While exploring the Southwest we spent much of the time either just behind a storm of being chased by one. We were fortunate to catch a brief break in Escalante, UT. However, it wasn’t projected to last very long so the adventures we had planned were scratched. I don’t know about you but as much as I wanted to hike into canyons and slots I didn’t want to get caught by a flash flood. So, instead we stopped Escalante to grab a few things from the local grocery store. While there we took a few moments to poke around the town. The People’s Exchange was just begging for its picture to be taken.
Escalante is a small town in Southern Utah with a population of about 783 people who is quite a bit larger than Torrey, UT. It’s surrounded by mountains and sandstone canyons of the Gand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Dixie National Forest. The area around Escalante is known as being the last explored region in the continental United States. Looking around here though, it seems as though there are still a lot of places to get lost in, or discover, depending on how you want to look at it.
A brief history of the town and how it got its name is that in 1776, Silvester Velez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Dominguez attempted to find a route to California from Santa Fe, NM. They traveled through Colorado and Utah only to return to New Mexico without reaching California. In fact, they never reached the area of where Escalante is located. Yet, in the 1870’s, members of the John Wesley Powell expedition settled in the area and named the area to honor Escalante. Yep, the town is named for a person who never actually traveled through the area.
Has anyone been to the area? If I go back, when the weather’s better, what are the absolute must see and do’s in the area?