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RV Day 18

Canyonlands 18 April 2015

There is not many places in the world were you just stop and say WOW! Simply beautiful. Today we drove from Moab to Canyonlands. I think Canyonlands National Park is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon, maybe not quite at grand (Pardon the pun). Nonetheless it is still very beautiful and worth the visit. Canyonlands consists of colourful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches and spires in the heart of southeast Utah’s high desert and you can see that both water and gravity have been the prime architect of the land, sculpturing layers of sedimentary rock into a rugged landscape. The Island in the Sky mesa is the most accessible area within Canyonlands and this is where we spent our day. Every overlook offers a different perspective on the park’s spectacular landscape, including our little hike up Whale Rock. We all scrambled up Whale Rock to see views of Island in the Sky and surrounding canyons. They call it Whale Rock because it literally looks like a stranded whale on the beach (or in the desert in this case). This trail begins with a quick, level walk across the desert. As it approaches the base of the butte, the trail climbs gradually on ledges and slopes, finally becoming a short but steep ascent to the rock’s crest. The slickrock scramble onto the back of the whale makes this a fun 1.6k round trip hike. I think that the two canyons carved by the Green and Colorado rivers and the vast and very different regions: Island in the Sky on the north, The Maze on the west and The Needles on the east are what make it uniquely different to the Grand Canyon. Here the beauty of Mother Nature is on display in full splendor. The colours and layers are exquisite as the sun casts light against the improbable landscape and both the Green and Colorado Rivers slowly scour and deepen the canyon floor.

As we leave Canyonlands National Park we drive to Dead Horse Point State Park. It’s on our way home and the map we have of Canyonlands NP indicates it could be a really nice 360 degree view of the canyons around us. Towering 2000 feet above the Colorado River, Dead Horse Point State Park doesn’t disappoint and provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonland’s sculptured pinnacles and buttes. According to one legend, the point was once used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa. Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck (we drove the RV over the narrow neck with butt cheeks clenched which is supposedly 30 yards wide, NOT!). The point was fenced off with branches and brush, creating a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs. Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted, left the other horses corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2000 feet below.

Posted by V3USA 16:48

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Love the arch photo above!

by Susanne

Eek - I would have gotten out and walked!! Not butt clenching for me!! LOL

by Kylie Cav

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