menu

An Unforgettable Utah Desert Getaway: Review of Yonder Escalante


Yonder Escalante is a luxury glamping resort located in the outdoor adventurer’s paradise of Escalante, Utah. If you want a camping experience with modern, dog-friendly accommodations and unique amenities that allow you to connect with the great outdoors, then book a stay at Yonder Escalante. It’s one of the best hidden gem cabin retreats in Utah!

I had the opportunity to stay at Yonder Escalante right after getting engaged in April 2022, and stayed in one of the coolest cabins that I have ever seen. My now husband and I visit Escalante every year. We typically camp, so staying in one of the modern cabins at Yonder Escalante was a real treat. This post shares my honest review of Yonder Escalante with all of the behind the scenes info you need to know before you book your stay.

A couple sits outside of a modern cabin at Yonder Escalante in Utah.
Cabin vibes at Yonder Escalante.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary stay at Yonder Escalante in April 2022 in exchange for social media content. This blog post and review of Yonder Escalante was not written in connection with my previous partnership and is not sponsored or endorsed by Yonder Escalante in any way.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you click a link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Having affiliate links on the site allows me to provide you with valuable, free content.


Table of Contents

500*500

When to Stay at Yonder Escalante

Yonder Escalante is open from March through October. Spring and fall are the best times of year to visit Escalante, Utah, because temperatures are warm, but not too hot, and the weather is typically sunny. Occasional storms may occur, with thunderstorms and wind storms being more prevalent during the spring. Summers in Escalante are fairly hot with temperatures reaching the upper 80s and low 90s during July and August. Escalante sits at 5,820’ above sea level, so it doesn’t get quite as hot as other areas of Southern Utah.

A woman drinking coffee in front of a fire overlooking cabins in Escalante, Utah.
Morning coffee at Yonder Escalante.

How Do You Get to Yonder Escalante?

Yonder Escalante is located in Southern Utah in the town of Escalante. It’s located right along Hwy 12, making it easily accessible with any vehicle. 

Escalante, Utah, is about a 5 hour drive from Salt Lake City, and a 4 ½ hour drive from Las Vegas.

From Salt Lake City: To get to Escalante from Salt Lake City head south on I-15 to exit 188 in Scipio, Utah. From there take U.S. 50 to Utah State Route 24 to Scenic Byway 12 in Torrey. Then drive over Boulder Mountain, through the small town of Boulder, and south towards Escalante. The stretch of highway between Boulder and Escalante is incredibly scenic, but has some sharp turns and narrow drop offs, so be sure to keep your eyes on the road!

Rent a Car to Get From Salt Lake City to Yonder Escalante:

From Las Vegas: The most direct route from Las Vegas to Escalante is via I-15. Drive north out of Las Vegas into Utah until you get to exit 95. From there take Utah State Route 20 to U.S. 89 to Scenic Byway 12. Drive past Bryce Canyon National Park as you make your way towards Escalante. Be aware, once you’re off I-15 you’ll be driving through rural areas where services may be limited (especially on Sundays or during the winter). Never let your gas tank get too low while driving through Southern Utah! 

Rent a Car to Get From Last Vegas to Yonder Escalante:

Accommodations at Yonder Escalante

Yonder Escalante offers a range of cozy accommodations to suit your glamping preferences. Whether you’re bringing your own tent, or are looking for more luxurious accommodations, there’s something for everyone at Yonder Escalante.

Be aware, weekday stays are significantly more affordable than weekend stays at Yonder Escalante!

Tiny Cabins

Yonder Escalante is the premier location in Escalante for a modern cabin stay. The tiny cabins at Yonder Escalante are simple, modern, and have a touch of desert flair. Cabin amenities include a fire pit, queen-sized bed, daybed, mini-fridge, microwave, and storage. The tiny cabins do not have their own bathroom, so you’ll need to walk to the bathhouses at night.

Average Price: $159-319

The inside of a tiny cabin at Yonder Escalante including a bed with leather headboard, mini-fridge, storage area, and day bed with ottomans.

