If you love a good hike, visiting Grand Staircase-Escalante and Zebra Slot Canyon will feed your hunger for adventure. Grand Staircase is a natural wonder expressing the weathering and wear of the sedimentary rock in the area.
After thousands of years of water flow, the area has taken on a diverse and exciting appearance. You can see how much time changes the earth. Let’s dig into what you might find in Grand Staircase-Escalante and learn about a new adventure!
Where Is Grand Staircase-Escalante?
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument spans more than 1.87 acres in the south-central region of Utah. The area is so large that it spans five life zones in the state, from low-lying desert to coniferous forest. The monument also lies in two counties.
Why Visit Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument?
Visiting this area is all about soaking in the history and natural beauty. You can find rock art panels, old granaries, and even sites left behind by the Native Americans who used to inhabit the area.
You can touch the rock walls and feel the changes in the earth as water wore away at its surfaces. This place is unique and spiritual for many. Visiting Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument might leave you thinking that you have felt the past in a way you never have before.
What Is Zebra Slot Canyon?
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument consists of many slot rock canyons and grand rock arches. Zebra Slot Canyon is one of those places.
Slot rock canyons form over hundreds and thousands of years by water rushing between the earth and wearing away at the soil. The rock in the park is sedimentary, making it break down in a more aesthetically beautiful way than other types of earth.
Zebra Slot Canyon has its name for the distinct stripes along the sides of the canyon. Inside Zebra Slot Canyon, you’ll see the light pour in from the top, illuminating the soft rolling curves of the sizeable layered rock walls of the canyon. It’s a sight you won’t see in many other places on Earth.
How Do I Get to Zebra Slot Canyon?
The trailhead that will lead you to the opening of Zebra Slot Canyon is at the end of Hole-In-The-Rock Road in Grand Staircase-Escalante. The trail leading to the canyon is pretty weathered, and it’s best to travel with a map on hand.
If you visit the information center in Escalante, they will give you detailed instructions, and you will have access to a map of the area. Park your vehicle at the trailhead on Hole-In-The-Rock Road, and hike the rest of the way.
How Difficult Is the Hike to Zebra Slot Canyon?
Hiking to and through Zebra Slot Canyon is an all-day adventure. The whole trip will take you at least three to four hours overall. The hike from the trailhead to the canyon is a pretty leisurely stroll, aside from a brief stint of walking through deep sands in some areas.
Once you get to the canyon, hiking through the canyon is a bit more challenging. There is often standing water inside the canyon, so expect that you may get wet.
The canyon portion itself is quite short, but the walls get pretty narrow in some places. You will have to shimmy up the canyon’s walls to get through some narrow passes.
Pro Tip: After exploring Zebra Slot Canyon, make sure to check out these 10 Best Slot Canyons in Utah That Will Transport You to a New World.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Zebra Slot Canyon?
The best time to visit Zebra Slot Canyon could differ for many people. If you want to experience the canyon without other people, you may want to get there early in the morning.
If you want the comfort of traversing the area with other people, go around midday or early afternoon. It’s wise also to check the weather before you go. You don’t want to visit the canyon when rain is in the forecast. Heavy rains can quickly make the canyon very hazardous.
Can I Camp in Grand Staircase-Escalante?
There are many places where you can camp in the area. Primitive camping is legal nearly anywhere within the monument grounds, but it’s crucial to know what you’re getting into on a hike. Staying safe means understanding the wildlife, the weather, and the natural resources in the area. Do a little studying before heading out.
Remember to Leave No Trace on National Monument and BLM Land
If you take the time to explore Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, do so responsibly. Respect the land you’re exploring, and remember to leave no trace of being there. Clean up after yourself, and take everything you bring in back out with you when you go. Preserving the pristine natural beauty of the land is essential.
Pro Tip: Make sure you pack these 10 Hiking Essentials You Should Never Hit the Trail Without when hiking Zebra Slot Canyon.
Is Zebra Slot Canyon Worth Visiting?
Only you can decide whether an adventure is worth taking. However, this place is fascinating, with a diverse history to enrich your day as you explore. If you’re someone who enjoys experiencing what nature offers, spending some time in the canyons of Grand Staircase-Escalante could be medicine for your soul.
Will you visit Zebra Slot Canyon this year? Tell us in the comments!
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