Painted Desert, Slot Canyon and Hoodoos

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument spans almost 2 million acres in southern Utah. It can be difficult to find where to go or how to find information about hikes and other things to do there. It’s not your typical national park or monument with an entrance station and visitor center with all the information you would need. Thankfully I learned about some really cool hikes to do near Lake Powell from another Fulltime Family. All of these areas we explored were within 30 miles of where we stayed in Page, Arizona.


First we went to the Paria Rimrocks Toadstools (also known as Hoodoos). The parking lot for this is right off US 89 between mile marker 19 and 20 heading northwest away from Page. It’s a pretty easy hike of less than a mile to get to the “toadstools” which are cool rock formations.





Check out the yoga class going on in the picture below. What a cool spot for a yoga class!


Some of this hike looked like we were on another planet. It actually reminded me of the Badlands in South Dakota.




After this hike we continued on up US 89 to mile marker 31 to the Paria River Valley Road scenic drive. This is a 6 mile long dirt road past some beautifully layered, multi-colored cliffs. The colors and painted desert look was just stunning!






On this drive you go through the Pahreah ghost town, a cemetery and the site of an old movie set. Some scenes from The Outlaw Josey Wales were filmed there.

Lastly we backtracked down US 89 back towards AZ to mile marker 26 and turned down House Rock Valley Road. About 8 miles down this dirt road is the Wire Pass Trailhead. From there you can hike to Buckskin Gulch, the longest and deepest slot canyon in the southwest. The canyon is 12 miles long but we only hiked for a few miles. We love hiking in slot canyons with the tall towering cliff walls high above us on either side and narrow passageways.







We had such a fun day exploring these various locations in the Grand Staircase. There are many other hikes and locations to explore in this park, but it is so spread out so we only visited the few that were near where we were staying in AZ. If you are ever in this area I hope you’ll find the highway and mile marker information useful.

Categories: National Parks, Utah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Post navigation

17 thoughts on “Painted Desert, Slot Canyon and Hoodoos

  1. Very cool place! It does look like you guys were on another planet. Love, love the slot canyons! I definitely want to go one day. Your Slot Canyon pictures came out so beautifully. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That looks awesome, especially Buckskin Gulch! I want to hike there. It reminds me of Antelope Canyon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it was similar to Antelope Canyon. We had just gone there a few days earlier. Antelope was actually prettier, but you don’t need a guide to go through this one and it had fun rock scrambling too. Thanks for the comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous photos, and I absolutely love those toadstools! I can see what you mean–it really does look like a combination of Badlands and Bryce, and the painted desert reminds me of Petrified Forest, too. We’ve driven past parts of Grand Staircase NM but never stopped to explore. It looks awesome! Your post has me itching to get out there and hike these beautiful spots. Our itinerary is pretty full, but I’m pinning this and keeping my fingers crossed that we can put your mile marker info to good use. 🙂 Thank you! Buckskin Gulch looks amazing, too–what a wonderful day with the family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I hope you make it there this time, but if not I have no doubt you’ll get back to this area at some point. I know you love hiking in Utah as much as I do. It’s one of the most beautiful states I’ve been to.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing!! I’m always finding reasons to head back to Utah and Arizona….has to be one of the craziest spots in the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. some amazingly beautiful country there…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have just now found this blog, drawn by its creative name, and this is the first post I’ve been reading. Well, what can I say, I guess this is becoming my favorite one real quick. A great theme, good writing and beautiful photos, what more can you ask for? Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, amazing photos. We have been to the West Coast and to Antelope Canyon last year which was really great. Would love to go there again in spring one year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful photos. I really can’t wait to get back out to Moab and Utah next year. We’ll be doing a 100 mile trip off-road around the White Rim trail. We can’t wait. I’ll be adding the Painted desert to our list of stops to make on our way out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The clicks are something more than mesmerising😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: