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Hiking the Vermilion Cliffs and Grand Staircase


Aaron Zagrodnick
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Aaron Zagrodnick

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a vast plateau in north central Arizona and adjoining southern Utah. The 280,000-acre (roughly 20 miles east-west by 20 miles north-south) monument includes the rugged and beautiful Paria Plateau and Coyote Buttes North and South. The plateau is also known as the Sand Hills. Many hikers and photographers visit The Wave, Paw Hole, Cottonwood Cove, and White Pocket. All those are worthy destinations, but going beyond yields even more impressive hikes, views, and experiences. The plateau towers nearly 3,000 feet above the plains to the east, and is bounded by Highway 89A and Marble Canyon on the east, Highway 89A on the south, House Rock Road on the west, and Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River on the north. Everywhere on the mesa are Navajo sandstone outcrops and loose sand. The sandstone originated as a huge wind-blown sand dune field, which was subsequently compacted and cemented into rock and is now eroding into a plethora of bizarre and unique shapes to see and photograph...

Contributor @Steve Ancik details this trip that explores beyond the popular spots in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and in Grand Staircase. Check out the article in Issue 52:

Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs and Utah’s Grand Staircase

Hiking the Vermilion Cliffs and Grand Staircase

Issue 52 Page 1
 

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