Dead Horse Point State Park was our home base for exploration of Canyonlands National Park, located just north of Moab, UT. Canyonslands is divided into three sections by the Colorado and Green Rivers – we visited only the northernmost Island in the Sky area. We hope to visit the Needles area next year. The Maze is a part we may never get to – the only access is from the Colorado River, or by a rugged jeep trail.
The huge Canyon has a very different feel than Grand Canyon – it’s neither as deep, nor as dramatic. But, standing on the rim, it appears to stretch forever. There are many different plateaus rising from the Rivers, 1000-2000 feet below. You cannot see the far rim. That alone gives it a unique feel.
In two days, we hiked seven different trails, checked out the Visitor Center and watched the Park movie, lunched in two dramatic locations, and had a blast exploring this beautiful area. We were happy to have made camping reservations at the nearby State Park, as the two small campgrounds in Canyonlands are first come-first served only. Both were full, as was Dead Horse Point SP. It’s hard to know where/when we will need reservations – perhaps we’ve overplanned, but trying to find a place to stay after a long day on the road is not our strong suit. So…..we plan ahead.
Many of these photos probably have a familiar look to anyone who’s been a regular reader. But, we did see Mesa Arch, our first big arch, which was amazing. We dangled our feet over the edge of a steep canyon wall while eating peanut butter sandwiches, and walked along the while sandstone back of Whale Rock.
We’ve (nearly) forgotten our dismay about waking up to six inches of snow on the Fireball on our last morning in camp. What was really weird about that experience is that where we could usually see the canyon, there was only fog. After we moved a bit, it became apparent that it was because we were above the snow line, and actually IN the cloud – as we descended into Moab, we dropped out of the clouds and into sunshine. For a couple of flatlanders, it was unusual.
We’re now at Arches National Park, and it is jaw-dropping. We are grinding our hiking boots (and our tired muscles) into the ground, but we just can’t stop. More on this amazing spot in a day or two.