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April 2, 2018

Canyonlands

by Rosemary West

Canyonlands National Park has some natural rock arches like those found in its neighbor, Arches National Park. But as the name suggests, it is better known for its vast landscape of canyons, carved by the Green and Colorado Rivers and their tributaries, with assistance from gravity and the wind.

The weather was sunny and cool. We enjoyed a full day of scenic viewpoints and short hikes. The panoramic views here easily rival the Grand Canyon.







From the Grand View overlook, we enjoyed a spectacular view of mountains, canyons, rock formations, and desert.



Every bend in the road led us to something new.




Upheaval Dome is a crater of unknown origin, thought to be caused by either a meteorite or an eroded salt dome.


Some of the rocks were reminiscent of the "hoodoos" we would see a few days later in Bryce Canyon.



Of course, we enjoyed spotting wildlife in the park. The ravens here are enormous! The chipmunks are tiny.




The most popular arch in Canyonlands is Mesa Arch. Although it is not among the the biggest or fanciest arches, it is very accessible (close to the road and easy to hike to). People love being photographed here. Known for the way it reflects the light at sunrise (too early for us), the arch was featured as a desktop background photo in Windows 7.



The view through the arch is also impressive.


This was our second national park in two days, and the next morning we were eager to go on to a third.


Note: We were here in February.

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