Canyonlands National Park – Part 1

Canyonlands National Park covers 527 square miles of southeastern Utah. It is divided into three sections: Island in the Sky, The Needles and The Maze. The Green River and Colorado river join together at the meeting point of the of the three sections. I visited two of the three sections. The only section that I will probably not visit is the Maze. Major reason for this is there really are no roads into that area. I also think Gayle and others would think I was crazy to drive our Toyota Avalon Hybrid on roads marked for “Expert” 4×4 drivers and high clearance vehicles. But just imagine the looks I would get driving the Avalon there… just kidding.

Being about 30 miles away from the Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands, Gayle, Aria and I set out one hot day for a ride. At the gate, we were promptly told that Aria could only be in the parking lots and not to think about taking her onto the overlooks. We were also handed a “pet rules” paper along with our map. Aria glumly sat in the car throughout our journey.

Island in the Sky is actually a large mesa between the Green and Colorado rivers. It towers over 2,000 feet above the canyon floor. On a clear day one can see 100 miles in any direction. When I look at my pictures taken at various stops along the way, they look similar. This is due to the fact that the canyons are so vast, I was taking pictures of the same thing and only changing the perspective by a couple of miles. So after a couple of hours, and the car deciding to reset and not start, we decided it was time to head back to camp. Luckily the car did start after a few choice words by me and waiting. I am sure my words had no influence on the car, but it was hot.


Canyonlands Island in the Sky is worth a drive to see. There are a few hikes, but we couldn’t leave Aria in the car. Perhaps I will drive back one day to hike or perhaps not.

I did take a road trip to The Needles section of Canyonlands. But I will leave the details for another post.


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