Canyonlands national park in southeastern Utah is often known as the ‘lesser Grand Canyon’. Having been to the Grand Canyon (twice!), i can vouch for the fact that this is ‘less’ by no means. Different yes. But not less.
Best clubbed with the Arches National Park, Canyonland National Park offers exquisite panoramic overlooks and dramatic desert landscapes carved by the Colorado River. I know, this river sure has caused some havoc!
Below is a photo-video-journal through the day-trip, because words don’t do justice to what it feels like beyond a point. Hopefully the pictures will entice you to consider exploring this marvelous NP!
The drive further down from Arches and the town of Moab has an eerie feeling of a long lost world. The only vegetation here are cacti and the occasional spring bloom.
Carefully balanced rocks known as Cairns are left behind by hikers all along trails so one doesn’t lose their way and die a parched desert death in the 100+ degree F dry fatal weather. An incredible tradition left behind by native Indian tribes in this region.
The first stop is the dead horse shoe point, 2,000 feet above a gooseneck in the Colorado river. Stories of cowboys chasing wild mustangs onto the dead horse shoe point, using the narrow neck and steep cliffs to their death are almost palpable.
The scale of erosion by earth’s natural elements for millions of years is evident as the landscape gives way to the most wonderful canyons.
A few miles hike into the wilderness will reveal Mesa rock which precariously balances on the canyons edge. A fabulous spot for sunrise photography as the rays peek through the arch to light up the canyon afar.
Each mile into the hike uncovers the canyon in a new light. The promise of a grander view pushed us to overcome our exhaustion each step of the way. And it was definitely worth it.
Canyonlands and Arches are known to be one of the darkest places on the continental US perfect for stargazing at night. Despite not being able to capture the milky-way galaxy on my phone, i can still close my eyes to picture the gazillion stars that made up the clear moonless night sky. It was pure brilliance and for the first time it felt like space was not too far out. Just google some pictures to see what i mean!
A visit to Canyonlands national park in Utah will leave you absolutely jumping for joy!
Photo Credits: Kshitij Kumar’s Drone+GoPro+Camera, Chetan and Archana’s iPhones
Check out the previous post on Arches National Park!
Coming up a blog on the fabulous Zion National Park and a hike through the narrows river gorge trail!