Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (recently drastically downsized and partitioned into three separate areas by the anti-environment Trump administration) is a wonderland of weaving slot canyons, swirling rock formations, and sweeping colorful vistas. We hiked a variety of trails in the Monument from a base in Escalante on Big Trip #1, and from Kanab and Escalante again on Big Trip #2.
Zebra and Tunnel Slot Canyons
Visit two awesome slot canyons on a 7ish-mile hike a short drive down Hole-in-the-Rock Road from Escalante. We were warned that this hike is very popular after being published in an outdoor magazine recently, but we saw only a couple other groups, and had both canyons totally to ourselves to play in. Bugsy wasn’t as impressed by the canyons as we were; due to her subpar climbing skills, we had to take turns exploring so one of us could keep her company outside.
Peekaboo, Spooky, and Dry Narrows Slot Canyons
Lower Calf Creek Falls
Lower Calf Creek Falls is a six-mile hike to a stunning waterfall splashing down a cliff face. It’s very popular so go early to avoid crowds! We were lucky to be there early enough in the Spring that nobody was swimming in the pool under the falls and crashing our photos. Well, nobody except for Bugsy was swimming.
A hike down Harris Wash can be as long as you want–up to 20 miles if you go all the way to the Escalante River and back. We had a deadline in the form of a reservation at local, sustainable Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, so we went in about 2.5 miles before heading back. Most of the hike was a fun tromp through the creek, which Bugsy absolutely loved.