Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Esclante National Monument

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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - Willis Creek

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Grand Staircase-Escalante Hiking

The Grand Staircase-Escalante is a huge area of rock carvings and landscape that quietly beckons to the adventurous soul. The massive area is remote and primitive so check the weather conditions and stock up on water and food for the trip. Be aware that the dirt roads may be impassible when wet and should not be used in the winter. Keep in mind that this is a wilderness area and there are no services. Willis Creek, Lick Wash, Hackberry Wash and Cottonwood Canyon are beautiful slot canyon trails that offer easy hiking. You will be in incredible slot canyons without having to scale cliffs or rappel into deep gorges. There are monument visitor centers in Kanab, Cannonville, Big Water, Escalante, Anasazi State Park and the Paria Contact Center.


Grand Staircase Lodging

Grand Staircase-Escalante Hiking

Lick Wash
From the junction of Highway 9 and 89, travel north to the small town of Glendale. Look for the Historic Smith Hotel and the Buffalo Bistro, both located on Highway 89 . The road into the Grand Staircase is directly across the highway from these properties. Take the Bench Road (300 North). Stay on this graded dirt road, which will become Skutumpah Road (Road #500). Continue on this road for about 15 miles until you come to a marked junction in the road. There is a sign directing traffic to Lick Wash. It is another 14 miles. There is no sign for the trailhead, but watch your mileage and look for a wash running across the road and a yellow flood sign. There is a sign-in box, but it is not seen from the road.
Lick Wash is a delightful and easy 8 mile round trip. There are no facilities in this area so be sure to bring a lunch and lots of water. Children will enjoy the easy hiking and climbing into the many holes that are carved in the mountains. Do not hike if its been raining. If the trail is wet, the clay gets slippery.  Before entering any slot canyon check the weather conditions and do not hike if there is a chance of rain.

Skutumpah Road
If you want to continue traveling Skutumpah Road  you will find it ends near Cannonville and the Cannonville Visitor Center. 

Willis Creek

From Lick Wash: Continue on the Skutumpah Road 11.8 miles past Lick Wash. The trail starts on the opposite side of the road from the registration box. It is an easy hike lacking significant elevation changes. You can hike as far as you like then turn around. The best part of the slot canyon is in the first 2 miles.

Bull Valley Gorge

If you are looking for a long trail, begin hiking through Bull Valley Gorge to Sheep Creek and out Willis Creek. Total mileage is 17 miles.  Bull Valley Gorge is a spectacular slot canyon and this hike is one of the best anywhere. Flash floods are a danger as with any hike through a Slot Canyon so check weather conditions prior to hiking.

Detailed Hiking Guide

Grand Staircase Vacation: Canyon Country

Zion National Park  Map

The Grand Staircase-Escalante can be entered from the small   town of Glendale, in East Zion. 

Naturalist NotesNature Notes

The Utah Juniper is abundant in the Staircase. The gray bark of the tree grows lighter as the tree ages and it is easily torn from the tree and shredded. It had many uses to the Indians including: starting fires, shredding for bedding, padding cradle boards, sandals, mat, roofing material and diapers. The wood of the tree was used for digging sticks.

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