Airstreams

For an authentic glamping experience, stay in one of Yonder Escalante’s renovated airstreams. Airstreams come with a daybed and queen-sized bed and can sleep up to 3 people. While the airstreams don’t come with a bathroom, you have a sink and counter space available.

Average Price: $199-339

Deluxe Cabins

The newest addition to Yonder Escalante’s fleet of accommodations are deluxe cabins. These luxury accommodations are the most expensive lodging option at Yonder Escalante, and come complete with a queen-sized bed and sofa bed. Deluxe cabins also come with an en-suite bathroom, giving them a leg up on the tiny cabins and Airstreams. 

Average Price: $299-499

728*90

Campsites

Yonder Escalante has campsites available for guests who want to stay a little closer to the great outdoors, while still taking advantage of all of the amazing amenities the resort offers. There are two types of campsites available- small campsites that are perfect for tents and vanlifers, and RV campsites that fit rigs up to 30’ and provide water and sewer hookups.

Average Price: $69-95

A lounge area with in-ground fire pit, chairs, and long table at Yonder Escalante.
The lounge area at Yonder Escalante.

Book your stay at Yonder Escalante!

Amenities at Yonder Escalante

One of the best parts about staying at Yonder Escalante are the unique amenities. Unwind after a long day of hiking beside one of the many fire pits around the property. The communal lounge is a great space to sip your coffee in the morning or listen to other tales of other traveler’s adventures.

The bathhouses at Yonder Escalante will have you feeling like you’re staying at a spa. After a long day of hiking you can choose between private indoor and outdoor showers to clean off. The woman’s bathhouses also have Dyson hair dryers so you can freshen up before an evening date night.

Beat the heat during the summer with a dip in the swimming pool, or stay warm on a chilly fall evening with a soak in the hot tub. If you’re staying at Yonder Escalante for an extended period of time or on a long road trip, you can clean your clothes in the self-service laundry room.

The most unique amenity at Yonder Escalante is the drive-in theater. The theater is equipped with vintage cars arranged in front of a large screen that shows classic movies each night. Free popcorn and other concessions are available.

An outdoorsy couple sits around a campfire at Yonder Escalante.

Dining at Yonder Escalante

Food Truck

Yonder Escalante has a food truck on-site that serves up breakfast and dinner daily. Menu options include standard American fare like burgers, hot dogs, and chicken tenders. There’s also soft serve ice cream and Dole whip available to satisfy your sweet tooth.

General Store

The General Store at Yonder Escalante sells alcohol and meal kits that you cook over the campfire. Meal kits come with a protein, two sides, bread, and a s’mores kit. Inside of the General Store you can purchase also purchase snacks, gifts, and Yonder Escalante merch.

A burger, chicken sandwich, and french fries in a box with sauces.
Dinner from the food truck.

Other Dining in Escalante

While the town of Escalante is small, it’s home to a variety of tasty restaurants. Here are some of the top Escalante dining options:

Escalante Outfitters. Escalante Outfitters is an outdoor gear shop that also sells delicious pizza and drinks. The pizzas are made to order with fresh ingredients. You can also get salads made with locally grown ingredients. In my opinion, Escalante Outfitters is the best restaurant in Escalante for a post-hike meal!

Nemo’s. For retro vibes and classic diner fare head to Nemo’s Drive Through in Escalante. Order a burger basket and ice cream at the outdoor counter, then bring your meal back to Yonder Escalante and enjoy a tasty post-hike treat. Nemo’s is not open on Sundays.

Hell’s Backbone Grill. Hell’s Backbone Grill is located in the tiny town of Boulder, Utah, so it’s a bit of a drive from Yonder Escalante, but this award winning restaurant is worthy of the trip. Hell’s Backbone Grill uses fresh ingredients grown on the property to craft flavorful, gourmet meals. The restaurant is a popular eatery and reservations can book up well in advance.

A slice of pizza with a bite missing in front of a desert scene.
Leftover pizza from Escalante Outfitters makes a great post-hike snack.

