10 Inspirational Photos from Escalante National Monument

We love open spaces and wild places. With every conservation travel adventure I guide, I see firsthand how we all add value to wilderness and wildlife habitats through our visitation.  And as we add value, we’re helping to keep them just the way they are so we can pass them down from generation to generation as exquisite examples of earth’s beauty.

If you aren’t familiar with the uncertainty going on with Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument, I’ll let you google it.  I’m not here to get preachy, but I do want to help save these extraordinary places and what better way than to try and inspire.

I’m just going to leave these photos right here.  My hope is that they help you understand a bit more about the unique beauty found throughout Escalante National Monument.

a slot canyon trail meanders through Escalante National Monument

Escalante is famous for its incredibly beautiful sandstone.  Above, a slot canyon meanders through the rock, where water once carved its way over hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years. The hiking choices are endless and always uncrowded – a true luxury in today’s world of travel.

an archway at Devil's garden, Escalante National Monument

Escalante has one of the most unique geologic histories in all of Utah. In addition to spectacular formations like this one above, of an arch at Devil’s Garden, Escalante is a treasure-trove of dinosaur fossils, too.  In fact, it is often considered one of the most valuable places in the world to conduct fossil digs, with perfectly preserved specimens from the age of the dinosaurs – giving us the ability to unlock the past. Whether it be understanding ancient climates and weather patterns, or unearthing clues to the evolution of ancient animals like dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals, there is much left to discover.

unique stone pilars of Escalante National Monument

One can literally spend hours meandering among the “goblin” and “toadstool” formations, as they’re called.  Under a big open sky, it’s both a humbling and breathtaking way to explore Canyon Country.

a hiker walks through a slot canyon in Escalante National Monument

Yours truly, heading down one of Escalante’s famous slot canyons in search of adventure.  Adventure found…

a series of tents set up at camp in Escalante National Monument

Still largely undiscovered to tourism, in the scale of traditional U.S. National Parks, you can camp just about anywhere and choose your own view…and you’ll often have your own sunrise and sunset all to yourself.

a woman peers at the majestic calf creek falls in Escalante National Monument

For such a dry environment overall, it is surprisingly full of water…and life. In addition to the Escalante River, which flows through the park, other smaller creeks teem with life and beauty, like this waterfall section of Calf Creek.

a hiker peers at the tall walls of dry fork narrows in Escalante National Monument

With a backcountry trail system through towering canyon walls, there is so much left to uncover.  With the right amount of time, you could likely blaze your own trail and find a new canyon perhaps never been seen by human eyes before.

a hiker climbs through the sandstone formations of Escalante National Monument

Not all trails are the same, however, and you can find trails as easy or as challenging as you’d like.

amazing light presents itself around the corner of a slot canyon in Escalante National Monument

Every turn of the corner yields something new and extraordinary in Escalante. The sun shines a little differently in this exquisite desert wilderness.

stone pillars frame an incredible view of the stars and milky way of Escalante National Monument

As if the trails, canyons, creeks and stone formations weren’t amazing enough during the day, the night offers another spectacular view of our world…and other worlds.  One of the darkest skies on earth, Escalante is terrific for stargazing.  As the last glow of the sunset lingers on the horizon here, I truly hope it’s not the end of days for this phenomenal place.

If you haven’t yet been to Escalante, it’s not too late. There’s a big world out there in our National Monuments just waiting to be discovered.  And if you’re unable to make the pilgrimage, I hope the above photos give you a bit of perspective as to why this place is so near and dear to me, and why it’s worth saving.

All the best,