Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park


Date: Nov. 4th, 2016

The gigantic Canyondlands National Park has 3 sections: Island in the Sky, the Needles and the Maze. Island in the Sky, being closest to Moab, is the most accessible. Short on time and long on ambition, I took 1/2 day to explore Island in the Sky, and from the photos below, I hoped that I conveyed why this area is called “Island in the Sky”.

First, I made a detour to the Dead Horse State Park next door. View from Dead Horse Point – Colorado River making a big U turn

Mesa Arch was my first stop at Island in the Sky. It’s a 1/2 mile loop path, and Arch itself did not impress from a distance.

Until I looked through it

An elderly fellow Washingtonian couple took this picture for me.

One more look at this mesmerizing view

Dangling my legs on the edge was great for the soul, but not good for my blood pressure.

Next stop – the nearby Green River Overlook – The river hidden the canyon is the Green River which will merge with Colorado River shortly downstream.

Then unto Grand View Point where I took the 2 mile RT Rim trail hike.

The faint dirt road is the famous White Rim Road – more on that later.

The trail hug the rim of the mesa absorbing constant vista.

At its terminus, hikers are looking at the Green River side of the terrain.

Returning, one more look at Canyons containing Colorado River

Drizzles accompanied me in the last 1/2 mile.

The last stop, Shafer Canyon Overlook:

This is near the start of White Rim trail, a 100 mile long dirt road that is a mecca for mountain bike, 4WD enthusiasts. It was originally expanded from a narrow dirt trail during Uranium mining boom.

I met a young couple from Belgium – photo on top of the page is the male half of the couple – who are travelling and rock climbing up and down West side of the US for 6 months.

A jeep in the distance

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