Bryce Canyon National Park Feature
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Grand Staircase—Escalante National Monument. In September 1996, President Bill Clinton designated 1.7 million acres in south-central Utah as Grand Staircase—Escalante National Monument. Its three distinct sections—the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Canyons of the Escalante—offer remote backcountry experiences hard to find elsewhere in the Lower 48. Waterfalls, shoulder-width slot canyons, and improbable colors all characterize this wilderness. Highway 12, which straddles the northern border of the monument, is one of the most scenic stretches in the Southwest. The small towns of Escalante and Boulder offer outfitters, lodging, and dining.
Larger than most national parks, this formidable monument is popular with backpackers, hikers, canyoneers, and hard-core mountain-bike enthusiasts. Views into the monument are most impressive from Highway 12 between Escalante and Boulder. Calf Creek Falls is an easy 6-mi round-trip hike from the trailhead at Calf Creek Recreation Area. At the end of your walk, a large waterfall explodes over a cliff hundreds of feet above. 318 N. 100 East, Kanab, UT, 84741. 435/644-6400 or 435/826-4221. www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/grand_staircase-escalante.html. Free.
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