Fiftymile Bench Professional Review and Guide
"As you drive out the Hole-in-the-Rock Road through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, two topographic contrasts are readily apparent. To the east, the Escalante Desert is a despairing wasteland of desert scrub and cacti, drift sand, and sun-baked slickrock. Discernible positive relief only periodically interrupts the general levelness. If you attempt traveling toward the center of this tableland, however, your progress will be impeded by hundred- or thousand-foot drops from an unforeseen canyon’s edge.
To the west, the Escalante Desert is bound by a line of two superimposed cliffs extending as far as the eye can see. The upper tier is a ruler-straight escarpment, hence named the Straight Cliffs of the Kaiparowits Plateau. The lower platform, Fiftymile Bench, is a succession of cusps jutting out from a common bench. Fifty miles to the south, the Escalante Desert and the two terraces converge. From atop Fiftymile Bench, you’ll gain a true perspective of the monument’s Escalante Canyons Province."