Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Believe me, I know how excruciating it can be to sit through other people’s vacation photos. You’re happy for them, yes, and a little envious. But beyond that… you’ll never get that hour back.

But guess what. Nanny nanny poo poo. This is my blog! I know I’ve already written about Arches National Park and the cool rock art I encountered, but oh, I’m not done yet.

Comparing Canyonlands to Arches is like comparing apples to oranges. Utah is funny that way. 30 miles down the road, the terrain completely changes. Heading into Canyonlands, it begins to look a lot more like the Grand Canyon. The rocks turn from red to tan and chocolate brown, and you see hazy blue mountains in the distance. You are treated to dramatic river valleys and insane switchback roads. You still see some arches, but you encounter more buttes. You are blown away by the distance to the horizon, and by the influence the flow of water has on the landscape over time.

Sadly, for much of this park you need a four-wheel drive, or extreme hiking chops, neither of which I possess. But what we did see was stunning. Beyond stunning.

According to the National Parks Service website, Native Americans first visited the area over 10,000 years ago. And then came a long line of European explorers, culminating in the official expedition by John Wesley Powell down the Green and Colorado Rivers. Miners and Ranchers did a great job of tearing the place up for a while there. Then Canyonlands National Park was established in 1964, just a few months before I was born. If you ever get a chance to check this area out, I highly recommend it.

What follows are some of the pictures we took during our visit. I wish cameras did it justice!

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