Reflection Point Escalante


Where? : In the middle of the desert, 57 miles from the nearest road so fill you gas tank at Escalante, where Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument combined into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Google Map Link


What? : The most beautiful view point I ever visited !

The twisted river canyon flooded by the water of Lake Powel create an amazing view of red cliff, calm flat water and surreal atmosphere.


When? : March to May and September to October are the best times to hike to Reflection Canyon. Rain (including Summer monsoons) can impact the road. Summer temp is above 100°F during the day. Check at Escalante BLM office for exact road and weather conditions.


Please look at the many warnings below, usually I do not state them. In this hike they are real, you must know what you are doing, this is not a hike for everyone without proper preparation.


Due note 1: Although this is not considered a difficult up-hill climb hike the 8-9 miles trail, one direction, do go up and down crossing riverbeds, so it is more difficult than it looks.

Due note 2: You must know what you are doing!

This is far from any other place; and you may be the only one out there. The trail is not mark or maintained; the last 2 miles are on open rocky land so there is no trail to follow (no Cairn marking) so you must know where you are heading.


Due note 3: Do not walk at night! there are many small canyons and even if you will not fall you will get lost. You did not reach the point at daylight park for the night and continue at sunrise.

Due note 4: Bring enough water (no source of water on the trail and you can’t access the lake), warm clothes and some food, even if you plan to do it as one day hike.


Due note 5: At summer it is VERY hot and exposed to the sun. No shade along the entire route.


Due note 6: I was not aware but looks you do need overnight camping permit for this location, you can get one at Escalante Interagency Visitor Center (BLM).


Due note 7: It is highly recommended to have good GPS application with the trail marked (bring backup battery for your phone). Download the trail in Escalante because you will soon loss any cell reception. I also carry with me a backup Garmin InReach device (also for communication).


Due note 8: Hole-in-the-Rock Road (BLM #200) is usually in good condition but covering 51 miles is not simple. AWD can be OK but 4x4 high clearance is highly recommended. Fill you gas at Escalante just before entering the road. Make sure you have a good spare tire, jack and tools and that you do know how to replace a tire (I had a flat tire + I helped other with one).


My thoughts: The most amazing viewpoint I ever visited – I’m sure I will be back.

It is not simple drive and the hike is long and you need to know what you are doing and where you are heading but the reword is the beauty of the place.

I spend one night alone there, taking pictures and just enjoying seating on the edge of the cliff looking down on this amazing place, see the sunset, moon rise and the early morning sunrise.


The visit:

After 2+ hr of bumpy ride covering 50 miles from hwy 12 road on Hole-in-the-Rock Road (BLM #200), you will reach the trailhead.

Although the road is in good condition AWD is good enough it is not recommended to 2WD at all, after heavy rain and river runs it is not recommended at all.

The TH is unmarked parking place at the side of the road without any clear sign, you may see other cars already parked there. Use GPS for this drive and to find the exact parking location.


The hike:

It is a challenging 9-miles hike through the Glen Canyon backcountry for one view into Reflection Canyon.

Starting at the TH you will head up the red-rocks plateau above the road (right side of the road). Once you reach the high leveled section over the red soile you should find the unmarked trail going left. Look for it and try to find it because it will be easy to go on the trail.

During the walk-in keep the mountains on you right side and if you do not find the trail keep going on the red soil section. You need to keep relatively close to the base of these cliffs. Do not be tempted to go down to the lower sections, it is not safe and full of canyons.

The trail going to the right into the open between the cliffs and after few miles you will reach a cattle fence and a gate. Keep going to the right and cross the river bad, later you will pass an old cow water source and from there you will start climb again onto the red plateau.

Keep going between 2 hills, the trail in this section is going up and down when it crosses the small rivers. Keep heading in the same direction of the notable 4 red rock “fingers” few miles away.

At some point after 6 miles the trail will end, and you will need to cross another 2 miles of open exposed rock hills. At this section there is no trail or Carin that mark the direction and the landscape, although it is going down, is going up and down.

Pay attention to your direction! you can easily get confused where is the location of the end point, use GPS for your direction.

If you got too early to a deep canyon with water, you probably took too much to the left (east) and you need to head more to the south.


Reaching to the Reflation vining point is rewording!

Relax, find a place for the night and enjoy the view and assimilate yourself into the vast desert surrounding you.

Look at the changing colors and reflections during sunset and moonrise, look at the stars and just enjoy the moment.

Sunrise is also nice where the sun is coming right above the reflection point.


Sometimes you will have boat down in the lake below, when I was there right before sunset 3 kayakers arrive for the night.


Going back is exactly on the same way you arrive, now the navigation is simpler and you should fine the trail that you lead you back to the car.