The Many Lands of Canyonlands

Canyonlands cutout

As if one “canyonland” weren’t enough, the Green and Colorado rivers divide Canyonlands National Park into three separate districts. As I pondered the park map, my head started to swim… the first symptom of canyon fatigue, an ailment common to travelers in the American southwest.  We’ve seen a whole lotta layered red rocks in the past few weeks. Wisely, navigator Karen broke our canyonlanding into bite-size morsels, with rockless respites in between.

On the drive to Moab, we crossed through the Needles district, named for the spires of sandstone stretching toward the sky. Arriving late in the day, we hiked the Slickrock Point loop in a race with the descending sun. (OK, so if we don’t make it back to our car by dark, what exactly happens next? Luckily, we didn’t find out.)

After some Pumpkin Chuckin, we returned to Canyonlands, this time to the Island in the Sky district. Besides classic canyon views, we hiked along the edge of the mysterious Upheaval Dome, which is either a meteor impact crater or a salt dome. Whichever it is, I’m sure it has inspired and/or appeared in some sci-fi movies.

While Canyonlands was impressive, I must admit that I’m still suffering a bit of canyon fatigue. Good thing we get a change in scenery at our next stop: Arches National Park.

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