Best time to travel to Utah

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Endless adventure, amazing scenic drives, breathtaking landscapes, and star-filled night skies. Discover the eternal beauty and wilderness of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah - Best Time
Photo by

Bob Wick, BLM California / Bureau of Land Management

The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is a huge remote area with a mixed scenery of canyons, arches, hills, waterfalls, and forests. This area extends from the town of Boulder to the town of Big Water on the Arizona border. At its widest point, it stretches for almost 150 kilometres from Capitol Reef to Johnson Canyon.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah - Best Season
Best time for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah

The monument is much larger than all the national parks of Utah taken together. No matter whether you are travelling on the All-American Highway, Scenic Byway 12, or Highway 89, over 7,700 square kilometres of scenic Utah horizons open to you along the way. Colorful sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons, picturesque washes, and endless Slickrock all together create the unforgettable adventure.

The monument can be divided into two distinct areas—Grand Staircase and the Escalante River Canyon, separated by the Kaiparowits Plateau. The most popular areas are the Escalante Canyons and Escalante River tributaries. These are perfect hiking places. You can marvel at gorgeous waterfalls, amazing arches, beautiful oases, and narrow canyons. Some more hiking can be done at the Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail.

A moonlit arch over Grand Staircase-Escalante
A moonlit arch over Grand Staircase-Escalante

The Grand Staircase area is less visited due to its remoteness. Although it is really spectacular and has the largest network of slot canyons in Utah. This is the place to enjoy wilderness recreation. The monument features a lot of scenic driving opportunities with lots of camping options and an endless number of hiking trails that lead to the most striking spots in the state. This is also one of the most photographed locations in Escalante.

Best time to see Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah

The best time to visit this area is from mid-April through May and from September through October. During these several months, weather and water conditions are the most pleasant. Summer season is also popular, despite too hot temperatures and frequent thunderstorms. However, if you want to do canyoneering that involves wading through cool pools, summertime is the perfect season. Winters are not recommended for snow often makes certain roads impassable, particularly November through March sees the largest amount of precipitation.

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