Aug 06 2005

Canyonlands Nat’l Park

Published by at 9:50 pm under Colorado Vacation 2005

We got a late start this morning as it was raining. It wasn’t coming down hard but it would have been uncomfortable hiking in the rain and mud.

Our first stop was at Dead Horse State Park. A lady at the campground we are staying at told us last evening that she thought it was prettier than the Grand Canyon. So, of course, we had to go and see for ourselves. It is at least as gorgeous and, in some cases, more awe inspiring than the Grand Canyon. We were amazed we hadn’t heard of it before.

In Canyonlands we first hiked to Aztec Butte. It was a 3/8 mile walk to the butte and then a 3/8 mile hike up the side of it to the caves and granaries at the top. I knew I was going to have a hard time coming back down and did – coming close to having an anxiety attack. It was steeper than I was comfortable with. But we were all glad we went.

Next was a short hike up Whale Rock. You could see it from the parking lot so only the kids and I went as Richard was in great need of a nap. They have found they really love climbing rocks!

On to Green River Overlook for gorgeous views of the mesas and Green River surrounding Island in the Sky mesa. We then drove to Grand View Overlook to see the White Rim, Colorado River and Needles area of the park. Our last stop was a hike to see Mesa Arch. We only walked half as much today but had had our fill by the end of the day. PoppaNana just aren’t in shape for this!

The Colorado and Green Rivers divide the park into three areas – Island in the Sky, The Maze and Needles. They are lazy rivers until they come together south of the park. The Maze and Needles are mostly accessible only via four-wheel drive vehicles, backpacking or mountain bikes. We have all learned a lot about ancient oceans, sandstone, mesas, cairns and crytobiotic soil and the kids have a much better appreciation for the world they live in.

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One Response to “Canyonlands Nat’l Park”

  1. Donnaon 08 Aug 2005 at 7:02 pm

    Pictures, people. PICTURES! Sounds like a grrrreat trip so far.