Savor the Silence in Wahweap Canyon

This collection of bright white sandstone spires isn't officially part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument anymore, but it's as spectacular as ever.

Ranking rock formations may be an exercise in futility, but no matter your formula, this congregation of white sandstone spires, hoodoos, and toadstools is sure to crack your list. Hidden deep within Wahweap Canyon in what used to be Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (an executive order from the White House carved them out in 2017), this collection of uniquely white rocks—called the Towers of Silence—have eroded and weathered into fantastical shapes. Best of all: They remain relatively unknown. Find the trailhead at the confluence of Wahweap and Nipple Creeks just north of Big Water off Fish Hatchery Road. It’s about 4.6 miles of slow hiking up the boulder-laden Wahweap wash to the formations (not marked), and photographer Pierre Leclerc recommends staying the night to take advantage of the usually clear skies for stargazing and night photography. (Pack in all water.)