Best Easy Day Hikes Grand Staircase-Escalante and the Glen Canyon Region-3rd Edition  by Ron Adkison/JD Tanner/Emily Ressler-Tanner

Best Easy Day Hikes: Grand Staircase-Escalante and the Glen Canyon Region-3rd Edition Guide Book

by Ron Adkison/JD Tanner/Emily Ressler-Tanner (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Grand Staircase-Escalante and the Glen Canyon Region-3rd Edition  by Ron Adkison/JD Tanner/Emily Ressler-Tanner
This handy guidebook, an abridged version of the comprehensive book Hiking Grand Staircase– Escalante and the Glen Canyon Region, is the first book about the Glen Canyon region that meets the needs of day hikers, whether they are a family on vacation or more serious hikers budgeting their time and energy.

© 2018 Ron Adkison/JD Tanner/Emily Ressler-Tanner/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Grand Staircase-Escalante and the Glen Canyon Region-3rd Edition" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 20.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 20.

Grand Gulch, a rich riparian oasis and outdoor museum of the ancient Anasazi culture, is one of Utah’s classic canyons, yet its remote setting is largely reserved for the backpacker willing to spend several days exploring its hidden depths. A notable exception is the easy walk down Collins Canyon to The Narrows, perhaps the best short hike in Grand Gulch. This fine trip traces the slickrock gorge of Collins Canyon, the only Grand Gulch access from the west, via a well-worn, and in places constructed, trail into the lower reaches of Grand Gulch. Dogs not permitted.
Mexican Hat, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
Cottonwood Creek, an often-dry stream course, has, over the ages, carved a long, deep, and winding canyon through the steeply tilted rock beds of The Cockscomb, ranging from the shadowed confines of narrow slots to a broad, open wash. This fine, short hike leads through the final narrow gorge of Cottonwood Creek before the canyon opens up and begins its long, straight journey to the confluence with the Paria River. The hike leads through the most easily accessible section of narrows along Cottonwood Creek, offering a rewarding scenic diversion for anyone taking a drive down the remote Cottonwood Canyon Road.
Henrieville, UT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 3
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The Devils Garden Outstanding Natural Area is an excellent place off Hole-in-the-Rock Road for an afternoon picnic followed by an hour or so of rewarding exploration. The garden is small, covering only about 200 acres, but it is a miniature wonderland of Navajo Sandstone hoodoos, domes, narrow passages, and small arches, hidden from the view of drivers along Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Devils Garden provides a brief introduction to the kind of slickrock walking and route-finding over a trailless landscape typical of most backcountry routes in the Escalante region. Since landscape features such as pour- offs and cliffs are in miniature here, obstacles are minor.
Escalante, UT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 0.7
Few hikers visit Sunset Arch, a delicate, graceful span on the south slopes of Fortymile Ridge, which is surprising considering the arch is accessible via a short and easy route. Most hikers who come to Fortymile Ridge are en route to one of two access routes into famous Coyote Gulch, north of the ridge. Vistas along the way to the arch are far-ranging, and the walking is easy, with no obstacles. There is no trail, but one isn’t really necessary along this straightforward route across the open terrain. True to its name, the arch faces west and frames a memorable sunset over the Straight Cliffs. Views reach south across the vast terrace traversed by Hole-in-the-Rock Road, a landscape little changed since the members of the epic Hole- in- the- Rock Expedition pioneered the route in 1879 and 1880.
Escalante, UT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 3
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Government Trail to Grand Gulch offers an excellent hike into the Grand Gulch Primitive Area. Hikers are rewarded with amazing views, a wealth of archaeological sites, and one of the most beautiful desert canyons in the region. Vistas from the open mesa are far-ranging and panoramic. The brick- red Bears Ears and Woodenshoe Buttes rise on the far northern horizon, defining the southern rim of lofty Elk Ridge. Moss Back Butte and the Tables of the Sun anchor the northern end of the Red House Cliffs to the northwest.
Brigham City, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.4
Hog Springs Rest Area offers a pleasant stopover featuring two picnic sites with awnings and tables and a restroom nearby. The short stroll up Hog Canyon from the rest area offers a more intimate association with a dramatic desert canyon than the scenic UT 95 can provide. One mile up the canyon, far beyond the noise of highway traffic, a deep pool and a small waterfall in the shade of a deep alcove offer an attractive destination for a short hike on a warm spring or autumn day.
