I drive north along Highway 191. There is a big green splotch on my map that says ‘Canyonlands National Park’
I pull into the first convenient area that doesn’t look like it requires too far of a drive. It’s the Needles overlook. I pull into an empty parking lot in the late morning, and am greeted by this lovely view:
Standing alone in the cold wind, I am in awe by the intricate landscape stretching out before me:
I leave the Needles overlook and head farther north towards the ‘Island in the Sky’ section of the park, but the sun is setting fast. I stop into Moab to grab a coffee and spend some time on the internet, but the cafe closes 15 minutes later, and so I head out to the hills to look for a campground. I pull into one off of highway 313, but it’s closed. I pull into another… same story. Finally a third campground is not barricaded shut, but I am the only person parked there. A theme to be repeated throughout day.
I wake up before the sun, and head into the ‘Island in the Sky’ section of the park. I am greeted, as I enter, with this:
I proceed down the road to the ‘grand viewpoint’, stopping at any overlook that I find. I walk around the Shafer Trail overlook, and am reminded of the Grand Canyon, further downstream:
I stop at Buck Canyon overlook, and grab what turns out to be my favorite shot of the morning:
From there the next stop was the ‘Grand Point overlook’, which was gorgeous. There was a 2 mile round trip rim walk which I decided to do, offering amazing vistas looking down into the canyon (the panoramic shot I posted earlier this week):
One final overlook, of the Green River as it snakes through the canyon, scenic mountain sin the background:
I drove out of the park at mid-day, stopping at the Visitor’s Center to pick up a few post cards, and then it was off again… to very nearby Arches National Park.