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The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument tour + ADD NEW ROUTE


2   in Utah Utah130 Miles

By Roger Jellison
on February 1, 2007

4.7out of 5

20 Riders rated

 Scenery

 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

Written Directions

Start in Panguitch, Utah and head south on US-89 and in about 8-10 miles you'll want to take the turn towards Bryce Canyon on Rte 12. Then just head east on Rte 12 the whole way to Torrey, UT which will be over 100 miles. I suggest you make sure you first enjoy Red Canyon with brilliant red cliffs then continue another 25 miles before turning right onto Bryce Canyon road and be sure to get lunch at Ruby's Inn. Get back onto Rte 12 and continue east for an about 3 hours through Dixie National Forest to Torrey, Utah. There are a few hotels there and you will be near Capital Reef National Park. It's a must do in the west.

Scenery

Unbelievable views of Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The Staircase is an incredible collection of multicolored cliffs, buttes, plateaus, mesas, and canyons. Bring a camera with plenty of memory space/film for this one!!! You'll also be passing through the Dixie National Forest.

Overall, it's a fantastic ride with many opportunities to stop hike and enjoy panoramic views. You need to plan a day of this trip to have enough time to take in all the great views which you really need to stop at!

Additional input from "hunnerbunner" (Sep 08): Red canyon, Bryce canyon, Hell's Backbone, Calf Creek and Boulder Mtn. give you a little taste of every type of scenery Utah has to offer, from red rock to slickrock to pine and aspen covered mountains.

Road Quality

Plenty of open road with hills, woods and canyons.

Additional input from "hunnerbunner" (Sep 08): A few miles of straights on either side of Escalante leave the rest of the road to writhe and twist over the landscape. Little heavy truck traffic keeps the surface in good shape, and I don't recall a whole lot of tar snakes.

Roadside Amenities

A few small town along the way to enjoy and fill up at. I particularly recommend checking out Red Canyon and getting lunch at Ruby's Inn (see directions below).

Additional input from "hunnerbunner" (Sep 08): Hiking in Red Canyon, camping/lodging in Bryce Canyon, hiking at Calf Creek Falls, quaint restaurants in Escalante and Boulder, more camping on Boulder Mtn. A short detour in Cannonville takes you to Kodachrome Basin for more hiking and camping.

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Nickname (optional) : Roger Jellison

What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By steben53
on April 27, 2012 3 out of 3 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2010

Motorcycle Make Goldwing

Motorcycle Type Touring

I've ridden the Blue Ridge Pkwy, the Dragon, Texas Hill country, the Sierras and the Trinity Alps of NorCal, all over AZ, CO, NM, WY, etc. I've even done the real Alps three times. I tell you that so you'll have a sense that I know what I'm talking about when I say that riding the Escalante Grand Staircase is just about the best motorcycling you can do in America. If you haven't been you need to make the effort to get out there ASAP. Guaranteed, you will never forget your first run across the Staircase. The only thing I'd mention is that you should go east out of Torrey on Hwy 20 and ride it all the way to Hanksville. That's a spectacular part of the ride too as is continuing south to Mexican Hat (just dont do that in the middle of summer!).

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By Guest
on May 31, 2010 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2010

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Excellent technical road!!!!! I had a blast even with 30mph winds!!! Right up front, if you have issues with heights, no guard rails, 1000ft. cliffs, or extremely narrow twisty roads with lots of rent a motor home tourist traffic, don't ride this road. Oh did I forget to mention high gusting winds, sand/gravel on the road, and slippery tar snakes. This road is NOT for a new rider! I’m making my partner an “I survived the Hogs Back” T-shirt as he put aside his fear of heights to ride this road with me. Once he survived he said he would ride it again! We started in Torrey and road north to south May 2010. Boulder Mountain summit is 9600ft. This section of road is a wonderful winding Mt. road. Shortly after Boulder you will cross the “Hogs Back”, 5 little curves with cliffs on each side, and as Ken mentioned it is a “hair raiser”. Then twisting though the rocks down to Escalante was lots of fun. Riding from South to North puts you on the inside of the cliffs most of the way, so it may seem a little less hairy. Bryce Canyon is a must see.

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By Guest
on October 8, 2009 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

The route south from Boulder UT to Escalante UT includes an absolutely amazing stretch of road. You ride a high ridge line with cliff faces dropping away from the road on both sides. There are several miles of tight twisties as you ride your way down to the bottom of the gorge. This is the best piece of road I have ever ridden. There may be roads that match this one, but not that exceed it.

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By MU22HOF
on July 31, 2014 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Rode this magnificent route in late May, 2014. Couldn't agree more with the other reviews! While in Utah, add Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Parks to your "Must See List". Cedar Breaks Monument is breath taking as well!

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By Bevan May
on March 18, 2013 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2012

Motorcycle Make BMW K1600GTL

Motorcycle Type Touring

We did this trip June 2012 and it was one of the most spectacular motorcycle roads I have been on. All the curves and bends combined with some of the most spectacular vistas imaginable. The road down from the top of the "Escalator" down to the valley floor was the prime spot on this trip. Drop off to the left and the right made the adrenaline flow.

