Return to Utah - New Sites

Mar 3rd, 2014, 05:17 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Return to Utah - New Sites

I am returning to Utah for yet another wonderful visit this summer. I've been to Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Canyonlands. This year, I'd like to see Escalante/Grand Staircase. As usual, going to fly into Vegas and spend some time in my favorite place, Zion, for a few days. Here is where I need help. What is the best area to stay in for a visit to Escalante? What route and how far is Escalante from Springdale, UT? Are the drives and the hikes pretty isolated in Escalante? Should 3 women not venture out on their own???? Looks pretty, but we don't want to feel "alone" in the desert! Thanks!!!
jaci is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:11 PM
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Escalante- you are going to feel alone in a lot of it.
Try to get a permit for "The Wave"
Consider hiring a guide. Perhaps, even go canyoneering.
You don't mention Capitol Reef. Have you been there? Have you been to Goblin Valley State Park?

Devils Garden in Escalante is fairly easy to do and will have some people there.

Check out Boulder Mountain Lodge and Hell's Backbone Grill. Both on the same property and I think are jointly run.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:41 PM
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A couple of years ago I took my daughter to SW Utah for a quick tour. We stayed at the prospector Inn in the town of Escalante.

From there we went to Devil's Garden and hiked to Lower Calf Creek Falls.

Then on the way back to Bryce we went to Willis Creek slot canyon. If you do this make sure you do at least 4 or 5 slots. It's directly south of the town of Cannonville. There's a visitors center there and you can ask for directions.
Myer is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 12:57 AM
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Hwy 12 is one of my favorite drives. From Boulder consider doing the paved part of the Burr Trail. I'll second the vote for Capitol Reef National Park. If you don't camp, then stay in Torrey.

utahtea is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 04:35 AM
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Have you been up to Natural Bridges?
emalloy is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 05:27 AM
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Sipapu Bridge at Natural Bridges is just as impressive as any arch you will find.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 07:04 AM
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If you are not camping then where is the best place to stay for visiting Natural Bridges? Any one of Blanding, Bluff or Mexican Hat?

Nelson is online now  
Mar 4th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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We've stayed in all three, pretty average motels. If you go for Mexican Hat, take the Moki Dugway for an e ticket ride.
emalloy is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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Thanks emalloy. I've stayed in Mexican Hat and Bluff and agree: pretty average motels. Ditto on food choices. I wasn't sure if there was anything closer to Natural Bridges, but doesn't look like it.

Thanks for Moki Dugway info. I was unaware of that, looks wild!

My wife and I currently planning to head that way in mid-April.
Nelson is online now  
Mar 4th, 2014, 02:41 PM
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Valley of the Gods B&B is where we stayed before seeing Goosenecks of the San Juan(pretty cool to see), heading up the Moki Dugway, then to Natural Bridges.

If you don't plan on hiking down into the canyon a bit to see Sipapu, then I'm not sure it would be worth it. The hike down is short. You do go down a couple of ladders. My daughter and I did it and thought it was pretty easy.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 02:54 PM
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I forgot about VoG B&B, it has always been booked when we tried to stay there, so if you want it, plan ahead.
emalloy is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 07:49 PM
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Thanks! The VoG B&B looks like just the kind of place my wife and I like to hang out in for a few days. I'll show it to her.

She is recovering from major back surgery and all she can do the next few months for activity is walk, so we will be looking for lots of short, easy hikes.

I've got three nights booked at Grand Canyon Village so maybe I'll book some at VoG B&B before that.

Appreciate the info. Thanks again!
Nelson is online now  
Mar 4th, 2014, 07:56 PM
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Three nights is a lot for the Grand Canyon unless your hiking or rafting a lot(which doesn't sound like the case), IMOP. Sunrise and Sunsets are worth getting up early for.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 07:57 PM
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Moki Dugway isn't to wild, pretty cool though. Goosenecks State Park is worth a see. It's close to the Dugway.
spirobulldog is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 08:00 PM
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Stay in Bluff at the Recapture Lodge--awesome hospitality. I would stay in Torrey vs. Escalante. But if you want to do some hikes off the Hole in the Wall Road, Escalante is the best. The trail to Peek a Boo and Spooky Gulches is great and fairly simple. Thought it is not flat. The hike along Calf Creek is quite flat.

