Tag results for: Grand Staircase-Escalante

This Immesurable Place cookbook cover

It takes backbone to sue the Trump Administration.

Especially if you’re women.

And you own a restaurant in Boulder, Utah, one of the most remote areas of the US, elevation ~7,000 feet, population ~ 180 people. Where the geology’s so rugged that early explorers declared “no animal without wings could cross it.” When the Civilian Conservation Corps did build a way through, they named it Hell’s Backbone Road. Which led to the name of the restaurant Blake Spalding and Jennifer Castle own—Hell’s Backbone Grill. A name that suits their spunk in facing off the hell that’s been created by Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

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Canaan Peak Grand Staircase

If you think of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSE) as a staircase, imagine it now only half as wide—the new “Liddle” Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Last week we addressed Trump’s December 4 proclamation to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by 85%. On the same day, he cut our favourite place in Utah—Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument—by 46%, from 2,000,000 acres to 997,490 acres.

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“We’ll spend two nights at Slot Canyons Inn with probably the best host in all of Utah,” said Russ, the owner of Backcountry Journeys and our guide for photography and hiking for six days last April.

High praise. If I were a better researcher I’d have noticed the * beside Slot Canyons Inn B&B in our Moon guidebook to Utah and discovered that it’s one of the state’s top B&Bs. The inn is on Scenic Byway 12 where the silence is white as the area’s creamy slickrock and milky, star-filled sky. Read more


Beginning by introducing himself and sitting down on a chair on the porch of the Seven Wives Inn in St. George, Utah, Russ surprised us when he announced the destination we’d be going to.

Let me take a step back. It’s very unlike us, but we had no travel itinerary for Utah on our drive back to Vancouver after a month in Palm Springs. No four-wheel drive, no hiking permits and no accommodation. In the last days of March, Magellan, sensing the futility of our non-plan, said, “What do you think of this photograph/hiking tour?” Alas, it had been cancelled. Then photographer/guide Russ Norstrand called to say that if we could meet him the following Thursday, we had ourselves a private tour.

“Tomorrow we’ll go to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument,” Russ said. “We’ll spend our first two days there. It’s my favourite area in Utah and I think it will be the highlight of our trip.” It turned out to be more than that—it was the best holiday of Latitude65’s first year. Read more