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By Guest
on February 17, 2010 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

This is one of the best motorcycle roads to ride. Elevations climb from Torrey heading south to the 9000' range among the high meadows and aspen forests of the Dixie Natioanl Forest. Then you descend down to Boulder and enter the Grand Staircase Escalante Nat'l Monument and the temps rise dramatically. We left Torrey at 8am and the temps on top of the mountains were in the high 40's to low 50's but as we descending into the Escalante they rose to 95 degrees by noon. So be prepared for a 50 degree change in less than a 100 miles of road. The scenary here is extremely diverse and well worth the ride. Be sure and try to ride up and over Hwy 14 from Long Valley Jct to Cedar City if you are in this area as its another wonderful road close by. The downgrade into Cedar City is long and steep so watch the brakes and enjoy the ride.

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By Guest
on July 26, 2009 1 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type

Scenery is off the chart. This road is considered one of the top 10 in North America by various travel magazines. The road runs south from Torrey, over Boulder Mt. Great views of Capital Reef Nation Park, looking east. From the town of Boulder, you go along the "Hog's Back" which will make the hair on your back stand on end!!! Nothing but beautiful sandstone, pine and red rock scenery...you have to see it to believe it. Boulder is a good half way place to stop of food, fuel, or lodging

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By mark55
on January 3, 2017 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2012

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

Absolutely fantastic riding. Did this in two days starting in Blanding. Would come back to Utah just to ride this again.

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By ExAF1Chief
on July 27, 2016 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2016

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited

Motorcycle Type Touring

We left Bryce Canyon National Park enroute to Torrey, UT through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Forest. This has got to be one of the best motorcycle rides in the country. With the switchbacks, scenery, and a stretch of the road that runs along a ridge with 1000 ft drop-offs on both sides and no guard rails. Wife was having a lot of anxiety during that stretch. Truly a boss-jock motorcycle ride!

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By MotoForever
on July 18, 2015 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2013

Motorcycle Make Harley

Motorcycle Type Touring

Well, this route is officially one of my favorite rides! I compare it to San Juan Skyway (Million Dollar Highway) and Beartooth Highway in Montana. This one has it all, but mostly, it has a fantastic variety of canyons (which Utah does SO WELL), alpine cool summits (9600ft.) with Aspen trees and amazing views, small towns with great food (must stop at Burr Trail Cafe for lunch), exhilarating overlooks (while riding!) and excellent picture taking opportunities. Each time I've ridden this road, I've met people from various countries. Red Canyon, Bryce, Capital Reef (is so close) and Anasazi ruins are right there too. So plan to take more time time that you think you'll need, take layers if you are so inclined, or simply just ride the Grand Staircase-Escalante "All-American Road". Anyway you want it, you'll have a blast.

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By GJRonK
on October 4, 2013 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2000

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Beautiful country as all of southern Utah is. The scenery varies from forests to desert to semi-arid country with much exposed colorful layers of sedimentary rock. Each layer has a history of its own. This route is so colorful, you can almost get sensory overload. Also, each direction seems like a different ride.

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By Guest
on June 2, 2013 0 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Harley

Motorcycle Type Touring

Did the ride May 2013. Very beautiful ride and road was in great shape. Add it to your Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon Park ride, you won't be disappointed.

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By Guest
on June 2, 2013 0 out of 1 members found this review useful.

1.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Harley

Motorcycle Type Touring

Did the ride May 2013. Very beautiful ride and road was in great shape. Add it to your Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon Park ride, you won't be disappointed.

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By Guest
on October 29, 2012 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make Harley Road King

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

One of if not the best ride in Utah. For a side trip take the Burr Trail, paved for a few miles, at Boulder just north of Escalante on HWY 12.

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By Guest
on April 4, 2011 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type

As we drove through this area on a longer trip, we decided it was worth a return visit dedicated to this route alone. We came back later that summer and camped in Escalante for 4 nights. Two days we rode back north towards Capitol Reef and did various hikes and activities along the way. Two days we rode south and west towards Bryce Canyon for other hikes and attractions. The views from the roads are amazing and there's even better scenery to be seen a light walk off the highway. Some of the best views we've enjoyed on a bike tour. Campground in Escalante was affordable and comfortable, not to mention an extremely convenient base location to spend a few days in the area. Everyone in our group loved this trip!

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By Guest
on April 3, 2011 0 out of 1 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type

Awesome stretch of why. We plan to do it again. I was to caught up in the scenery to notice the dangers.

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By Guest
on April 16, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2006

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Enduro

My great grandfather was part of the first pioneer party sent to this area and my family and I are planning a reunion ride/4x4 trek next summer. We are planning to ride the original 'Hole-In-The-Rock' Trail. Do you ave any insight on resources, guides, maps... anything that may help us. We are a family group with experience in off-roading but this area is going to be a new experience for us all.. Any help would be much appreciated.
- Marty

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By Guest
on October 13, 2008 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2001

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

we made this trip from az to sturgis, every turm was nothing short of breathtaking, 12 scenic byway and 24 scenic byway, will definately do it again.

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By Guest
on May 8, 2008 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Touring

I rented a new Goldwing in Phoenix first weekend of May and made this drive. One of the best and most scenic roads I have been on, highly recommend.

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By Guest
on January 20, 2008 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Touring

I rented a goldwing in Salt Lake the 2nd week in Sept 07.
We mad a loop down to Bryce, Zion, Canyon Land, MOAB back to SLC. The ride through Escalante was fabulas. We must go back.

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