Canyonlands National Park
A mere 32 miles from Moab is the Canyonlands Islands in the Sky visitor center on the North side of the National Park. Canyonlands is divided into three regions formed by the Colorado and Green Rivers. Islands in the Sky to the North, The Maze to the Southwest, and Needles to the Southeast. We were lucky enough to have Jamie, Sawyer, and Aubrey along to see this amazing park with us. Islands in the Sky is easily driveable from the visitor center to dead end at the Grandview Point Overlook, with a side trip out to Upheaval Dome. The photo above is of Mesa Arch, one of the signature sights of the Islands in the Sky region. This small arch (as compared to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park) is a favorite for photographers at sunset as the underside of the arch glows with the setting sun. As if picture framed by Mesa arch there is another arch in the distance called Washer Woman. Common chatter at Mesa: "I see it!"... "Where?"... "That way!"... I don't see it!"... "Is that the Washer Woman?"... "I think that's it!" Or maybe that was just us!
Aubrey giggled along the path from the parking lot to Mesa Arch while Sawyer paused to watch a bug.
Sawyer and his new traveling companion, little yellow chick, take a break and enjoy the view.
A rare sight! Everyone still (relatively) and in one place!
Several pull outs like Buck Canyon Overlook at over 6000 ft beg you to stop on your way to Grand Point Overlook.
On the east side of the park, the Colorado river cuts a canyon over 2000 ft below the broad Mesa.
The La Sals mountains rise in the distance to the east.
Many theories have been offered to try to explain the formations at Upheaval Dome. The latest may have solved the mystery. As seen from space the massive area appears to be a meteor crater.
The Green river and The Henrys Mountains to the West.
One last stop on the way back toward Moab is at Shafer Canyon Overlook. At the edge of the 2400 ft drop to the canyon floor is a narrow rock formation with a 4 ft gap to get out to the point. Would you jump it to get out there? We didn't, but one guy did while we were there! I'm sure lots of others do too!
Jamie was out there and back in a flash while we waited in the car with two sleeping little travelers. It took us much longer!
The Shafer trail road down on the canyon floor leads all the way past Dead Horse Point State Park, along side the Colorado river to Moab. With the right vehicle and plenty of time and supplies, it would be a very scenic drive. We met two couples who were talking about doing the drive the next day. Well, at least the guys were talking about it. The women were saying lunch in Moab with a little shopping and maybe a manicure sounded better to them. No word on what they decided.