Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

It’s hard to get a clear view of the land features that make up the Grand Staircase because it covers such an immense area. But if you could look down from above, what you’d see is a series of cliffs extending from the Grand Canyon north to Bryce, with each step taller and of a different color. Officially, the steps are chocolate, vermillion, white, grey, and pink, but frankly I have a hard time telling the whites from the greys. This is where we camped a few weeks ago, not far from Kanab, Utah.

Pretty exciting because it was the first trip with this lovely new-to-us Jeep,

jeep

which allowed us to finally drive all these roads in southern Utah that I’ve never gotten to travel down before. (Bob used to work out here, so he knows them like the back of his hand.) Even with the jeep, it was still a little stressful because the weather, as you can see, was pretty dreary, and this can make the roads “impassable,” which is polite for entirely washed out or a sticky, gooey mess.

(P.S. The geologic formation in the distance is called Molly’s Nipple. Probably easy to see why.)

One road we got up was Oil Well, which gave up really great views of the whites . . . or is it the greys? You tell me.

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I love the contrast of colors: the bright orange sand, the varying greens of sagebrush and juniper, and–lucky for us–there were still some flowers blooming.

1

Can’t say I’d want to live for long in a sagebrush-juniper landscape, but I do love the look of it from a distance.

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This picture is probably my favorite as you get a tiny little sense of the Staircase or at least what I think are the reds in front of the white/greys. 2

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