Hanksville, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
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Beyond the confines of Utah’s national parks, there are hundreds of outstanding canyons that rival those within the parks in their drama and beauty. Among these many canyons, Grand Gulch is one of the finest. Grand Gulch is not only one of the most beautiful canyons in the Glen Canyon region, with its well-developed riparian oases and sculpted sandstone walls, but it also has one of the greatest concentrations of archaeological resources in a single canyon on the Colorado Plateau.
Mexican Hat, UT - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 8
Kodachrome Basin State Park, a 2,240-acre preserve southeast of Bryce Canyon National Park, is a place of vivid colors and dramatic landforms. Punctuated by the white chimneys of sand pipes, the orange cliffs, spires, and finlike ridges of Entrada sandstone that dominate the basin make it one of the more spectacular areas in southern Utah, a land renowned for its unique landscapes. This state park is like a national park in miniature. Its concentration of unusual landforms, good access, numerous short trails, and visitor services that include a general store, campground, and cabins combine to make the park a premier destination.
Henrieville, UT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 5.4
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Lick Wash is one of many largely unknown, uncelebrated canyons carved into the remote White Cliffs of the Grand Staircase in southern Utah. What Lick Wash lacks in renown is compensated for by its incomparable beauty. Indeed, it is perhaps the most scenic, and seldom-visited, canyon covered in this book. Exciting narrow passages in the upper reaches of the canyon give way to a wider canyon below, embraced by the bold White Cliffs of Navajo sandstone, rising 600 to 800 feet to the mesa rims above and studded with tall pines. The wash is dry, and travel down its sandy and gravelly bed is easy, passable to any hiker.
White Falls, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
This trip is one of the premier day hikes in the Escalante region, and for good reasons. The excellent self-guiding nature trail is easily accessible from scenic UT 12. In addition, a pleasant campground located at the trailhead, a spectacular cliff-bound, a perennial stream featuring beaver ponds and abundant trout, and a memorable veil of white water— one of very few active waterfalls in the southern Utah desert— plunging into a cold, deep pool combine to make this trip a must for any hiker visiting the region. From the day- use parking area adjacent to the picnic site, follow the paved road north through the campground for 0.2 mile, following signs pointing to the trail. Just before the road dips down to ford Calf Creek, the prominently signed trail heads left up the west slopes of the canyon.
Escalante, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.2
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The hike to the aptly named Cobra Arch is a rewarding day trip for hikers with good route- finding ability. The route follows the rim of The Dive, high above the nearly invisible slot of Buckskin Gulch. Vistas en route are part of this trip’s attraction, stretching across the vast, sandy surface of the Paria Plateau, punctuated by such slickrock landmarks as the Coyote Buttes, Steamboat Rock, and Wolf Knolls. True to its name, Cobra Arch is reminiscent of an ancient stone sculpture of a serpent’s head.
Moab, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.6
This pleasant, easy day hike follows the course of upper Mule Canyon, one of the most accessible canyons in the Cedar Mesa region. Great bulging cliffs of Cedar Mesa sandstone embrace the canyon, which supports an interesting mixture of pinyon-juniper and montane forest environments. The trail is sandy but well worn and easy to follow, with few obstacles, making it passable even to novice hikers. You will see several well-preserved Anasazi ruins, most of them grain storage structures. The trail leads directly to some ruins—please respect these fragile ancient structures.
Blanding, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
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Much like the main fork of Mule Canyon, the North Fork blends conifer forest and pinyon-juniper woodland with bold slickrock cliffs, providing easy access to a number of fine Anasazi ruins. This fork of the canyon is more confined, and many of its ruins—including dwellings, kivas, and granaries—are better hidden than in the main fork of the canyon, making their discovery more rewarding. Walking in the North Fork is easy and trouble-free. Segments of sandy, boot-worn trail guide you upcanyon, and in between you simply follow the wash. You will follow segments of trail, but most often you will be walking along the floor of the wash, with slickrock underfoot, occasionally skirting boulders and plunging through willow thickets, forging your own way.
