Climbing this staircase would be quite a long and laborious trek. It rises more than six thousand vertical feet. Each “riser” is a colorful view displaying vermilion, white, gray or pink cliffs or slopes reaching as high as 2,000 feet. Each “tread” is a terrace, flat or plateau stretching as much as 15 miles wide. These cliffs, terraces and slopes are a geological treasure, millions of years old and offering a wealth of scientific information.
The Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument is divided into three sections: the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau and the Canyon of the Escalante, covering a total of 1.7 million acres.
The Vermilion Cliffs house many fossils of fish and early dinosaurs from the Triassic period. A step to the North lie the White Cliffs composed of Jurassic sand dunes. Above the White Cliffs are the shaley Gray Cliffs, deposited when the ocean covered the land. These Gray Cliffs show signs of marine life-sharks’ teeth, seashells and layers of coal formed from compressed marsh and swamp plants. An ancient freshwater lake deposited the Pink Cliffs at the tops of the Grand Staircase; even more of these are located in Bryce Canyon National Park.One cannot view the Grand Staircase from just one vantage point; it is a vast isolated and remote land. If you are looking for solitude and space, here is where you can find it. Additionally, hiking is popular in the Monument.