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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Canyonlands, Part II: Green River Overlook, Grand View Overlook, and the Upheaval Dome

Canyonlands:  Part II:
Green River Overlook, Grand View Overlook, and the Upheaval Dome 
After Mesa Arch, we continued our drive around the park.  

Above, is another island in the sky.  The geology and structures were absolutely stunning in this park.  I could have sat here with a lawn chair and a glass of wine for a very very long time 

I was amazed and terrified by the size of the birds out here.  Crow? Raven?  Part dog? these birds were absolutely huge.  And kind of scary... I looked it up and discovered in fact it was a Raven.  A gigantic one.  

Olive often found herself hanging out by the sign while we walked the few hundred feet to the overlook.  Dogs are literally only allowed where your car can go... so she had to hang out at the entrance of the overlooks. 

I really love how Natoinal Parks do such a good job with the signage.  My inner nerd stopped at each and every sign to read all about the beautiful park we were in.  

These fingerling looking crevices were really unique.  If you look close at the picture below, you can also see a curvey road, White Rim Road, and the straight lines are old mining road scars.  White Rim Road is a 100 mile trail throughout the park and is accessible by mountain bikes and 4x4's.  Day trips do not require a permit, but overnight trips on White Rim Road require a permit (plan ahead in the busy season). 

You can also see the Abajo Mountains and the La Sal mountains in the background (about 35 miles away), a very cool backdrop for a high dessert.  

We also snuck Olive on a little hike to the Upheaval Dome.  Of course, this is where we saw our first park ranger of the day.  Thankfully she was really sweet and let us finish our hike before we brought Olive back to the car.  This cool looking dome has a few different theories on its creation--meteorite impact or slow moving salt down-- scientists can't seem to decide which one!

After visiting all the major sights, 
we stayed around Canyonlands just long enough to watch the sunset.  

And a beautiful sunset it was!  We promised ourselves we were DEFINITELY coming back, to bike the 100 mile trail through the park (at least some of it), and to visit the southern section known as "The Needles", which is at a much lower elevation and very different from the "Island In The Sky" region.  After this trip, Thatcher is really into getting mountain bikes (I have agreed to trail bike- i.e. mostly flat roads and trails). 

This short visit to Canyonlands was the perfect "taste" of the area, 
and now we know exactly how to plan our next trip and what to bring. 
Bikes, and no dog!

The highlight of seeing this parks in November, in the "off season" was a pretty empty park.   The weather was perfect, mid 60s instead of 100's in the mid summer.  Although the parks were empty, the town was still crowded.  

After leaving Canyonlands, we headed into Moab to see the town and grab some dinner.  Nearly every restaurant downtown had a hour wait (at 5:45 none the less), so we found a steakhouse on the edge of town with hearty potions and no wait.  After a delicious dinner of meatloaf and elk stew, we drove to Arches National Park, right by downtown Moab, where we set up camp and called it a night. 

Check back in tomorrow to check out Arches National Park (my favorite of the trip!)


  1. I love all the signage at national parks. I always read them all and get super excited about them. Glad to know other people are big nerds too.

    1. Ha! Signage nerds unite! They are usually so informative and descriptive- really nice to put the history and information with the sight you are seeing!

  2. The scenery is amazing out there! Thanks for sharing!

    1. It is! Need an ocean though :) Colorado river was quite green!

  3. If you are bringing your bike next time, then you are NOT in the National Parks, so bring your dog friend. However, you might run the pads off of those doggy feet pedaling farther than your pet. I mean look at all these bike miles none of these are in a National Park.

    1. That is great advice and information- Thank you Moab Utah! I will most likely end up leaving her home anyway for the reason you mentioned... might be too much mileage for her and wear on her pads.

      Thank you for the link and information!

  4. i say this every time but i just love seeing utah on your blog! such fun adventures.


    1. Love that you are enjoying glimpses of home! I am enjoying the warm weather and beaches on your blog ;)


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