What a spectacular day!!! We toured both the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, both a short distance from Moab.
The Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands has much more dramatic scenery than The Needles. After the obligatory initial stop at the Visitor Center, we proceeded to Grand View Point, the furthest overlook in the park. Here we saw the dramatic effects of the Colorado and Green Rivers, which have cut and shaped these canyons over millions of years.
Let me introduce our new traveling companions. First of all, my daughter Samantha and her beau, Sam.
Their good friends are also with us for a few days. Meet Randy and Tansey.
We walked the trail to Upheaval Dome, a salt dome which has intruded into the sandstone. Quite frankly, we could have skipped this trail — the reward at the end was not worth the effort.
The most dramatic overlook that we sampled was the Green River Overlook. The Green River, along with the Colorado, has sculpted this masterpiece of sandstone.
From Canyonlands we traveled to Arches National Park, a true gem of the National Park System. Here is the largest concentration of arches in the world, over 2,000.
Our first stop was Balanced Rock, an extremely unusual formation which could obviously topple at any time.
We spent a lot of time at the Windows, walking the trails and viewing the impressive arches.
Also in this vicinity is Turret Arch.
The most famous arch in the world is Delicate Arch. It is seen by millions on Utah’s license plate and has become a symbol of the state.
On our way out of the park we stopped briefly at Courthouse Towers
and Park Avenue, both examples of other types of rock formations visible at Arches.
All in all, an incredible day and one which will be fondly remembered for a long time.