My Honest Review of Yonder Escalante

My now husband and I stayed at Yonder Escalante in April 2022. We had gotten engaged the day before checking in and thought Yonder Escalante provided the perfect romantic glamping getaway to celebrate.

The check-in process was seamless. It took place inside of the main Lodge, which also houses the General Store. The building was modern and clean, which was refreshing after 3 nights of camping in the desert.

We stayed in one of 6 cabins located near the lounge area. Parking was a short walk away, and Yonder Escalante provided wagons to help transport luggage. The cabin was spacious and included a leather daybed, ottomans, small kitchen area, and bed. The interior felt bright, airy, and cozy.

An up close shot inside a cabin of a storage unit and bed at Yonder Escalante.

We were pretty dirty after our camping trip, so we immediately checked out the bathhouses and private outdoor showers. I took advantage of the Dyson hair dryers to style my hair after it took a beating in the spring desert wind!

During our first evening at Yonder Escalante our engagement photographer, John, came by to take some additional photos at our cabin. After enjoying some food from the food truck on-site we got a solid night’s sleep in the comfortable queen-sized bed. My only complaint about the cabin is that it didn’t have a bathroom, and the closest bathhouse was a bit of a walk away. 

The following day we had a slow morning at the lounge before going for a hike in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Once we got back to our cabin we took a shower and went into town to grab dinner at Escalante Outfitters.

The original Top Gun was playing at the drive-in theater that night, so we spent the evening enjoying a movie and complimentary popcorn in our private vintage car. It was the perfect romantic cap to our engagement trip!

We had a fantastic experience at Yonder Escalante and would definitely stay there again. It’s the perfect destination to celebrate an engagement or other special occasion!

Final Rating: 9/10 (I imagine I’d give the luxury cabins with en-suite bathrooms a 10/10!) 

Book your stay at Yonder Escalante!

A couple kissing on a porch in front of a modern cabin at Yonder Escalante in Utah.

Things to Do Near Yonder Escalante

Yonder Escalante makes an excellent basecamp for adventures across Southern Utah. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is right in Yonder Escalante’s backyard, so there’s ample access to hiking trails. You can also plan day trips to nearby national parks, like Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef. Learn my top tips for avoiding crowds when visiting national parks.

Hiking in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Yonder Escalante is located near Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The national monument provides a variety of hiking opportunities, including narrow slot canyons, slickrock traverses, and trails to desert waterfalls.

Remember that hiking in the desert comes with unique considerations. Make sure that you research the trail you plan to hike, come prepared, and practice Leave No Trace. This includes:

  • Staying on trails and other durable surfaces (like rocks). Keep an eye out for cryptobiotic soil and remember not to bust the crust!
  • Packing out all waste.
  • Being prepared! Make sure to pack water and other appropriate gear, and be sure to carry a map.

728*90

Hikes in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Lower Calf Creek Falls

Lower Calf Creek Falls is one of the most popular trails in Southern Utah. The trailhead for the hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls is located along Scenic Byway 12. There’s a huge sign along the highway marking the turn to the parking lot. There’s a $5 parking fee unless you have an America the Beautiful or other federal recreation pass.

The elevation gain while hiking to Lower Calf Creek Falls is fairly minimal, making this a popular trail with hikers of all levels of experience. The reward at the end of the trail is a towering 126 ft. waterfall in the desert, which is truly a sight to behold!

Woman in a pink skirt wades in a pool of water at the base of Lower Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Hiking to Lower Calf Creek Falls.

Upper Calf Creek Falls

For a less-popular alternative to Lower Calf Creek Falls, check out Upper Calf Creek Falls. The trail to Upper Calf Creek Falls is shorter, but much steeper making it a moderately difficult hike. 

You can hike to the top and bottom of Upper Calf Creek Falls, which allows you to experience the full scope of the waterfall. Swimming is permitted in the pools at the top of Upper Calf Creek Falls, but be careful not to get too close to edge. Please respect the restoration area closures around the base of Upper Calf Creek Falls.

Woman stands in front on a desert waterfall at Upper Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Hiking to Upper Calf Creek Falls.

