Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
December 09, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Earlier this week, the current administration initiated the largest rollback of protected public lands in history. Up until now, the United States has been a global leader in establishing and protecting our treasured landscapes for future generations. I haven't had a chance to visit Bears Ears National Monument, but I did make several trips to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Grand Staircase-Escalante was both huge and remote with even the best roads difficult to negotiate without high clearance and/or all wheel drive or better.
Much of Escalante is backcountry wilderness that requires long hikes through desert habitat with an end goal of finding a treasured location. Calf Creek Falls, however, is a roadside destination that requires only a short hike to find, but it's a great example of what can be found for the adventurous explorer.
The Navajo Nation has made eco-tourism a boom industry not far away in Page, Arizona. Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons are two very popular destinations for visitors to the desert southwest and worthy of their fame. But Escalante is home to many incredible and beautiful slot canyons as well, as seen above. Ecotourism is more sustainable than mining, and with not only slot canyons, but also hoodoos, desert landscapes, natural arches, and rugged wilderness, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was a real treasure of southern Utah. Even with the incredible national parks in southern Utah, this area deserves to be protected too.
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