Monday, May 26, 2014

Canyonlands National Park

(Moab, UT) Hi 83 Lo 52 – Happy Memorial Day to all those who have served, and are currently serving our country all over the world. And may we never forget those who gave their lives to keep us free.

We timed our sightseeing days and down days just right. Yesterday when we stayed in it was dreary and rainy all day. Today was bright sunny, and perfect for a trip through Canyonlands National Park. (Click on photos to enlarge them.)

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The park is about 30 miles from Moab, and on the way we got a good look at the La Sal Mountains off in the distance, with the morning clouds hanging around them.

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We arrived at the Visitor Center to look over the few exhibits and watch a 15-minute orientation video.
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There are three regions in the park: Island In the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze. The only region that has paved roads is Island In the Sky. The other two regions are for high clearance vehicles, hikers, and backwoods types. We stuck to the paved road and stopped at the several overlooks on the way. The first overlook was the Shafer Trail Overlook. It looked down about a thousand feet to a long trail for 4-wheel drive vehicles.

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The trail had a section of switchbacks just below us.
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Here’s a panorama of the view from the overlook.
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No matter how good the camera, or how good the photographer, it’s impossible to convey the depth of a view looking down over 1,000 feet to the canyon floor. It’s just amazing!

There were many spectacular views all along the road in the park, but some sections were very flat and gave no indication of the remarkable canyons all around you.

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Our second stop was the Mesa Arch. We had to walk a half-mile trail to get to the arch. It wasn’t difficult. Dee got to try out her walking poles. She said they really helped on the steps.

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After winding around, up, and down, the arch came into view.

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The arch itself is very beautiful…
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… but what really amazed us was the view through the arch.

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Again, we were looking down well over a thousand feet. (And no railing.) It was awesome!

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There were quite a few people taking turns and swapping cameras to get “we were there” shots. Including us.

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When we got back to the car we were hungry, so we took a break and ate our lunch. Dee made some tuna salad and PB and J sandwiches, and boy did they taste good!
Next on our auto tour was the Green River Overlook.

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Most of the park property is between the Green and Colorado Rivers, and the Green River joins the Colorado in the southern region of the park. The Green River Overlook offered some great views of the river slicing through the canyon.

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Another beautiful overlook is Buck Canyon. This guy looked like he was enjoying a little solitude.
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Another panorama, this one of Buck Canyon.
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At the end of the 12-mile road is Grand View Point. This is looking off to the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers.
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On the trip home we had another great view of the La Sal Mountains, this time with no clouds obscuring them.
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It was a perfect day, weather-wise and sightseeing-wise. We are really enjoying our visit to southern Utah. Tomorrow we’re on the move to Panguich, about 250 miles away. There we’ll visit Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, and visit a dear friend from our previous hometown in North Carolina.

See you in two days!


roamingwhenwecan said...

Wow, so much beauty to take in!

Sandra Merrikin said...

Just beautiful!

Al and Karen said...

You did have a beautiful day and your pictures are nicer than mine on the drearyafe travels tomorrow we plan on being out of here tomorrow morning as well.

Jim and Sandie said...

We need to go north through that area again. It's been awhile and like you said, no camera can capture the beauty.

Laurel Owen said...

Great pictures, like you said, it doesn't do it justice!

Janice L Evans said...

just fabulous. . .really need to make it there.


Barbara Harper said...

We were in Moab visiting Arches, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point about 3 weeks ago. They are all spectacular. You are so right about not being able to capture it fully in photos but yours are great!

Jim and Judy said...

You two are having Too Much Fun, no one can never have too much fun!