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Canyonlands National Park Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Culture, Travel

Name: Canyonlands National Park

 

Incredible scenery

Incredible scenery

Year Established: 1964

Location: Southeastern Utah

Season: Open year-round, 24 hours a day. Each district has its own visitor center with operating hours that change with the season.

Cost: Motorcycles, bicycles and walk-ins $5; Vehicles $10

Accommodation:  There are campsites inside the park and the nearby town of Moab has several hotels.

Brief Description: Canyonlands is composed of three districts carved out by the Green and Colorado Rivers and their tributaries. They are the Island in the Sky in the north, the Maze in the west and the Needles in the east. They are full of beautiful rock cut into mesas, buttes, spires, fins and arches. Island in the Sky is a large mesa wedged between the two rivers and it’s the ‘observation deck’ for the park. The Maze is America’s wildest and most remote area. Travelers to this area are treated to rock art, spring wildflowers, and solitude. A long hike or 4-wheel-drive trip is rewarded with amazing arches and spires in the Needles district. Tower Ruin, a structure built by the Puebloans, can also be seen in this district.

A 3D jigsaw puzzle.

A 3D jigsaw puzzle.

Personal Experience: Since we only had a small rental car and were staying in the nearby town of Moab, we only visited the Island in the Sky district. After making a stop at the visitor center to get a map and fill our water bottles we were on our way. Our first stop was the Mesa Arch. We enjoyed the view and took a risk by walking across the top of the arch.

The Arch

The Arch

View through the arch

View through the arch

Then we moved on to the Upheaval Dome. No one is quite sure how this dome was formed. There are two theories: the first theory is that it is a salt dome and the second theory is that it was caused by a meteor crashing into the earth. You’ll have to visit yourself to see which theory you think is correct!

How do you think it was formed?

How do you think it was formed?

From there we drove over to the Grand View Point Overlook and took in the views of the Maze and Needles districts in the distance. We could also see some of the vehicle paths winding through the canyon below.

A long, winding road to who knows where.

A long, winding road to who knows where.

Our first visit to Canyonlands was short but sweet. We’re hoping to do a hike through the Needles district for our next visit when we have more time!

Panoramic view

Panoramic view

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About the Author:sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.