Canyonlands National Park
We only had time to visit one of the three districts of Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky. The trails in this area are mostly very short (less than a mile) or very long (1,000 feet down to the White Rim). We did most of the short walks, and one longer hike that was mostly flat. We could see for miles at every viewpoint.
We stopped at a viewpoint about halfway between Moab and the park.
From the parking lot, it was just a short walk to the edge of Shafer Viewpoint and huge views of the canyons carved by the Colorado.
The faint white line is a 4WD road that runs all along the White Rim, 1,000 feet below us.
Canyonlands has arches too; this is Mesa Arch.
It started to drizzle on the way to Mesa Arch, but that just made the sky more dramatic.
There's an arch in the middle called Washer Woman Arch -- the arch is the woman's arms.
We couldn't see the river from here, but the Colorado is 2,000 feet down at the bottom of the canyon.
This is where we had lunch -- we ate our sandwiches at a picnic table overlooking the canyon.
This overlook was a short walk from the picnic area.
This is looking south from Grand View Point overlook at the end of the road. The Green and Colorado Rivers flow together a little south of here.
The white color of the White Rim is the remains of an ancient seabed.
Here's a closer view of an arch on the White Rim.
The White Rim is about 1000 feet below us, and the Colorado River is another 1000 feet below that. The 4WD road along the rim is also visible here.
We hiked about two miles out to Murphy Point for a view of the Green River.
From here we were looking west toward the Green River.
Paul says taking a self-timer picture is required.
The trail ended at the point.
I don't know what happened to this plant, but I liked how it looked like it was floating in the air.
If we had hiked all the way down to the river, we could have seen these streams spilling over the rim.
This is Upheaval Dome. There's no clear consensus on what formed -- maybe a meteroite, maybe a salt dome -- but it looked completely unlike anything else we saw in the park.
This oddly sharp shadow looks like a person standing on top of the cliff. It was actually cast by the rock just to the left.
We stopped to watch the sunset on the way back from Upheaval Dome.
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