Escalante, Utah is a great place to stay for a destination vacation. From Escalante, you can venture out to all degrees of the compass and find something unique and exciting.
Centrally located along Scenic Byway 12, Escalante is a historic pioneer town that once was, and still is, the jumping-off point for going out into the unexplored wilderness. Escalante sits at the base of the Boulder Mountains at an elevation of 5,800 feet. Escalante is home to several art galleries, unique shops and restaurants. The area east of Escalante was actually the last explored region of the entire continental United States. Today this region is known as the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Escalante, Utah has a population of under 1,000 people and today much of the economic base is focused on ranching, farming, and tourism.
From Escalante, you can move northward along Scenicy Byway 12, which is rated an All American Road, and one of the top ten scenic highways in America. Visitors will enjoy lower or upper Calf Creek Falls, both accessible from Byway 12. Further north is the very scenic town of Boulder, Utah, and access to the Burr Trail scenic drive, Anasazi State Park Museum, or to the Boulder Mountains. Beyond Boulder, you’ll see Scenic Byway 12 rises rapidly in elevation, and you’ll find several pull-out areas with interpretive signs explaining what you are seeing in the vast distances beyond the lookout. Further north on Byway 12 is Capitol Reef National Park.
The easiest eastern access is the Hole in the Rock road which heads southeast from Escalante toward Lake Powell. This dirt road is well-graded and passable (in good weather) by any vehicle type. Down this 70-mile-long road are a host of great hiking and photographic opportunities. Devil’s Garden and a myriad of slot canyons are just some of the attractions. Also, the famous Hole in the Rock is found at the end of the road.
Just south of town is the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, and further south on Scenic Byway 12 is Kodachrome Basin State Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Each of these are easily accessible and make a great package for a day trip from Escalante.
The Boulder Mountains rise more than 4,000 feet above the town of Escalante. Several well graded dirt roads lead to the top of the highest wooded plateau in North America. There are approximately 80 small lakes on the edges or top of the boulder mountains. Most of these are stocked annually with fish and the combination of scenery, fishing, and wildlife viewing makes this area an incredible opportunity. Local fishing guides are available to lead you to some of the best lakes for fishing.
Visit the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center (435-826-5499) on West Main Street for maps and area information.