stillhowlyn's travels 2007 travel blog

Grand View Pt. Overlook of the Green River

Candlestick Tower

Whale Rock

Canyons, mesas, buttes & spires!

From our Moab basecamp to the Island in the Sky Visitor's Center at Canyonlands Nat'l Park is perhaps a 35 mile drive. The "Island in the Sky" is a wide high plateau wedged between the Green and Colorado rivers. From the pictures above you will notice many layers: closest to the plateau's edge where we are and 1200 ft. below is the White Rim, a nearly continuous sandstone bench. Another 1000' below the White Rim are the rivers. Commanding views stretch across canyon after canyon to mountaintops and the horizon 100 miles away.

From the Visitor's Center a 12 mile drive leads to Grand View Point Overlook which looks directly into Monument Basin. From this point approx. 8 miles south the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers occurs forming the wild rapids of Cataract Canyon and leading on to Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon. This is so mind-boggling to us having seen the headwaters of the Colorado River a few years ago in Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park where it is a mere stream!

A 5 mile spur road leads to Whale Rock and Upheaval Dome. Geologists single out Upheaval Dome as the oddest geologic feature on Island in the Sky. Measuring 1500 ft. deep it looks more like a crater than a dome. Many of the trails are a mile or less but, like Arches, it was just too hot to be out walking!

There are also 4-wheel drive roads down and into the canyons, such as the 100 mile White Rim Rd. that takes two days to explore.

On our way out we made the side trip to Dead Horse Point State Park which was a short drive but so worth it! See next "chapter" for more on it.

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