January 24, 2011

Where does the Grand Staircase name come from?
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is a rather long name, but this national monument certainly warrants your attention.   The monument is most often referred to, by locals, simply as “The Staircase”.
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Illustration of Utah's Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

The name comes from the land formations of the region that are literally lined up in staircase fashion.    Click on this image below to see an illustration of the formations that make up the  Grand Staircase.   You’ll see that from the Grand Canyon on the south (right side of illustration) to the Aquarius Plateau on the north, the land steps down and then back up again.   On the chart you will notice a lower central valley, and as you move left across the illustration you will see a series of formations going up from the Vermillion Cliffs, White Cliffs, Grey Cliffs, Pink Cliffs to the Aquarius Plateau.
Many of the formations that comprise the actual staircase are not within the boundaries of the national monument.   The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is unique in several different ways.   For one thing, the Grand Staircase is the first national monument to not be managed by the National Park Service.   The Bureau of Land Management has responsibility for this mass of unique land formations that covers over 1.9 million acres.   Most national monuments, in the United States, are not nearly this size, and as a result, there is a necessity for multiple access points.   Two of the key areas to access the Grand Staircase are found in the towns of Cannonville, and Escalante, Utah.   Both towns, located in the Bryce Canyon Country region offer the best and quickest access to some of the main attractions within the Grand Staircase.
Read more about the Grand Staircase and area towns that provide local services by clicking on the links within this blog post.

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Categories: Cannonville Escalante Utah Grand Staircase Kodachrome Basin