Flickr album link: Egypt~Grand Staircase-Escalante
For those who seek a world of adventure in a pristine unblemished high desert environment, the place to go definitely is the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The activity options range from mild to wild in this vast wilderness area, so there is a suitable venue for every outdoor lifestyle. Previously published articles feature the many scenic landscapes that can be experienced during an easy going paved road tour along the two highways that border upon this vast expanse. For those who are self reliant and drive a capable vehicle, there is even more to discover when touring the lengthy dirt roads deep into the backcountry. One of the most popular backcountry touring routes is the Hole In The Rock Trail, which goes to one of the most significant old west landmarks that goes by the same name. The Hole In The Rock Trail provides access to the eastern portion of Grand Staircase-Escalante and it parallels the meandering shoreline of Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This is the travel route to choose for exploring the west side of this picturesque lake and there are many dirt side roads to explore that go to famous points of interest, which includes the Egypt Geological Area.
First of all, plenty of two wheel drive vehicles and regular passenger cars travel on the very long Hole In The Rock dirt road, so one must be ready to endure endless washboard ripples that are the size of parking lot speed bumps. A high ground clearance vehicle will provide a more comfortable ride, while a 4x4 will definitely overcome this bumpy mess. A 4x4 vehicle will also be needed for exploring the dirt side roads, which are far more challenging than the main trail. There are several natural arches and unique geological sites to discover when taking on the side roads, but it is best to be well prepared because any chance of rescue might as well be a million miles away. Stocking up heavy on food, fuel, water and packing a human waste device is recommended for backcountry adventures in this very unforgiving high desert environment.
One of the most popular Hole In The Rock Trail side road destinations is Egypt and the dirt roads into this unique geological area are actually fairly smooth. There are a few challenging bare bedrock sections, but patiently taking it slow will allow practically any higher than average ground clearance vehicle to pass through. Oddly enough, part of the fun of heading to this destination is spotting the rustic wooden sign for Egypt, which will surely inspire amusing comments about being totally lost deep in the boonies. Once the sign is spotted, following the moderately lengthy road to Egypt will be the means for experiencing unblemished landscapes that few others lay eyes upon.
The dramatic views of the desolate terrain along the road to Egypt certainly are mesmerizing to see and a landscape artist will have plenty of subject matter to choose from. When the dirt road enters the bare bedrock section, this will indicate arrival at one of the most popular spots, which is Egypt Canyon. Egypt Canyon is a deep narrow slot canyon that attracts technical rock climbers worldwide and organized group climbs take place here on a daily basis. Stopping to watch the action is fun to do, but only a small portion of this unique solid rock canyon can be seen from the edge. For those who wish to safely descend into this picturesque crevice, there are local expedition companies in the nearby towns that offer services for both novices and experts.
After passing by Egypt Canyon, the beautiful scenery becomes even more intense as the distant views disappear into the Glen Canyon horizon. At the end of the dirt road trail is the Egypt Geological Area, which is where one of the most popular hiking trails in the west can be found. This trail meanders along the rim of the towering buttes and it goes deep into this unique landscape. The silence is deafening out this way and the views of the red rock landscape will easily separate visitors from the world they came from, so it goes withoutq saying that the Egypt hiking trail definitely is a great escape. There are several existing dispersed campsites along Egypt Road and this is one place where doing an overnighter is well deserved. All the while, when when the neighbors ask where you have been after getting back home, trying to explain that Egypt really is in Utah will likely end up being the biggest hurdle to overcome!
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