Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument  preserves some of the best long-distance hiking trails in the American Southwest. Since the monument was established and the consequent increase in tourism, shorter day hikes have also been developed to serve travelers who want to sample the wonderful slot canyons and backcountry of this vast desert landscape without venturing too far afield.
Be sure to check at local visitor centers  for road and trail conditions, and to get up-to-date maps. Many of these hikes require extensive travel on backcountry roads, which can be impassable after rains and rough the rest of the time. In summer, these trails are hot and exposed: Always carry plenty of water and sunscreen and wear a hat.
Hiking the Escalante River Canyon  is recognized worldwide as one of the great wilderness treks. Most people devote 4–6 days to exploring these slickrock canyons, which involve frequent scrambling (if not rock climbing), stream fording (if not swimming), and exhausting detours around rockfalls and logjams. Some day hikes are possible along the Escalante River drainage. Hikers without a week to spare can sample the landscape along the Dry Fork Coyote Gulch Trail, which links two fascinating and beautifully constricted slot canyons.
Paria Canyon  is another famed long-distance slickrock canyon hike that covers 37 miles between the border of Utah and the edge of the Colorado River’s Marble Canyon. Several long day hikes leave from trailheads on the Paria Plateau, along the border with Arizona.
Although the park is developing more day-hiking options, the rangers also encourage hardy adventurers to consider extended hikes across the rugged and primitive outback, beyond the busy canyon corridors. Contact one of the visitor centers and ask for help from the rangers to plan a hiking adventure where there are no trails.