My favorite stop of the entire trip was Escalante. There is really not much going on in the sleepy town, but the side trips were amazing. We had two great meals while we were there, the Circle D Eatery was the first. It doesn’t look like much but the margaritas and burgers are amazing. The best burger I have had and they have gluten free buns. The second place I would reccomend is Georgie’s Outdoor Mexican Cafe. It’s a food truck, but the tacos and chips were fantastic.
Escalante Cabins and RV Park
We stayed at Escalante Cabins and RV Park, a newer campground. It was super clean, had a fabulous shower/laundry room and great pull thru sites. It did not have a pool which was a con for the kids. It’s a smaller campground and has very little shade due to being so new.
Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons
This was my kids favorite hike of the trip! They said it was like a jungle gym. The road to get to the trailhead is 26 miles of unpaved dirt road. We decided to rent a jeep for the drive and we’re glad we did. There is a ton of sand on the road making this tricky without 4 wheel drive. We rented from Escalante Yurts, they only have 3 jeeps for rent so book early. They deflate the tires for a smoother ride, but it’s still bumpy and will shake you up! They gave us a detailed map of the drive and the canyon. This hike is 3.5 miles round trip. It is slippery is spots and you descend down rocks/sand into the wash where the slots are. This is much more difficult on the way up. Another thing to note is it is not well marked. Make sure to follow the rock cairns or you will get lost. We did peek a boo first, which was a little wider. The trickiest part was getting into the canyon. After you come out, follow the rock cairns back over the canyon to get to spooky. Spooky is very narrow and may be difficult for larger people. There is also a rope you must descend in order to get in. Both canyons have tricky spots to navigate through.
The kids were pretty wiped from the hike, but on the way back down the dirt road to Escalante we stopped at Devil’s Garden. There were a ton of cool rock formations to climb. If we had more energy we would have stayed to explore more!
Lower Calf Creek Falls
The next day we set out to hike the 6 mile out and back Lower Calf Creek Falls. This was another favorite! The hike was fairly flat with just a few small climbs which was a welcome change. Once we got to the waterfall we stayed a few hours for the kids to play! Honestly we could have spent an entire day there on the beach. We were glad we started early as the way back was much hotter with little shade.
Although it wasn’t home to a National Park, Escalante was definitely a family favorite! Worth a stop if you are doing the Utah National Parks loop. After Escalante, we continued on to Moab to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.