The focus of our visit here is Canyonlands National Park. Last time we were here we visited Arches National Park and our schedule didn’t allow us to see Canyonlands.
After setting up at the campground at about 1:30, we headed toward the park. We chose the nearest road, as we didn’t want to be gone too long.
This road followed the Colorado River as it meandered its way into the park. The paved portion of the road is only about 20 miles then it turns to a 4x4 road. We didn’t take the 4x4 road. It was a nice ride.
It’s not till you get on the rim that you appreciate how Canyonlands got its name. The Green and Colorado Rivers merge within the park and these are the forces that etched this huge canyon into the earth. The park covers 527 square miles and in places the canyon is nearly a ½ mile deep. The vista stretches to the horizon 100 miles. The color of the sandstone is in varying layers of brown mostly, almost a chocolate brown—A much different color compared to the other areas we have seen. At mid-day, when we were there, the canyons had a very dark appearance. Brochure pictures show flaming red to golden colors on the rock at sunset.
We took the park roads to all the overlooks in the Island in the Sky region, which is the easiest way to see the park. The more adventurous visitor can get down into the canyons. From the rim you can see 4x4 roads where you can either take your own vehicle, rent one or be guided. Some trips into the canyons can take days and permits are required for certain activities. I don’t know if they charge for the permits or just want to know your plans. It can be a dangerous place. The canyons are quite warm, 1/4 in of rain can cause some washes to flood and dehydration is a concern.
The plan is to go to the Needles region on Friday or Saturday.