Ed Maier's Secret in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Edmaier’s Secret


Mileage: 4.3
Elevation gain: 358 feet
Time to complete: 2-3 hours
Stars: ★★★★½
Difficulty: 2/5 (Ratings explained)
Possible creek crossings

Edmaier’s Secret feels like it exists in another realm with its thin, intricate rock formations that will ignite your imagination as you contemplate the impossibility of this landscape. It’s a different kind of amazing than its famous neighbor, “The Wave,” but it also doesn’t require a hard-to-get permit, and will still leave an indelible impression upon your soul. Simply pay a day use fee at the trailhead.

The incredible rock formations found at Edmaier’s Secret are FRAGILE and IRREPLACEABLE. Please be a responsible steward of our beautiful earth and WATCH YOUR STEP.

Trail Description

Waiting for your permit day at “The Wave” and need something to do? Hiking Buckskin Gulch, but you have an extra day before or after your trip? Edmaier’s Secret offers a moderately easy hike that can be accessed from the Buckskin Trailhead, just one trailhead north of the Wire Pass Trailhead for “The Wave.”

Even though it is right next to “The Wave,” which in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Edmaier’s Secret is actually in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument since it’s in Utah, just north of the Arizona-Utah border.

Buckskin Trailhead

From Buckskin Trailhead, you’ll immediately begin following Buckskin Creek (or Buckskin Wash, if it’s dry) as it meanders through this scenic canyon.

You will cross the waterway several times, so if it is running, be prepared for wet feet.

A narrow pass along Buckskin Creek
A narrow pass along Buckskin Creek

Cows graze in the area, so there may be any number of human paths and cow paths—just follow the general route and pick your favorite.

Edmaier’s Secret

After about a mile and a half, you’ll leave the Buckskin Gulch Trail and follow a tributary over to the Edmaier’s Secret area. When you get your first glimpse of one of the incredible formations here, you’ll know you’ve arrived.

A rock formation at Ed Maier's Secret
A rock formation at Edmaier’s Secret

It’s like Mother Nature’s art gallery.

A rock formation at Ed Maier's Secret
Another rock formation at Edmaier’s Secret

There is no particular formation that is “the secret,” but rather, it’s all the mind-bending formations you can see scattered throughout the area. I marked a couple cool ones on the map, but the idea is to explore and see what you can find. Go on, let out your inner child and go discover something awesome!

Map & Directions

Location Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Buckskin Gulch, Kanab, Utah

From Page, Arizona, head west on Highway 89 to House Rock Road. Turn left and follow the road about 4.5 miles to the Buckskin Trailhead on the left.

Fees/Passes You must pay a day use fee at the Buckskin Trailhead

Trailhead Facilities Pit toilets

Download KML or GPX

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Disclaimer Outdoor activities have inherent risk, and we will not be able to tell you all the risks you may face. You are responsible for your own safety, so prepare as well as you can and know your limits. Follow this guide at your own risk. And have fun!

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