Escape to Escalante, UT (1L7) by Tim Greer
Here’s a spot to put on your Arizona Pilot Bucket List: Escalante, UT (1L7). At 245NM from Phoenix, Escalante could be the perfect breakfast run, or a great weekend getaway. Escalante is a cute little town, steeped in Mormon history, surrounded by incredible parks and scenery. There are outdoor activities galore: hiking, biking, rafting, fishing, ATVs, & more. While there are some winter activities, it’s worth noting that the town pretty much shuts down for the cold months.
The Escalante airport (1L7) is a remarkable public airport with amenities that are bound to make it a fly-in favorite. At an elevation of about 5,700 ft, the 5,000 x 60 foot paved runway is in great shape and plenty long for any high-DA summer day. The airport now has its own self-serve fuel and a courtesy car! There is a wonderful pilot lounge with a shower and Internet with WiFi. The on-site Paul Bowmar Memorial Campground is free, and there’s an incredible new Cook Shack, with running water, electricity, a BBQ, refrigerator, and a microwave!
If you’d rather not “rough-it,” Escalante has several boutique Bed-n-Breakfasts and motels. The rustic, but modern and clean, log cabins in town are an inexpensive favorite. The few restaurants reflect the town’s small size, but expect some great food and friendly people.
Escalante would make a great home-base for some of the best flight-seeing in the world. Within an hour’s flight you can visit Bryce Canyon, Zion, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, the Grand Staircase, Marble Canyon, and countless state and federal parks. Also within a short flight are Sedona, Winslow, Meteor Crater, and Flagstaff. Even southern Colorado locations like Cortez or Durango are within striking distance.