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The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

12 January 2018
grand staircase escalante

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is smaller than it used to be.

On the Wild West Challenge, as we take the ultimate road trip through the Western United States, we see a lot of incredible nature. You think might that the locals would be understandably proud of the varied and impressive sites we see, but it turns out one American certainly isn’t: President Trump. He announced that the size of the Grand Staricase-Escalante National Monument would be shrunk, leaving currently protected land vulnerable.


Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

grand staircase escalante

In its original size, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument covered an area of almost two million square acres, making it larger than the US state of Delaware. After Trump’s decision, it will now only cover only slightly more than a million acres, which is still larger than the state of Rhode island.


The Grand Staircase

grand staircase escalante

Photo by John Fowler

The Grand Staircase, in Southern Utah, is a paradise of geological oddities. As the staircase descends, one finds giant cliff-faces, slot canyons, and other-worldly outcrops.



grand staircase escalante

Photo by John Fowler

This is one of the most remote parts of the contiguous United States, and consequently was the last to be mapped. The inevitable grandeur is mixed with a sense of mystery, and here, like nowhere else in America, you get a sense of what a weird and wonderful land it must have seemed when colonialists arrived hundreds of years ago.


Rarely Visited

grand staircase escalante

The remoteness of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument means that it is rarely visited. The lack of facilities is a contributing factor to this, but it only leads to a more special time for those who do make the journey. We’ll drive through the park on the Wild West Challenge, and it’s this sort of experience that will make our event so worthwhile — and why we can’t wait to get on the road!


WWC blog 2019


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