Reasons to visit Escalante

There’s no shortage of cool things to do and see in and near Escalante, UT.

Lizard statue at the visitor’s center in Escalante, UT

I have just recently fallen in love with Escalante, UT. I was there in 2017, and it was a wonderful visit, but I didn’t really get to see all there is to offer in this southern part of Utah. 

On some researching I’ve recently been doing on what, where, and how, I’ve discovered some pretty damn cool things to do and see down in this Southern Utah gem. 

It’s a nice little town

Escalante doesn’t look like much when you’re driving through on Scenic Highway 12. The population is only around 800 residents, but they seem to have it going on with all the tourists that come here. Whether it’s for the national parks or just the many beautiful features that Utah nature has to offer, it’s a great place that caters to the tourists that come to wonder. I can’t help but feel slightly jealous as I do come from a small town myself. What is it that makes this small town such a great staple in your trip to visit?

They got the Grand Staircase!

Yeah, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument yo! Huge and spread out with all kinds of stuff to see in any way you wish. Driving, hiking, biking, horseback riding, canyoneering, spelunking, all of the ways we as humans love to appreciate and explore nature. 

The Petrified Forest State Park and Wide Hollow Reservoir 

This is the biggest wood of them all. Almost a full tree!

This is a great place to go hike around all the petrified wood and to learn more about the area.

You can also rent camp spots, kayaks, paddle boards, fish and engage in water sports and such at the reservoir of course.

Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek falls are nearby

This is a popular hike to some fantastic and refreshing waterfalls about fourteenish miles from Escalante. It’s about 3 miles in, 3 miles out and mostly flat, but it is in the sun most of the time so be prepared for that. The falls put off a nice misty spray and acts as a natural air conditioner for ya after all the heat. Just don’t go in the middle of the summer and I think you’ll be fine. Read more about this hike in my post here.

Hole-In-The-Rock Road

This road is pretty cool in itself. It’s like sixty-something miles and dead ends at Lake Powell on the West side. What?! I know, crazy, but thats what those pioneers did back then, crazy shit.

Anyway, I was only able to check out Devils Garden when I went because we took our car and not the truck. If only I had the truck, I could have went to Dance Hall Rock, Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Gulch slot canyons, Hole-In-The-Rock Arch and of course the end of the road, Hole-In-The-Rock.

Devil’s Garden offers parking, pit toilets, and picnic sites for your stay here. There’s no fee to pay and they do not allow camping here.

Devils Garden is very picturesque

There’s some really cool places to stay

This is where I start to get really excited because I feel your lodging has a lot to do with your experience when vacationing or adventuring. 

  • Slot Canyon Inn B&B – This place looks nice with some canyons and streams you can explore while you’re there. www.slotcanyonsinn.com
  • Canyon Country Lodge – A really nice hotel right in town. www.canyoncountrylodge.com
  • Canyons Bed & Breakfast – Right there in town equipped with way cute rooms with a farmhouse/cottage feel to them. www.canyonsbnb.com
  • Entrada Inn – This is where I stayed. The desert vibe to everything is cool and they’ve applied a waste reduction strategy with built-in bulk pumps for toiletries and a power saving feature that comes into play in case you leave your lights and TV on after leaving the room for a while. www.entradaescalante.com 
  • Escalante Outfitters cabins and campgrounds – These guys have it all. Lodging consists of little cabins and tent sites. They have a restaurant called Esca-Latte (clever), a gear store, and guided fly-fishing and natural history tours. www.escalanteoutfitters.com
  • Escalante Yurts – Oh yes please! This is what I’m thinking about for my next trip to Escalante. These yurts are gorgeously decorated! They have five – three that will sleep 4 and 2 that will sleep up to 8 people. And you get a bathroom! No walking to a communal bath house or pit toilets. www.escalanteyurts.com
  • Unique Air B&B’s – There’s unique and fun homes out in the desert landscape that welcome you back to relax after a long day of hiking and exploring. www.airbnb.com
  • Shooting Star RV Resort – You can camp or stay in one of their Airstream RV’s and also watch a movie at the Drive-In style theater in a 1960’s classic car. www.shootingstar-rvresort.com
Entrada outside our room. Still pretty new in 2017. I loved the rusty corrugated metal roof!

So many attractions nearby seriously!

Not only do you have all the attractions I already mentioned but there’s also Kodachrome Basin State Park, and Anasazi Indian Village nearby. Plus Escalante is a great place to stop in between visiting Bryce Canyon and Capital Reef National Parks.

It’s warmer there

If you’re a Northern or even central resident of Utah and want to go someplace awesome for outdoor fun but warmer than your current living temperatures, it’s pretty perfect down here during the day most times of the year. It still gets pretty cold at night though – that’s the desert for ya!

What have you discovered in or near Escalante? Please comment below and share!

Calf Creek Falls Hike

Yet another outstanding hike in Utah, in the desert, to a spectacular waterfall.

There’s an upper and lower falls associated with this adventure. The lower falls are more popular as it is easier to hike to and navigate, but a longer one. Someday I would love to go back and check out the upper falls because I feel it might be a little more adventurey and definitely less populated.

Head out of Escalante Eastbound on Highway 12 for about 15 to 16 miles, take a left turn for the parking lot. Pay your fee, and hopefully you went early enough and there’s enough parking left. Or you could camp in their campground to make it super easy.

This hike will take half the day if you really want to enjoy it.

Just a pretty view along the hike.
What a gorgeous desert landscape, and look at that blue sky!

Things to know for this hike

  • The hike is 3 miles in and 3 miles back out the same way.
  • There’s hardly any shade – so slather on the sunblock and bring extra as well as a hat.
  • The terrain is mostly flat with a lot of sandy parts.
  • There are a couple geocaches hidden nearby the falls. So bring your GPS device if you’re into that.
  • There are some points of interest a long the way which you will see, and get to learn more if you grab a pamphlet at the trail head.
  • The waterfall acts as an air conditioner once you get there, so you can cool off just by standing near the pool or jump in for a pretty freezing cold dip!
  • There’s nowhere to sit at the falls except for a log and a rock or two, so bring a small blanket if you don’t want to sit in the muddy dirt.
  • Bring some easy lunch to have while you’re sitting enjoying the beauty of the waterfall.
  • Take lots of pics!
It’s exciting when you can hear it the closer you get. Then you see it peeking out of the trees!

This is such a nice place to sit and admire the small wonders nature provides. Has anyone had the pleasure of visiting the upper falls? I’d love to hear about it!