Devils Garden

If you’re looking for a trail for kids in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, head to Devils Garden. The recreation area includes a network of trails that take you past unique rock formations and arches. You can choose your own adventure and explore to your heart’s content!

Be sure to remain on durable surfaces while exploring Devils Garden. This includes established trails, slickrock, and washes. Keep an eye out for cryptobiotic soil and be careful not to bust the crust!

A woman stands on a rock looking up at an arch while hiking in Devils Garden in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Hiking in Devils Garden.

Peek-a-Boo & Spooky Slot Canyons

Exploring narrow slot canyons is the ultimate desert adventure. Peek-a-Boo and Spooky slot canyons are some of the most popular in Escalante and can be completed as a loop. Be aware, the slot canyons get extremely narrow. There’s a sign at the trailhead that shows the width of the slot canyons so you can make sure you’re able to squeeze through before hitting the trail. The hike also requires some scrambling, so come prepared for a big adventure!

Always make sure to check the forecast before heading into a slot canyon. If there’s rain forecasted anywhere in the vicinity you should reschedule your hike. Flash floods in the desert are incredibly dangerous and can be triggered from rain storms miles away. Slot canyons are created by water, so make sure to give the power of nature the respect it deserves!

A woman hikes through a narrow, red sandstone slot canyon in Escalante, Utah.
Hiking in Spooky Slot Canyon.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is just under an hour away from Yonder Escalante making it a perfect destination for a day trip. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or traveling with kids, exploring Bryce Canyon National Park’s colorful hoodoos is fun for everyone!

Here are some of the top activities to do on a day trip to Bryce Canyon National Park:

  • Drive the scenic drive stopping at the viewpoints along the way.
  • Hike the Wall Street & Queens Garden Loop Trail (you can also add Peekaboo Loop).
  • Hike the Mossy Cave Trail.
  • Traveling with dogs? Walk along the rim from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point or hit the trail in nearby Dixie National Forest.
A woman stands on a winding trail in an orange sandstone canyon while hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Hiking along Wall Street in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is 1 ½ hours away from Yonder Escalante near the town of Torrey, Utah. The drive to Capitol Reef is breathtakingly scenic and takes you through desert canyons before climbing into the forest and over Boulder Mountain.

Here are some of the top activities to do on a day trip to Capitol Reef National Park:

  • Take a trip down the Scenic Drive.
  • Hike Grand Wash.
  • Hike to Cassidy Arch.
  • Get pie at Gifford Homestead.
  • Drive over Burr Trail Road from Boulder to the Waterpocket Fold district of the park.
Hiking to Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park.

Book a Stay at Yonder Escalante:

Other Escalante, Utah Adventures You May Enjoy:

Pin It:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FREE guide:
the top 5 resources for finding epic hikes

Download your free backpacking gear packing list

Get the Packing List

sign up for the newsletter

thank you for subscribing!

Affiliate Disclaimer: As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases made from affiliate links that I share. This means that Kate Outdoors will earn a small commission from any purchase that you make through an affiliate link at no additional cost to you.

Hiking Disclaimer: Hiking and other outdoor activities are inherently dangerous and can result in serious injury and/or death. The information provided on this Website is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for additional research, proper training, experience, and judgment.
You may encounter certain risks and hazards when hiking or engaging in other outdoor activities. These risks and hazards include, but are not limited to, falling, injury, wildlife, dangerous terrain, inclement weather, falling rocks or debris, hypothermia, heatstroke, dehydration, and getting lost. 
Trail conditions are constantly changing. This Website is not liable for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information provided. All users of this Website should be aware of the risks involved with hiking and other outdoor activities and should exercise caution at all times.
By using the information contained on this Website, you agree to assume all risks associated with hiking and other outdoor activities and release Kate Outdoors LLC from any liability for any harms, claims, injuries, losses, and/or damages that may occur. Always use your own judgment and discretion when hiking or participating in other outdoor activities, be prepared, and take responsibility for your own safety. 

Privacy Policy

Terms & Conditions

 © 2020-2024 Kate Outdoors LLC