Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument
Initially spanning nearly 1.9 million acres, Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument saw its protected areas cut nearly in half due to a controversial proclamation issued by President Donald Trump in 2017.
With some of the least visited – yet most spectacular – scenery, its name refers to the 150-mile-long geological strata that begins at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and rises, in stair steps, 3500ft to Bryce Canyon and Escalante River Canyon. The striped layers of rock reveal 260 million years of history.
Established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the monument uniquely allows some uses that would be banned in a national park (such as hunting and grazing, by permit). Tourist infrastructure is limited to towns on the park's edges. Trump's decree separated the monument into three units: Hwy 12 skirts the Kaiparowits and Escalante Canyons districts' northern boundaries, while Hwy 89 runs south of the Grand Staircase section.