Marble Canyon, Arizona 86036
- 10 miles west of Page
- National Park
This is a wilderness area of 112,500 acres, thousands of acres of both red rock and garden. The Vermillion Cliffs is one of the most dramatic of the almost uncountable rock formations in this area. These cliffs rise 3,000 feet and are as red as their name suggests. Another massive landform are the Coyote Buttes to the northwest, wind and water carved, sometimes with fragile detail. The rock "sculptures" of the buttes have an eerie beauty.
The Paria Canyon, indeed, never lacks for surprises - an arch climbing overhead, a sudden amphitheater among its red walls, a slot side canyon that begs hiking. The Paria River runs through the length of the canyon, its surface mirroring the sun in the long stretches where canyon opens to sky.
There are hikes enough in this wilderness to keep any hiker both busy and fascinated, whether you approach the Vermillion Cliffs or the Coyote Buttes. However, what may be the most celebrated hike in the wilderness is the Buckskin Gulch. Only very experienced hikers should even attempt this, but you'll want to peer down its length even if you just pass by. Thirteen miles of water-sculpted walls - winding tight between them (and through standing pools of water) is a time consuming and potentially claustrophobic affair, but no one denies the Gulch is something of a natural wonder.