The roughly 19 mile drive down Highway 89A South provides a breathtaking view of the Vermillion Cliffs. Highway 89A South skirts the foot of the cliffs till you reach Navajo Bridge and a view of the Colorado River. The cliffs and the Paria Plateau beyond are now within the new Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. The Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is marked only by a few signposts and is likely to remain a place for people to explore by themselves, though still most tourists zip by en route between Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell, without stopping in this scenic region.
Vermillion Cliffs Photo Gallery
Traveling from Jacob Lake Inn to the Vermillion Cliffs
Much of the area is an isolated plateau, flat and sandy, with just a few scattered ranches and occasional 12th century Anasazi remains. The most interesting parts are the edges, as at the top is the Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in the Southwest, followed by the lower Paria River Gorge. The west edge of the plateau is formed by a long ridge of eroded, upturned strata with colorful, weathered rock formations, while the south and east edges are formed by the Vermilion Cliffs themselves, which must be one of the most spectacular and extensive cliff faces in the US runs for over 30 miles and reaches heights of 2,000 feet. Further to the southeast, the land is quite flat for 100 miles or more though is split by the Colorado River, at the start of its Grand Canyon. Because of its remoteness it was chosen as a release site for California Condors.
The California Condor Release Site
The release site for the California Condors is located quite close to Jacob lake Inn, just 19 miles to the access road. It will take roughly 30 minutes to reach the access road with good weather. Views of the cliffs can be reached by a 20 minute drive to scenic viewpoints along the highway. For more information visit the Bureau of Land Management website.