May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Trekking in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Outfitter Price Accommodations
Red Rock n' Llamas
877-955-2627, www.gorp.
$1,275 camping
Escalante Canyon Outfitters
888-326-4453, www.gorp.
$795 camping, tourist hotels

The Route: Five or six days of camping and hiking the classic bedrock of America's newest great park, with llamas or horses shouldering the load. From high-desert base camps, you'll day-trek into a red-rock panorama dotted with groves of manzanitas, ponderosas, and in September, autumn-yellow aspens.

When to go: August-September

Difficulty: Difficult

Travel advisory: The area's slickrock combines incredible traction with pavement-hard ground; while you won't slip, blisters are quite common. Leave the heavy lugger boots at home and bring a lightweight, cushioned pair. And whatever you do, don't pet llamas on the face. they spit.

High/low points:

  • Kicking back, fresh from a well-earned solar-heated shower with a hard shot of Edward Abbey and a cold lemonade.
  • Being turned back by threatening thunderstorms from Death Hollow, and 800-foot-deep, waterfall-punctuated slot canyon.

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