At the trailhead from Highway 50, a stone plaque reads " Escalante Canyon, named after one of the two priests Escalante and Dominguez after their expedition in 1776. Rich in history, this canyon has seen its share of human beings, starting with the earliest Native Americans circa 700 AD. After the Civil War, Captain Henry A. Smith, a tombstone carver, made this canyon his home. The canyon hosted the Colorado Sheep War during March 1916, and a shootout left residents Cash Sampson and Ben Lowe dead."
Starting from Highway 50, one could take Escalante Canyon and travel to and through the Uncompahgre National Forest. The trail crosses the Gunnison River and then follows Escalante Creek. All that water provides the green pasture land you drive through before climbing into higher elevations. The first half along the creek is primarily private land with little to no camping, then once into public land, dispersed camping opportunities are available, as well as the Potholes Campground, which is reservable. There is a seven-day camp limit and no cutting or collecting firewood.
There are several historical sites, which include the Walker Cabin and Captain Smith's Cabin. Both of which are worth a stop and directly off the road.
The area is popular with climbers and mountain bikers and is suitable for any vehicle, but beware, there is no winter maintenance. It ends where 25 Road starts, where you can continue for a more extended trip.
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