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Canyonlands National Park

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Entry sign
I think you can classify Canyonlands National Park as the proto-Grand Canyon, not as deep, but seemingly just as big as the big gash in Arizona. It's just as impressive to me, probably more so, since it's easier for my mind to grasp the scale of the landscape.

Canyonlands is also the start of the creation of the lifeline to the Southwest. The main feature of the park is the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, one of the first major additions to the Colorado making it the powerhouse river that provides electricity, water and recreation to millions.

Canyonlands is also where the Colorado River enters protected federal lands, and won't leave public lands until a dozen miles before the California/Nevada/Arizona border.

The Colorado River leaves Canyonlands National Park in the (designated) wilderness to the Southwest, and enters Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. 30 river miles from there, it will become Lake Powell. Back to Top

Canyonlands National Park Map
Cropped map of Canyonlands National Park. Click on the map for a larger view.
Canyonlands is split into three parts by the rivers, the Island In The Sky District, which is in the... uh... crotch of the Colorado and Green. On the Colorado side is The Needles District about 30 miles South and West of Moab. On the Green River side is The Maze, one of the least known places in America, due to it's rugged and inaccessible terrain.

I've only been to the Island in the Sky District, in both September 1997 and September 2008, since it's the most accessible, and there's much to see just from there. One day I should go see the Needles District.

I'd definitely go off road if I had a 4WD high-clearance vehicle. You can get up close to many of the places in the canyons... Back to Top

Along Utah-313
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Canyonlands National Park
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Orange Cliffs
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Grand View Point
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Along Grand View Point Road
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Green River Overlook
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Mesa Arch Trail
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White Rim
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Related Links

Arches and Head Horse Point are right in the neighborhood, and the Colorado River link covers the Colorado from Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Canyon.

Arches National Park
Arches Link Arches National Park is a unique park, a sandstone desert with a unique geology that allows the formation of stone arches. Arches National Park has the greatest density of stone arches in the world.

Although it's only a few dozen river miles upriver from Canyonlands, the two parks are completely different in character and content.
Near Moab, Utah / 58 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2005

Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
Dead Horse Point Link Dead Horse Point State Park is right next door to Canyonlands National Park, about a half-mile as the crow flies, or about 11 miles by road. That's just the way things are out here.

From the top, you get a magnificent view of the Colorado River Valley and the goosenecks just before entering Canyonlands. Unfortunately, the main view is to the South, so the sun will always be in front of you.

Near Moab, Utah / 27 Images. Visited Sep 2005, Sep 2008.

Colorado River
Colo River Link The Colorado River starts as a small stream in Rocky Mountain National Park, and gathers hundreds of other streams and rivers along the way to become the lifeline of the Southwest, providing water, electricity and recreation to millions in the five states the river flows through or touches.

I've actually followed the river in one form or another, from Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Canyon. I've also done more river miles on the Colorado than any other river...

Colorado, Utah and Arizona / 55 Images. Visited Sep 2005, Sep 2008.
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Trip Report: Sep 1997, Sep 2008.

Return to: State Index Utah State Page Moab, Utah National Parks

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