Escalade - header
Little Colorado River. Photo by Jack Dykinga

Escalade - rendering 2

What would Escalade look like?

Header - Current status

Current Status of the Escalade Project

Escalade - Feb 2018 update

The Escalade bill is dead, for now. But there's nothing stopping the developers from tweaking the proposed agreement and lobbying the Navajo Nation Council to take up a new bill.

Local residents are working at the chapter level to prevent the return of Escalade. In February 2018, and by a vote of 55-0, the Bodaway/Gap chapter of the Navajo Nation rescinded a contested 2012 resolution that gave local approval of the project. They passed a new resolution in its place stating that the traditional people who graze sheep and live in the proposed development footprint are opposed to the project and have never given their consent for use of the land. In addition, the resolution directs the chapter to designate the confluence as a sacred site. The chapter’s community land use planning committee is working on negotiating this new land designation and looking to get it adopted by the Navajo Nation Council.

Escalade: The Saga


escalade - STC

Save the Confluence

Save the Confluence is a coalition of local Navajo families that have maintained homes near the confluence for generations and are leading the opposition to Escalade. So far, they've collected dozens of resolutions from chapters, tribes, and other groups, along with thousands of petition signatures against the development. Hear their stories ›

Escalade - STC and the Trust

The Trust supports Save the Confluence families and joins them in their fight to stop bad development.

Escalade - the backstory (header)

The backstory

Escalade - The backstory

Escalade - The backstory
Kristen Caldon

Outside developers want in

In 2009, Phoenix-based developers began pushing the Navajo Nation to approve the “Grand Canyon Escalade,” a mega resort and tramway located on tribal lands on the east rim of the Grand Canyon. But a secretly negotiated master agreement for the project included unfair terms and conditions that would have maximized profits for the developers. Get the details in this two-page summary, or read the legislation here ›

Escalade - backstory 2

Support for Escalade wavered, and as politics in the nation shifted, the developers struggled to find a tribal council person to sponsor their legislation. When they finally did, and the bill worked its way through the Navajo Nation legislative process, the council slammed the door on Escalade by a vote of 16-2.

Escalade - by the numbers

Escalade by the Numbers

Escalade - 4 circles


Land the development would occupy, trampling the rights of Navajo grazing permit holders in the area.


Acres of Navajo lands along access roads developer Lamar Whitmer would close to competing businesses.


Tourists per day the tramway could shuttle to the sacred confluence at bottom of the Grand Canyon.


Initial offsite infrastructure costs to the Navajo Nation, also financially responsible for maintenance.

Escalade - cultural areas

Many Native American tribes have sacred cultural ties to the Grand Canyon. 

For some, the confluence is where life began — their place of origin and emergence.

Culturally significant areas to Native Peoples' of the Grand Canyon region


Tribal resolutions against the development:

Hopi | All-Pueblo | Zuni

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