Thursday, November 12, 2015

Grand Staircase/Escalante/Route 12

Southern Utah has five of the nation's great national parks, not a few national monuments, and, of course, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, just over the border. And scores of state and other parks, too. Our current travels have been a reconnaissance in force, and apart from the Arches NP area, we have been breezing through, seeing what seemed of interest or obligatory and taking lots of notes for a future extended visit. Cold weather has been chasing and inhibiting us. The Bigfoot is good down to sub-zero temperatures, we know, but it's just not all that much fun hiking in 30 degree temperatures, with occasional snow and ice on the ground. Among the notes taken, in any case, is the impressiveness of the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument. A few of its 1.9 million acres (!) can be seen from Utah's route 12 "All-American Road" and from US 89. On some maps it will be just a blank spot between Canyonlands NP and Bryce Canyon NP. If you enter this blank spot, be sure to have the National Monument's map and brochure as well as the Route Guide to Scenic Byway 12. The scenery rivals what you can see in the national parks and there seem to be camping and recreational opportunities around every bend. We discovered all this at the end of the trail and not the beginning, and so our visit was a bit less disciplined than it might have been. Nonetheless, we were struck by the scenery, among other things, and took a few pix.... Oh yes, to be designated an "All-American Road," a federal designation, a road has to be "a destination unto itself," in addition to meeting a variety of other requirements.


Tawana said...

Never heard of an All-American Road before. Interesting concept. Love the little tunnel.

Rebecca said...

Penelope was very impressed by the road going through the big rock. :)