Popular among vacationers and tourists for its beauty, Paria Canyon within Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness is one of the attractions that make the wilderness a Mecca for outdoor recreation lovers, nature observers, and guests looking to enjoy some solitude away from the rush of daily life. This 175.5 square mile Bureau of Land Management property located about 10 miles west of Page, Arizona, straddles both Arizona and Utah. Some of the fascinating features in the area include huge red rock amphitheaters, towering walls, wooded terraces, hanging gardens, and sandstone arches.
For those in the wilderness looking to have some fun, things to do include bird watching, flora observation, and hiking the wet areas in the park, as well as nature study and photography. Just southwest of the wilderness at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, more hiking and sightseeing opportunities are available. The Colorado River is yet another attractive destination for those looking to pursue additional fun exercises.
There are no developed camping opportunities within Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, so you should gear up for dry and primitive camping in the wilderness. Grand Canyon National Park has modern camping options for interested vacationers.
Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness lies about 10 miles west of Page, Coconino County, Arizona, and Kane County, Utah. This BLM wilderness can be accessed from Page in Arizona, and Kanab in Utah. For those that wish to gain entry to the wilderness from the north, US Highway 89 is the access route. From the southern areas, US Highway 89A which skirts the base of the Vermilion Cliffs offers access to the wilderness. The eastern portion of the wilderness is accessible from Lee’s Ferry, while House Rock/Coyote Valley Road (BLM Road 1065) offers entry to the western areas.
Within the boundaries of Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, the use of motorized vehicles and other mechanical equipment is not allowed. Therefore, it is recommended that visitors coming to the park look out for signs and posts that indicate where the wilderness boundaries are. Around these boundary locations, there are places to park vehicles and cars. Navigation within the wilderness area is either on foot or on horses. The use of wheelchairs is allowed within the wilderness.
There are no direct public transportation services to this BLM property in Arizona.
Stateline Campground is a pet-friendly BLM campground sited on the Houserock Valley Road on the border of Utah and Arizona. This campground offers dry camping and tent camping options and is open year-round. All the sites are available on first-come, first-served basis only.
The campground consists of four campsites equipped with a pit toilet, bathrooms, fire pits, picnic tables, and shade structure. If you’re looking to enjoy hiking adventures in the area, this campground is perfect because there’s easy access to trailheads there.
The campsites are nicely spaced by pinyon and juniper trees and offer scenic views of Coyote Valley.
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, which borders Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness to the southwest, is home to endangered California condors, broad plateaus and some of the oldest petroglyphs in the US. By far the most attractive feature in this national monument is the Wave, a dramatic, undulating orange rock formation.
Arriving at this national monument, you can follow trails that lead to the formation, or better still, secure the service of an authorized guide that will lead you all the way. There’s quite some competition getting daily hiking permits to the site, so you should apply months in advance.
The opportunity to learn about the history of the area is open to interested campers and visitors at Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. The ancient petroglyphs, pictographs, and granaries in the wilderness area showcase the way of life of the ancestral Puebloans that made use of this wilderness between AD 200 and AD 1200.
Relics reveal that for the most part, these people were hunters who hunted bighorn sheep and mule deer, and they also grew squash, beans, and corn in the lower parts of the canyon. The area was subsequently used by the Paiute people.
Campers at Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs looking for some water-based excitement often take trips to Lake Powell, where they can enjoy lots of recreational activities. Featuring about 2,000 miles of shoreline, warm water, endless sunshine, perfect weather, and absolutely fantastic scenery, this lake is just perfect for the outdoor recreation lover.
Things to do here include fishing, hiking, boating, and canoeing. Boat rental services are available for visitors within some private facilities around the lake too.
If you love hiking adventures and would like to pursue your interest at Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, then be prepared to get wet. Why? Because hiking Paria Canyon means getting wet, as you get to hike in the river and the normally wet Buckskin Gulch.
Depending on the time of year you visit and how much precipitation occurred earlier, you may not tread through much water. Water levels can be waist deep, or as low as ankle-deep. Wear water shoes to protect your feet from rocks.
Located within the northwest areas of Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness is Coyote Buttes, a fascinating tourist attraction that features spectacular displays of aprons, domes, corridors, fins, and small fragile rocks that are carved in colorful cross-bedded sandstone.
As the weather and lighting in the area change, the colors and the textures in the rock formations change too, creating amazing and wonderful sceneries. If you’re going to visit this site in the wilderness, then you’d better have your camera with you.
The Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area is home to a wide variety of bird species. If you visit the wilderness in winter, you’ll see bald eagles, but golden eagles are spotted in the area all year round. Bird watchers also sight the endangered peregrine falcon, great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, and Cooper’s hawk.
The sand beaches and sheer walls in the area host wrens, swallows, black-throated sparrows, and flycatchers. In the early hours of the day, visitors come across tiny birds such as black-chinned hummingbirds and ruby-crowned kinglets.