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The impressive 130 foot high Escalante Natural Bridge offers an easy access, family friendly introduction to the Escalante area. This is a very good first hike in the region, and offers stunning beauty in a short distance. A natural bridge, an arch, ruins, and a panel, what more could a person want?!?! Those that are energetic, can continue up past the arch as far as energy allows, seeing more of the photogenic riparian canyon.
A couple of words of warning. My first Escalante experience, in the 1990's, was in June and so buggy I literally ran back to the car swatting and whimpering from the Deer Flies. It can be VERY buggy in the spring, bring long pants/sleeves and bug repellant. Also, for a few weeks in early spring, the Escalante river can flow high enough to be difficult to cross. Save this hike for after spring run-off. It can be a lovely hike in the winter if you don't mind having to cross the river a handful of times.
From Escalante, go east on highway 12 toward Boulder. About 14 miles out of Escalante, just after crossing the bridge over the Escalante River (MP 73.9), turn left (west) to a parking area and trailhead. This is just a couple of miles BEFORE the Calf Creek campground.
To Escalante Natural Bridge (30-40 minutes)
From the parking area, follow the social trail up stream. It is easy to follow and crosses the stream a handful of times before reaching the Escalante Natural Bridge on the left side. A social trail scrambles up underneath the arch and offers up close views of this impressive arch. Morning light can be quite good here for photographs.
The Skyline Arch (10 more minutes)
From Escalante Natural Bridge, continue up stream keeping an eye out on the skyline on the left. An arch appears shortly. As the social near the cliff on the left side and rounds a corner, a ruin and panel are visible at the top of a small hill. Follow the social trail up to visit them. Just beyond this, the walls become vertical on the south side below the arch.
Still energetic? Sand Creek, a major side canyon, comes in on the right a few minutes up stream from the panel. Staying along the Escalante River, the canyon deepens and is quite photogenic. The social trail continue to the town of Escalante (16 or so miles away). Wander up as far as energy allows.
12S 463049mE 4181035mN
N37° 46' 33" W111° 25' 11"
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|Ruin and Panel||
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