Grand Escalante National Monument
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Stop 25 Grand Escalante National Monument
Date: March 12, 2007

The Grand Staircase-Escalante can be divided into three main sections consisting of the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Basin, and the Escalante Canyons.  The Grand Staircase section consists of a series of benches and cliffs that step progressively upward from south to north.

This scene looks at the Grand Escalante from the south


From the base of the Grand Staircase, extending upward from the Kaibab Plateau (the highest elevation on the north rim of the Grand Canyon), is the Chocolate Cliffs comprised of the Upper and Lower Moenkopi Formation and Upper Shinarump Member of the Chinle Formation.  The next rise is the Vermillion Cliffs which are very prominent throughout the Staircase section.  The Vermillion Cliffs are made up of sandstone beds and the lower Jurassic Moenave and Kayenta Formations.  The Wygaret Terrace then forms the extensive flat surface which continues until it reaches the next step up, the White Cliffs.  The White Cliffs are comprised of mainly Navajo Sandstone and capped by Limestone of the Carmel Formation.  Ever upward on the Grand Staircase is the next step, the Grey Cliffs.  The topographically low, Grey Cliffs, form a series of cliffs and benches.  The final step are the Pink Cliffs consisting of Tertiary limestones that have helped create the spectacular landscapes seen in Bryce Canyon National Park.  At the very top of the Staircase is the Paunsaugunt Plateau at nearly 2800 meters in elevation.


This diagram shows the different geologic layers that make up this national monument.



By Phillip Larson