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Old 02-23-2016, 10:23 AM   #1
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Escalante National Monument Utah

Time to start planning some getaways for Spring Break, first week of April. Heard of Escalante in Utah but even though we're in Utah, we don't really know anything about it. Would love to hear from those who have been there.
What campgrounds are nice?
Are there any scary roads to avoid? (I'm a little paranoid about driving still)
What surrounding areas are most worth visiting?
We'll be traveling with our three little kids but would love to do easier hikes.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:59 AM   #2
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This might be a fun place for you to stay; http://www.shootingstar-rvresort.com/

It's under new management and the campground was undergoing major renovations when we stayed there last October, but it was decently located for hiking in the Escalante River and Calf Creek recreation areas. There is also a nice state park campground close by at: http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/esc...rified-forest/ It has several hiking trails and a small reservoir.

Highway 12 between Escalante and Boulder takes you right over the slickrock. It's a bit white-knuckle as there are places where it goes right over a "backbone" with cliffs dropping off on both sides. But the scenery is breathtaking. If you leave your AS at your campsite, you can do it just in your vehicle, park at a turn-out, and walk over the slickrock.

We're not familiar with the area towards Kanab but hopefully others will contribute.

Escalante is also close enough to Bryce Canyon NP for a day's outing.
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Old 02-23-2016, 02:31 PM   #3
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Escalante National Monument / Grand Staircase is a beautiful area, and spend some time exploring Utah's scenic highway 12. Kodachrome Basin State Park is nice too, and of course Bryce Canyon and Zion NP's are incredible.
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:49 PM   #4
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We spent a week in this area last year, and all of the above is good advice. Don't miss Bryce Canyon NP (Ruby's has RV accommodations, some sites better than others), and also consider visiting Capitol Reef (Torrey has RV accommodations), if you haven't already. I liked the Pine Lake CG (USFS dry camping - see my posts for photos) not too far from Bryce, but I don't think it's open that early. I pulled a 27' Classic AS across all of Hwy 12 with no problems or concerns. There are lots of hidden treasures off the beaten path, like taking a day trip out (no AS) on the Burr Trail or Notom Road. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:35 PM   #5
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Thousand Lakes - Torrey
Kodachrome State Park
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:47 PM   #6
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Get this map:
http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/n...&productId=710

And open and download the attached pdf file.

And give the rangers in Escalante a call. They are very helpful.
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File Type: pdf Canyons of the Escalante.pdf (241.9 KB, 66 views)
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngpeck View Post
Get this map:
[URL]And give the rangers in Escalante a call. They are very helpful.
We spent extra time in Escalante when the government shut down a few years ago. Our plan was to stay in Zion NP, but the park closures killed that. We found that we loved Escalante/Grand Staircase, and there was wonderful hiking in the area. The rangers really are great: when they shut down, the one at the gate said "I can't let you in here, but if you go just a mile or so up the road...". Also, make sure you stop in at Escalante Outfitters for lunch.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:53 AM   #8
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It's a great area, and I concur with the above posts. Utah Highway 12 is rated one of the top drives in the US. Although I did find the "hogs back" section with no guard rails made me a little queasy. And I wasn't even towing. Steep drop offs on both sides are almost like being suspended in air. I wouldn't want an RV up there in windy conditions.

You will be a pretty easy day trip from a lot of places. The north rim of the Grand Canyon is not too far. There is a good NP campground there.

Here's a little video of the drive.



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Old 02-24-2016, 11:22 AM   #9
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Escalante/ Grand Staircase is pretty undeveloped. If you want to get away from it all you can drive in with a good 4x4 with a winch. You can also hire an outfitter. I recommend Steve at Paria Outfitters.
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:23 AM   #10
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Ditto on Capitol Reef. Both the Thousand Lakes RV park in Torrey and the NPS CG in Fruita are great. Fruita camping is first come, first serve and we were lucky to get in--by noon. While staying there we saw campers lining up at the entrance gate by 9:00 am. It has no hookups, though there is water & a dump station on site. Capitol Reef has hikes for kids of all ability levels, plus a museum and night sky programs. For spring break in Utah, with its large population of children, we'd probably opt for a reservation (with hookups) at Thousand Lakes. The other RV park in town looked nice and tidy, but kind of exposed right along the highway.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:47 PM   #11
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By all means go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaT View Post
Time to start planning some getaways for Spring Break, first week of April. Heard of Escalante in Utah but even though we're in Utah, we don't really know anything about it. Would love to hear from those who have been there.
What campgrounds are nice?
Are there any scary roads to avoid? (I'm a little paranoid about driving still)
What surrounding areas are most worth visiting?
We'll be traveling with our three little kids but would love to do easier hikes.
We took our Caravel there a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time you won't regret the time and there is easy hiking for your little ones.

Go!!!
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Old 02-24-2016, 04:57 PM   #12
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You have gotten great advice here. I rode Hog's Back the first time on my Harley, it is a magnificent road. Torrey is a magical place and there are great places to explore. On the east side of Capitol Reef is a magnificent unpaved road that goes all the way down to the Grand Canyon.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:46 PM   #13
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Thanks!

Thank you for all the great advice/info. We had a great time.

We probably should have planned to stay at Bryce since we drove right past it. We did go to the Animal Museum at Bryce which was really neat for the kids and they got to feed "exotic deer".

Stayed in Escalanted Petrified Wood State Park Campground with reservations, no hookups, but bathrooms with showers. We didn't bring the kid kayaks because we thought the water would be too cold but since the campground is right next to the little reservoir it would have been a good idea to bring them. One of the park rangers was super nice and helpful, the one that followed was the complete opposite and gave our friends a super hard time about moving sites as they had already arranged with the other ranger. We did the 1.75 mi Petrified Wood hike that is right off the campground, drove to Kodachrome Basin State Park and walked around there. Also did Lower Calf Creek Falls and Devil's Garden. The Hole in the Rock road to Spooky Gulch was a rather atrocious 26 mi of ruttedness. I thought the car was going to fall apart. But we were able to do to Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Gulch slot canyons with kids, yay!

We then drove Hwy 12 to Capitol Reef and stopped at Anazazi State Park.
I was glad to have the video posted above of the scary part of Hwy 12. We made it in one piece and I was not as freaked out as I thought I would be. Fruita Campground at Capitol Reef was full. Park hosts talked to me like I was a complete idiot when I said we were just going to drive around just in case anyone was leaving (this was after noon, after check-out time). Everything did in fact look full, but as we were stopped contemplating a site that appeared empty but was still paid for the day, the people in the next site over waved us over as they were leaving. Yes! We were able to share the spot with our friends and saved the day as they did not want to boondock and we did not really want to stay at an RV park in Torrey. Did lots of hikes there with the family: Sulphur Creek 6mi., Grand Wash + Cassidy's Arch 7mi, Capitol Gorge, Hickman Bridge, and some lookout points.

We camped ten days total with no hookups using our two little solar panels. Battery charging is having issues but we managed the whole time, no problems with three kids in our little 23D. Another successful trip. Thanks again for all the tips!

We also saw lots of Airstreams on the road and at Capitol Reef.

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Old 04-15-2016, 01:30 PM   #14
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Lola--What brand bike rack are you using?
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