Monday, April 13, 2015

Island in the Sky–Canyonlands NP

On Saturday, April 11, we decided to visit Island in the Sky, which is the second and final district of Canyonlands NP that we will visit on this trip. The third district is called the Maze and is only accessible via 4X4 roads. We are careful which 4X4 roads we take. We rely very heavily on the truck and damaging it would be a bad thing. We drove from our campground about 35 miles through Moab and out to scenic Hwy 313, which takes you to the visitors center. It seems that all roads in this area could be called scenic. The views just getting to the park were awesome. We passed Dead Horse Point State Park. We did not go in, we already had a full day planned. Here is the sign shot:
You can walk right across the street and see some amazing canyon views. Would you drive this road?
This is part of the White Rim Road. The road is about 100 miles long and takes 2 full days to drive. I would love to do that some day. We will see…
The views were amazing:
I love Utah! Every place I go I just say “WOW”!!!
We then headed out on the driving loop around the park. Kim was excited about doing some hiking, so we did the walk up to the top of Whale Rock. Here is a shot of some folks from British Columbia up on top. How do I know that? Well we stopped and talked to them on our way up and I told them I had a picture of them up on top. They said they wanted the picture, so I gave them one of my cards and they said they would take one of us when they got down and we would exchange. The cool part is that we kept seeing these folks over the next two days. Here is the view from the parking lot:
There were a couple of spots that would be a bit unnerving, but it would be minor compared to what we would do over the next two days.
The view from on top was awesome:
Back to the parking lot:
Kim did great and we were ready for more, so we came to the Upheaval Dome. Scientists don’t really know what happened here, but they guess a meteor strike or a salt dome collapsed. The hike was very steep and had both of us huffing and puffing.
Here is the view down into the crater:
We decided to go to the second overlook. Here is the trail:
My wife is a trooper. The views just got better and better.
It was a long hike back to the parking area. We stopped there and had lunch. Then we continued on our drive and went to the Green River and Grand View Point overlooks. The pictures just don’t do these views justice.
I don’t know where to stop with the pictures. I took a bunch of them. Don’t let me come to your house, I will bore you with all of them. I took way over 100.
There is one arch is Canyonlands. It is called Mesa Arch and we finished our day there. We had this picture taken of us.
What an amazing day. The views were off the chart. I really don’t think that Grand Canyon has anything on this place. You really need to go here once in your life. If any of my brothers are reading this, and might want to rent jeeps and do the White Rim Road with me one day… Well, let’s discuss.
We left the park to make it back to Moab to go to church. We wanted to go to church on Saturday night because we had something very special planned for Sunday. I will write all about it in my next entry. I want to document it fully because it was an EPIC adventure. Yes, I used the “E” word. Here is one last view down into Canyonlands:
OK, two shots:
I hope you have days like this one. It lifts the soul!

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