After a long day of hiking and camping in Arches National Park, we set out to visit Moab, Utah's second park - Canyonlands National Park. Since we were exhausted from Arches (our hiking stamina wasn't quite as good back in April as it is now), we decided to drive the scenic route and take as many of the scenic stops possible. Since Moab isn't too far away from Vail, we're hoping to return in the fall to hike Canyonlands!
The best word to describe Canyonlands National Park is vast. This park is divided into three sections: Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze. Because they are separated by the Colorado and Green Rivers, getting to The Needles and The Maze districts from Moab would add a few hours to your road trip. The Island in the Sky district is closest to Moab so we chose to explore this one. It's amazing how one one side of Moab there is Arches with all of nature's architecture and needles, and on the other side, there is this vast world of canyons!
While we stopped at all of the scenic stops available and recommend all of them, here are the three we definitely enjoyed the most:
- Shafer Canyon Overlook - this overlooks the winding Shafer Trail. It's a stunning view of the canyon and, of course, the La Sal Mountains act as the backdrop.
- Grand View Point Overlook - this is the reason why I give Canyonlands the word "vast." It's incredible and left me speechless.
- Mesa Arch - this one is a short hike (about 1 mile round trip). Make sure to wear your tennis shoes or shoes with good tread as there is some slip rock on this trail. The view from Mesa Arch is impressive. The arch is placed right on a drop off so you can see straight down into the canyon. The arch acts as a beautiful frame.
Shafer Canyon Overlook
View from Mesa Arch
Grand View Point Overlook
What are your favorite national parks?