November 11 2014
Written By
Josey Orr
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The Great 59 - Part 6: Canyonlands National Park

The Great 59 is a series on America’s National Park Service.

Canyonlands National Park 

State: Utah

Created: September 12, 1964

Size: 337,598 Acres

Canyonlands National Park is the largest park in Utah and offers a diverse landscape perfect for anybody seeking retreat from the norm. Round the clock, there is always something to do in the Canyonlands. During the day you can experience amazing overlooks, hike miles of trail, raft wild rapids, and at night you can see the stars in some of the darkest skies in America.

The park, located in southeastern part of the state, is divided into four sections by the Green and Colorado rivers: the rivers themselves, the Island of Sky, The Maze, and The Needles. Also, we'd love to point out two things from the photo above taken by Tug Wilson in the 1950s; 1. The Ancient Pueblo Indian pot that they dug up. 2. The person pictured is wearing some mighty fine selvedge denim. 

What To Do:

Camping – We recommend setting up fort at the Willow Flat Campground as its just a short walk away from one of the must see spots in the park: The Green River Overlook. Passes are $10 a night.

Rafting – Where the Colorado and Green rivers meet is a place called Cataract Canyon. The combined forces of both rivers create the perfect 14 mile stretch of white water rapids.

Photography – If you’re a photographer you’ll be in heaven here. The peak photo times at this park are second to none. The low angle of the sun at these times adds beautiful color to the rocks and canyon walls.

Mountain Biking and Hiking – You can bike the 100 mile White Rim Road at the Island in the Sky or you can hike the many trails that are situated around the park.

Places Of Interest:

Grand View Point – It’s name explains all you need to know. This is an easy hike (2 miles round trip) and the reward is a brilliant panoramic view of the park.

Messa Arch – The Messa Arch is probably the most famous structure in the park. The arch is situated right on a cliff edge and is a popular place to take sunrise photos.

Shafer Trail – If you’ve got a 4X4 vehicle this is a trail worth driving. There are spectacular views of the canyons and you also get to enjoy the pulse pounding thrill of your tires being only inches away from the cliffs edge. Not for the faint of heart.

Canyonlands is open all year round, but the best times to go are during the spring and fall months. Summers can be very hot and winters can be very cold in this desert climate.


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