Sunday, June 12, 2011

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

We only stayed in the area three nights and two days.  But long enough to gain a vivid appreciation for this stark beauty.  We stayed at Dead Horse Point State Park which was less than 10 miles from Canyonlands National Park.  It was about 25 miles from the Arches National Park and almost 30 miles to Moab, so we were more or less centrally located to see some of the more scenic places in the area.
This is a portion of the map you get at the entrance of the park.  You can see the Arches NP at the top with Moab in the upper right and Dead Horse State Park in the top central part of the map.

Canyonlands has three distinct areas, the Island in the Sky, the Maze and the Needles.  We spent our time in the Island in the Sky area.

We stopped at the Visitor's Center and watched the brief video and then started our drive.  Our first stop was the Shafer Canyon Overlook.
The trail on the Lathrop canyon floor is used by jeeps and mountain bike tours to take it all in.  It used to be the primary road for access to the uranium mining that was conducted in the 1950's. The evaporative pools to harvest potash and snow capped La Sal Mountains in the distance.
And the mighty muddy Colorado River below.
We stopped for more pictures of the huge 'Grand Canyon - like' views
From there we went to a picnic area near Upheaval Dome.
And then continued on our drive through majesty
At the Buck Canyon Overlook, we had a surprise.  Pam recognized Denny and Suzie Orr.  They are Chapter Directors in the Escapees RV organization and write articles regularly in the Escapees magazine.
We met them first in 2008 when we attended a Life on Wheels Conference in 2008 at Harrisonburg, PA.  The conference had a lot of informative seminars we were taking in to get ready for RV full-timing.  Then we saw them again at a booth under the big RV tent at Quartzsite, Arizona when we boon-docked there with tens of thousands of others.  It was fun to say hi to them.

Next, we made it to the Grand Point View Overlook.
It was a memorable day.

Thanks for stopping by the Roadrunner Chronicles.  We are making our way through Utah and on toward the Yellowstone National Park area.  Stay tuned!  Until next time...


  1. We were there about a month ago but it was raining and I mean pouring! Nice to see some clear sky pictures. Green River area was my fav! We will hit Yellowstone at the end of August on our way home so I look forward to your sneak peek! Enjoy and safe travels!

  2. safe travels as you head to Yellowstone!..great shots of the Canyons!!

  3. When we were at the state park last year, we saw a huge procession of jeeps--I've never seen that many all at one time.

    Canyonlands is great--we visited Island in the Sky and decided to stay another day so that we could visit the Needles area, too.

    Hey, we'll be at Yellowstone next week, arriving on Tuesday. We just made our reservations yesterday at Wagon Wheel RV Park for 5 nights and then Grizzly RV Park for 2 nights.

  4. Your timing for Yellowstone is terrific. They had so much snow that to visit before now was disappointing to many as so many roads and parts of the park were closed. Great photos of the canyons!