Aquarius Plateau in Southern Utah

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Aquarius Plateau

The Aquarius Plateau is the highest timbered plateau in North America, reaching 11,328 feet at Bluebell Knoll, a popular hiking destination with views for 200 miles. Read More

  • The Aquarius Plateau is a 100-mile long cliff on the north side of the Grand Staircase covering 900 square miles
  • Boulder Mountain is 9,670 feet above sea level with many lakes across its glaciated tableland
  • Powell Point reaches 10,188 feet with superb views from Table Cliff Plateau

Overview

The Aquarius Plateau Utah towers 6,000 feet above the desert, canyons and badlands of Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This 100-mile long cliff covers 900 square miles. Much of the highlands are covered with the Dixie National Forest with aspen, spruce and fir trees along with subalpine meadows.

Highlights

  • Box Death Hollow Wilderness Area
  • Boulder Mountain - 9,670 feet above sea level with many lakes across its glaciated tableland. It marks the eastern end of the Aquarius Plateau.
  • Powell Point - 10,188 feet with superb views from Table Cliff Plateau.

Location and Information

The Aquarius Plateau is on the north side of the Grand Staircase within Garfield and Wayne counties of south-central Utah. Contact the Escalante Ranger District at 435-826-5400 with questions.

Hiking

  • Hiking to Bluebell Knoll
    From Bicknell drive east on Hwy 24 for 2 miles. Turn right on a paved road and drive 4 miles to a junction. Turn right following signs to Bouldertop. After 3½ miles take a left fork. Follow Forest Road 178 for 12 miles then drive onto the Aquarius Plateau for 3 miles. Park where signposted, walk to the summit of Bluebell Knoll and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Great Western Trail
    Running from Canada to Mexico the Great Western Trial runs across Boulder Mountain.
    Access points are marked along Hwy 12, Sunflower Flat Road, Pleasant Creek Road, Deer Creek Road and North Slope Road.

Fishing

Numerous unnamed lakes and small rivers on Boulder Mountain and the Aquarius Plateau offer excellent fishing opportunities for hardy cutthroat and brook trout. The waters on Boulder Mountain are crystal clear and trout cruise close to the edge looking for food.

Wading can be tricky as levels change abruptly. Waders are required to counter the icy water and many leeches.

Posy Lake offers good angling for rainbow and brook trout and has a fish-cleaning station.

Campgrounds

The Aquarius Plateau has no campgrounds but car camping is permitted. Nearby campgrounds are:

  • Posy Lake Campground
    22 tent/ small RV sites
    Near Escalante, off Hwy12 and 300E on Forest road 154
    Open Memorial Day to mid-September
    $8 single, $12 double
    Vault toilets
    Reservations: 1-877-444-6777
  • Rim Rock Campground
    10 sites
    Off Hwy 24, Torrey
    Open March to December
    $5-$10
    Flush toilets
    Hot and cold running water
    Reservations: 1-888-447-4676