Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Friday, September 9, 2016

Canyonlands National Park

This is the third in our seven-part series of our summer trip to Utah's National Parks.

The interesting thing about Canyonlands is that it is divided into two separate sections -- Needles and Island in the Sky. On the map, they are geographically together, but a vast wilderness accessible only by serious backpacking divides them into two unique parks. I recommend a day to explore each.


We visited the Needles area first. Just prior to the park entrance, we found Newspaper Rock, an excellent example of ancient petroglyphs.



Once in the park, we were fascinated by these curious rock formations. We thought they looked like mushrooms.


This is why they call this part of Canyonlands "The Needles." You can see these from the park, but they are very far away. Hence the blurry photo. You can only see them up close by backpacking in over several days.


The clouds and weather were very dramatic that day. Actually, most days of our trip.


We came to one overlook and I got out of the car. I didn't close my door because I knew we wouldn't be long. And it was hot. Well, this crow and his buddy wasted no time entering the car and pulling everything out of the little garbage bag. They hit the jackpot when they found an apple core, which they dragged out of the car and ate.


The next day, we drove to Island in the Sky, which is the more popular area of the park and certainly the more scenic. On the way, we stopped at Dead Horse Point State Park. We were there fairly early in the morning and enjoyed the sunrise. Spectacular!


Supposedly, this park is where they filmed the final scene in the movie Thelma and Louise, when they drove the car off the cliff.



Then on to Island in the Sky. They call it that because it sits atop a high mesa, and truly is like an island in the sky. The scenery rivals the Grand Canyon.


Another cool arch.


Andrew planning his next shot. He's a good photographer.



Here we are high atop Elephant Rock. It's hard to get a perspective in the photo, but it was actually somewhat precarious. That is why we are sitting instead of standing!


I encourage you to click on the links for WAY better photos.

Next stop -- Capitol Reef National Park! One of our favorites.

1 comment:

Common Household Mom said...

That is just incredible! And amazing! Those petroglyphs - I'm guessing the one you showed is about playing soccer, turtles vs antelopes.

I am glad you decided to sit down. It looks like there are lots of high places and cliffs. But gorgeous!