Blanding, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.2
Marinus Canyon is a classic, dry desert gorge, embraced by fluted 600-foot walls of Wingate sandstone. The low elevations of the canyon make it a fine choice for an early spring or late autumn outing, when higher canyons, such as those on Cedar Mesa, are too snowy or cold. There are no trails here; you simply follow the dry wash up-canyon. Although the route is generally easy to follow, the wash is sandy and for much of the way you’ll be rock-hopping and weaving among boulders. At the end of the canyon’s right fork is a shady overhang supporting hanging gardens, offering a fine destination for a half- day hike.
Hanksville, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
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Road Canyon is one of a half-dozen major canyons carved into the eastern flanks of Cedar Mesa and draining into Comb Wash. The canyon ranges from 100 to 400 feet deep, embraced by bulging walls of red-and-gray-banded Cedar Mesa sandstone that are sculpted into ledges, alcoves, sheer cliffs, and strange hoodoos. A seasonal stream fringed by a ribbon of riparian foliage, inviting benches shaded by a pygmy forest of pinyon and juniper, the canyon’s sculpted slickrock, and the quiet and solitude provided by its remote, off-the-beaten-track location offer ample incentives for visitors to seek out Road Canyon.
Mexican Hat, UT - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 6.8
The natural bridges of White Canyon were known by the Navajo and Paiute long before European settlers came to Utah. The Anasazi lived among the bridges in White Canyon, and hikers today visit the canyon not only to explore the unique natural spans of stone but also to see Anasazi ruins and rock art. This memorable half-day hike surveys the two largest natural bridges in the monument, separated by the dramatic bulging Cedar Mesa sandstone cliffs of White Canyon. En route, the trail passes Horse Collar Ruin, an example of an unusual style of Anasazi architecture. The trail loops back to the trailhead via the mesa top, thus surveying the entire spectrum of monument landscapes. Dogs not permitted.
Blanding, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
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Few hikes in the Escalante region offer the rewards of this fine, short trip with such a minimal investment of time and effort. Vast expanses of Navajo sandstone slickrock and far-ranging vistas, plus an 87-foot-high waterfall, pools of cool water, and shady riparian oases, await hikers following this well-worn trail. Leashed dogs permitted, but not recommended due to steep terrain near the falls. Signs at the trailhead proclaim that no camping is permitted there, and that no camping or fires are allowed within 0.5 mile of the upper falls. The trail begins behind these signs and the trailhead register, leading immediately over the rim and to the top of a steep Navajo slickrock slope, littered with round gray volcanic rocks and boulders.
Boulder, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
On this fine, short hike there is no particular destination other than the narrows of Willis Creek. Go as far as you wish; the best narrows are found along the first 1.3 miles. Where the broad wash of Willis Creek crosses Skutumpah Road, there is little intimation of the narrow gorge below. Some of the most dramatic slot canyons in the world have been carved into the White Cliffs of the Grand Staircase in southern Utah. Many of these slot canyons are only accessible to veteran canyoneers well versed in a variety of rock-climbing techniques.
White Falls, UT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 4.8
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Willow Gulch offers one of the best short day hikes, also suitable as an overnight trip, in the lower Escalante canyons. The scenic route follows slickrock gorges sliced into a domed landscape of Navajo sandstone. Interesting narrow passages, a ribbon of riparian foliage, beaver ponds in the small stream, and the large Broken Bow Arch are major attractions. A well-worn path begins behind the trailhead register, descending a moderate grade down the sandy slope. The beautiful canyon, embraced by desert- varnished walls of Navajo Sandstone, opens up 150 feet below.
Escalante, UT - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 4
Buckskin Gulch is the ultimate in canyon-country slot canyons. For 12.5 miles the gulch is enveloped in a very narrow gorge 100 to 200 feet deep, flanked by vaulting, convoluted walls of Navajo sandstone. Buckskin Gulch is renowned not only because of its continuous, challenging narrows, but also because there is no other canyon like it in the world. Wire Pass, a gorge carved through The Cockscomb by Coyote Wash, is the most popular entry route into Buckskin Gulch. Wire Pass is short, but its narrows are even more confined than those in Buckskin. This is an excellent easy hike through Wire Pass into the famous gorge of Buckskin Gulch. You can extend the day hike as far as you wish by exploring Buckskin’s narrows either upcanyon or down. Dogs are permitted, though navigating boulder jam with dogs can be difficult.
Kanab, UT - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.4
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