You could do some great day hikes staying in Bluff and hiking the Cedar Mesa area. Capitol Reef is also good.
StantonHyde is offline  
Mar 4th, 2014, 08:23 PM
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> Three nights is a lot for the Grand Canyon

That is true for most people, but we are very s.l.o.w travelers. My wife especially can occupy herself for hours studying a bug, bird, butterfly, shrub or flower. I'll either keep walking and come back for her, or spend time taking pictures.

We'll do fine for the three nights there, but your point is valid. Thanks, spiro.
Nelson is online now  
Mar 5th, 2014, 04:06 AM
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Love the Grand Canyon and never tire of finding things to do there.

Over by MV - is a very good representation of the Cliff Dwellers - at the Navajo National Monument - which is about 20 miles west/toward the GC from Kayenta - and 10 miles up the road.

They have a nice visitor's center - and it's a short walk to be able to look across the valley at the cliff dwellings.

I did a trip report on our drive throgh the area last year - and will try to dig it out. Would love staying at this place with a great coffee shop/cafe - isolated location - but have to find the name.

The Moki Dugway is fun (and the most direct route) - so just go slow and it's dirt/gravel - so keep it under control and you are fine. If you see somebody coming from the other direction - look for a place to pull over so they can pass.
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 04:10 AM
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OK - below is my trip report - and it's the Kiva Coffee House - not that far from Boulder - that is just amazing. They have great cofee/sandwiches/brunch - and also - a couple of guest cottages I would love to stay in during a future visit.
Tomsd is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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I second the Kivakoffeehouse. I just finished a trip report from last year trip to Utah and Arizona. Thanks to all the above people whom had contributed the success of my trip by giving advices to all other people who want to make theirs successfully.
Cherthor is offline  
Mar 5th, 2014, 08:19 PM
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Your request was for information to Escalante for 3 women.
Many responses have nothing to do with that route - The Wave, Goblin Valley, Monument Valley, Natural Bridges.

However, there is one exception (beyond Escalante) to above recommendations and that is Burr Trail that cuts through a very scenic red canyon. At the end of that drive and off a side road, is a black Petrified Wood forest that I recommend visiting. On that road, there are several very good hikes of which Upper (easy) and Lower Muley (over night), but not strenuous if going down hill) are the best. Need a permit from Capitol Reef or Escalante BLM office. In Boulder, visit their Anaszi Museum. Hotels: Area code is (435). Boulder Mountain Lodge is huge and modern – 335-7460; Circle Cliffs – 335-7333; Poles Place – 335-7422 Best $$$ is Boulder Mt.

Back to Escalante. >> Escalante is one of my favorite undiscovered adventures. You submitted no tour time. Is it isolated: No. Is it crowded? No.
It is 125 miles of very good road to Escalante from Zion. Very scenic route. Highway 12 from Bryce to Escalante is recognized as one of the best in US.

There are two good driving tours in Escalante: Hell's Backbone and the very Historic Hole In the Rock (last 5 miles = 4 WD). This is the famous Mormon 'short cut' to Montezuma, Ut. Highly recommend walking the wagon route to the river and back (strenuous). There is another to a unique small 2-story Anasazi Indian ruin.

The best of Escalante requires hiking into their slot canyons. Escalante has an superb BLM office offering 100% informative hiking information. Peek-A-Boo is the most popular slot, but there are two others in that same canyon. There are other slots in other canyons. Golden Cathedral - memorable! There are many arches as well.

There are guide services and a full service 'outback' store with vegan pizzas (and liquor/fine wine store) = Escalante Outfitters =Phone: (435) 826-4266 or (866).

Where to stay: (check out Outfitter's cabin) Area code is (435). The most modern is Prospector Inn – 826-4653. The others are: Canyons - B&B 826-4747; Circle D – 826-4297; Moqui 826-4210; Padre – 826-4276. Escalante Outfitters offers cabins - (866) 455-0041 or locally 826-4266. Also Broken Bow RV: (435) 826-4959. There are RV campgrounds in town.

Escalante River canyon Hiking information"
Specific Hiking: Rudi Lambrechtse's book Hiking the Escalante is what I have used. Amazon has it for $5 bucks - others more expensive. For driving there from Zion to Arches with emphasis on Escalante and its tourist services including hiking: Book 2 Kindle (best) or print.

Time in Escalante - At LEAST one full week.
Like all of the areas there, it is a desert environment and hot. Be in good physical condition and understand heat effects.

I'll check back occasionally, should you have any questions.


PS Kodachrome -= very unique park. There are two good hiking slot canyons in that area. Round Valley and Bull Valley Gorge. Grovenor's arch is recommended. Not Shakespeare in the park.
RVvagabond is offline  

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