Thursday, October 21, 2010

Arches & Canyonlands NP

Highway 6, Utah headed south(Jan) Driving down Highways 6 & 191 on Tuesday, brought us down through some lovely canyons dressed for the season in fall foliage. Our scenic 200+ mile journey ended in Moab, where we stayed for the night at the Elks Club. Lone Mesa CG NW of MoabWe enjoyed walking the Moab streets that evening and poking into some neat shops, touristy places & art stores. Yesterday morning we were up, packed and ready to find a boondocking site. We are now at home off of Hwy 313 at the Lone Mesa CG close to Canyonlands. We have a gorgeous view and good neighbors! We spent the afternoon over at Arches National Park.  We have wanted to go there for ages and it certainly lived up to our expectations. We basically just had time to go to the Visitors Center and drive as far as North and South Windows.  We hope to go back and do more hiking and driving in a day or so.

Arches NP

The Three Gossips and Courthouse Towers

Arches NP
Balanced Rock… really should be titled UNBalaced Rock! 

Arches NPWe hiked up to the North & South Windows Arches. Here I am standing under the massive North Window.

Arches NP
Chuck and I at Park Avenue

Canyonlands NP Today we headed to Canyonlands National Park.  While Arches has amazing towering rock structures and rock arches, Canyonlands is all about the canyons carved by the Colorado and Green Rivers. After a quick stop at the Visitors Center we drove towards Grandview Point Overlook.  The panoramic views along the way were spectacular. As Chuck says, “One Wow! after another!”  The main road took us past the Shafer Trail overlook,MT Bluebird? the Neck, Candlestick Tower, Buck Canyon Overlook,  The Orange Cliffs and Grand View Point. We stopped to have lunch at a picnic site above Gooseberry Canyon and were joined by this brilliant little fellow. We believe it’s a Mountain Bluebird. There was a mile long hike headed out to the canyon rim from the picnic area which we felt was one of the better hikes we’ve taken. Fairly flat for most of the way, it allowed us to talk and walk hand in hand with just enough rock scrambling to keep it interesting.  Canyonlands NPThe vistas that the Colorado River had carved below us at the end of the hike made for a perfect journey. The white rock on the top of the canyon rim below, is very hard and protected the softer rock below from erosion and created these tower structures. The rows of towers in the background to the right are called ‘fins’. Canyonlands National Park is a very fascinating and beautiful place.

Canyonlands NP Chuck and Jan at Buck Canyon Overlook

Canyonlands NPShafer Canyon View

Canyonlands NP Candlestick Tower with the Green River in the background  Canyonlands NP
Looking out toward the Colorado River at the Grand View Overlook

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