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Canyonlands National Park

 

The Colorado River begins in Rocky Mountain National Park.  We had walked beside the small river that was flowing down from the mountains and placed our hands in it to cool off after a walk.  As we drove across Colorado we drove through Glenwood Canyon, the work of the Colorado River.  At Moab, Utah we drove through another canyon created by the Colorado.  After exploring Arches National Park we drove around 20 miles to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park.  Canyonlands  is a park of three segments, in the shape of a Y.  The Green River and the Colorado come together and make the parts of the park.  We explored the top of the Y.  As with each park there is a great road to travel and stop and look out at many features.   At one of the first lookouts you can look at the Shafer Trail.  A slender winding trail which followed the edge of the canyon and then a series of switchbacks that dropped down to the lower rim.  We watched a car slowly go down and thought it was a future Jeep moment.  We walked out to Mesa Arch.  An Arch which is right on the edge of the canyon wall.  We stopped at the last lookout and walked to Grand View Point Overlook.  A  30 minute walk to the point where you come to overlook out on the Green River.   The Green River overlook showed another look at the winding nature of a river.  We drove over to Upheaval Dome.  The trail up to the top was worth it.  Another unique rock area caused by a meteorite or at earthquake?  We came to our own conclusion.   Back to Shafer trail.  We decided to go for it.  It had looked straight and smooth from the lookout but we learned differently.  The 4 miles it took to reach the white rim area were memorable.  When given the choice of 13 miles to Moab on unknown roads or go back up the 4 miles of switchbacks to get back to the top of the canyon we chose new roads.  It was a good choice.  We had endless looks at red rock cliffs and came to amazing sights of the Colorado River.  We drove out to Potash.  Not sure what the process is all about that takes this green rock layer turns it into a saleable product.  And once again we walked down to the Colorado River and washed our hands in it.  We enjoyed Canyonlands.  A beautiful canyon created by the Colorado.  A park that was not crowded.  Another place to contemplate the power of a river over the land. We look forward to another canyon in Arizona but right now we think Canyonlands is one of our favorite national parks.  You can see some photos taken during our visit to Canyonlands by clicking on this link to the Canyonlands Photo Album.