Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Fifty Mile Bench Road is a recreation road in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. As there is not so much information about this trail available in the internet, here a short description of this route.

Fifty-Mile-Bench Road is a loop road, which could be startet from Willow Tank Slide Road (rec road #260) near Hurricane Wash or from Sooner Slide Road (rec road #280). Both are starting from Hole-In-The-Rock Road (#200) and lead up to Fifty Mile Bench, which is a starting point for different hikes in the Straight Cliffs region. Fifty-Mile-Bench Road is rec road #290 (BLM).

We startet our trip from Hurricane Wash, so that we had the steeper climb at the beginning.

After coming down from Escalante, UT the Hole-In-The-Rock Road and crossing Hurricane Wash, we are reaching the right turn to Willow Tank Slide Road. The following picture shows the turn off from Hole-In-The-Rock Road:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

The climb up to the Fifty Mile Bench level could be seen on the follwing picture (background, left side):

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

The trail was in very good condition. The rangers in Escalante, UT told us, that there is no grading done in Kane county, and for this reason they asked us to provide feedback about the actual road condition. It seemed to us, that the trail recently got graded. Here now a first climb towards Fifty Mile Bench:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

And this is how the trail proceeds:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Everywhere one can have great views towards the Canyons of Escalante:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

We are climbing up and up. Sometimes we had to do some slight repair work, but no problem at all.

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

The following picture gives a good impression about the steepness, which seemed to us in reality much more than on the photo:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Here a view back to Escalante:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

We are proceeding ahaed and soon we are reaching the ´horizontal level on the bench:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

On the following picture you can see a part of the trail:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

On Fifty Mile Bench a gravel road awaits you, which was in perfect condition and which is sometimes getting narrow, but most of the time it is wide:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Here also one can have great views:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

The trail is getting wider after some time and soon the turn off to Sooner Wash will come:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Here a view more shots:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

The following picture shows the turn off to the left. Straight ahead the trail leads to a hiking trailhead

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

We are turning left towards Hole-In-The-Rock-Road. This gravel road is less steep than the one we were using to climb up on the Fity Mile Bench level.

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Here also nice views are offered:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Sometimes some minor rocky parts could be found:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

The snow on the Straight Cliffs could also be seen from here:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

The canyons are coming closer and closer:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

And the trail goes still down:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

After some time you are reaching the ´lower level’:

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

When seeing this sign, you reached again Hole-In-The-Rock Road.

Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT

The trip itself is a nice half day tour, which could be combined with Hole-In-The-Rock Road down to it´s end. This combination makes it a full day trip. The climb from Hurrican Wash is definitely more difficult than the one from Sooner Wash. But with a 4WD vehicle one should be able to go up. It is just like always. One has to rate his own capabilities.

Here you are able to download a gpx file of our trip:

Tracklog: Fifty Mile Bench Road, GSENM, UT (168 downloads)

The map gives an overview over the visited region:

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