Conflict escalation is one of the important aspects to be understood for constructive conflict management. It has been widely discussed in many fields of social study, in particular as it relates inter-individual conflicts. However, this is not the case for natural resource management (NRM). This paper addresses two major questions: (1) what are the stages of conflict manifestation in NRM? and (2) is it possible to identify escalation patterns of NRM conflicts? The analysis is based on a review of 118 conflict cases and qualitative content analysis. To identify escalation patterns a Markov Chain approach is used. Eight escalation stages are identified. Furthermore, although it is possible to identify escalation patterns of NRM conflicts, there is no single ¿generic¿ pattern that fits all NRM cases. Escalation in NRM is more complex compared to inter-individual conflicts. It is argued that this complexity might be due to the fact that most NRM conflicts are about multi-actors conflicts, involving wide range of issues and management strategies. Further investigation on escalation is necessary by narrowing the scope and focus of analysis in order to increase our knowledge on the subject. In turn this knowledge will contribute to achieving constructive conflict management in NRM.