September 27, 2010
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument extends over 1.9 million acres of sandstone canyons, plateaus, coloful cliffs, and unique rock formations.
It is named for the Escalante River Canyons and
for the Grand Staircase - a series of colorful cliffs
that extends north from the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon to Bryce Canyon.
The Monument protects world's treasures including artifacts of the Anasazi, as well as fossils, minerals, petrified wood and dinosaur bones! Escalante was once home to the 30 foot long duckbill hadrosaur!
The one found here , most of the skeleton was still intact and included the rare find of the fossilized skin.
If time is limited,the best way to see all of this is to drive along Scenic Byway 12.
Personally, I would NEVER drive a big
motorhome or 5th wheel
or a pull behind travel trailer on this road!
Highway 12 is not only steep with 10% downhill grades,(and uphill too!) it is very narrow, extremely full of S curves and switchbacks.
Leave your RV in a campground!
We met a lot of people driving their RV's but we
were glad we didn't have The MotherShip
The road is treacherous but beautiful and should be enjoyed from your car! Also be aware there are cattle everywhere it is all open range, so drive slow and stay alert!
The road out of Torrey is beautiful!
Beautiful horse ranches along the way
Huh? Snowplow signs ???
Overlooks are beautiful! Today is
hazy due to control burn fires in the area.
Everytime Chuck and I get out of the truck,
Doogie Bowser and Scotty start barking
up a storm! Chuck is trying to quiet them down.
You can tell from looking at Doogie...
it ain't workin' to good!
Aspens wearing autumn and canyon reservoir
Highway 12 meets autumn
We are very high up!
VERY high up! Steep drop off!
Easy to see the ancient sea beds...
Fossilized sand dunes
more beautiful horse farms...
more fossilized sand dunes
steep hills with rock walls
Sometimes DoogieBowser acts as co-pilot
Sheer rock walls !
sometimes you meet rock trucks!
This is just one of the rock overhang areas
we drove through.
Watch this road! You can see it wind around 2 "S" curves, but see that dark streak going diagonally UP the hill? Yep, that is the road!
Look to the far right and you will see a truck camper coming down this road! This is driving up a huge fossilized sand dune!
Beautiful red and white banded sandstone!
That red rock formation is Capitol Reef
On the way home, we ran into a cattle drive complete with cowboy and dog!
headed towards the gate...
when these 2 idiots on a motorcycle (look under red arrow) decided they were in a hurry and plowed through all the cattle scaring the wits out of them!
They almost ran us over trying to get out of the way of the noisy motorcycle! They ran past the gate and we left that poor cowboy trying to round them all up again!
More cattle crossing the road!
You really need to be aware when driving on
open range roads that cattle have the right of way!
If you don't believe me, just ask this guy!
We hope you get to take this trip one day! Southern Utah is worth the time! Sadly we are leaving Torrey and the Thousand Lakes Campground! We could easily spend another week here! However we head out for Blanding Utah in a few hours! Journey on!
Ya'll keep in touch!
Happy Trails from Geri, Chuck, Scotty and