The article appeared some time ago in “Outside” magazine suggesting, that the National Parks attendance would significantly decrease if they were called National Monument or National Park. I had a chance to see it with my own eyes, even if it was off season. After a day in Escalante National Monument, with maybe 5 more people hiking the trails, our group went to Capitol Reef, where they were far more people! What a shame. And without taking anything from Capitol Reef, the Escalante area is in a sense an essence of what Utah means for me. Easy accessible from small town (with few hotels and even less restaurants ;) ), you can visit beautiful waterfalls, arches and rock formations, petrified forest and slot canyons. you can hike, bike or off-road drive. Only one side note- the snowiest winter ever is probably not the best time to visit, as mud and/or snow make places not so easy accessible. Luckily, Devils Gardens were just a short ride off pavement, and we had a lot of fun exploring this unique place. And arches not so over-photographed as Delicate Arch ;).
This image was taken right here.