? But got some awesome picture with snow in some areas.

  • Sharrie's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2009 at 7:10 AM

    Strange enough, this place actually reminds me of Petra, Jordan! Other than the Wave, a lot of similarities!

  • Nicckie's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    Not only would I love to hike in this area, but I'm so glad I now know about the rules and I "want the balls", too!! Thanks, richiecdisc.

  • Segolily's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2009 at 9:21 PM

    I didn't have the balls, but used the lottery for The Wave instead :-) Truly fantastic! In case you didn't know though it is actually in the fairly new Paria-Vermillion Cliffs National Monument which begins at Buckskin Gulch. Great tips though!

  • Dec 9, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    can't believe i was "in the area" and didnt get to see this, let alone know about it! you have some stunning photos here richie!

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2009 at 5:19 AM

    It's settled. I HAVE to see this on our next trip out to Utah. Incredible pictures and excellent tips. Thank you.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    Good job of presenting the beauty and serenity of this area, Richie. I am going a a couple of short hikes-none as vigorous as your, but Escalante looks super. Thanks

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    The Wave near Perth, Australia was the only one I had heard of before this gem in "America's Outback"! Stop it Richie, your pages just keep getting better and better! At this rate, I'm not sure I will survive until the end of your trip! Totally fantastic.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    I'm running out of superlatives to describe this series of pages Richie! Fantastic descriptions, gorgeous photos, useful info too - inspiring stuff!!


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