The agenda for the day is sightseeing in Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands covers a large area, including the confluence of the Colorado with its largest tributary, the Green River. These two mighty rivers have carved huge canyons over the eons, leaving behind a landscape dug into the red rock plateau. This is most apparent in the northern regions of the Park, the Island in the Sky. This name refers to the plateau that was left "in the sky" by the Green River to the west and Colorado River to the east. It is characterized by spectacular vistas. On a clear day it is possible to see over 200 miles from some of the viewpoints.
In addition to visiting Canyonlands, we will make a stop at Dead Horse Point State Park. This is probably the most famous feature in the Canyonlands area. It is what is known as a "gooseneck" because the river makes a complete bend back on itself (see below). The vista from this point is not to be missed.
After lunch, the schedule has us visiting the Needles Overlook and a couple of major arches that are accessible just off the road south of Moab. The Needles Overlook is a high point overlooking the southern regions of the park.
If you have never visited Arches National Park and did not make a visit Friday, this would be a good time to visit the southern parts of the Park. Arches is very interesting and has a large number of features packed into a fairly compact area. The Utah residents have visited Arches many, many times, which is why we are making our first visit to the Needle Overlook. You should definitely plan to visit Arches if you have never been to the Moab area before. You can find a park map you can download on the links page.
Saturday, May 14
Time Directions Miles Cumulative 7:00 AM Morning drive, Lower Colorado Scenic Byway 42 9:00 AM Meet in parking lot for departure North US-191 to UT-313 12 UT 313 to Visitor Center 23 35 Visitor Center to Grand View Point 13 48 10:30 AM Grand View Point North on View Point Road to Mesa Arch (.5 mi loop hike) 6 54 Mesa Arch to Dead Horse Point with selected stops 21 75 Dead Horse Point to US-191 42 117 South UT-191 to Moab 12 129 1:30 PM Lunch in Moab 2:30 PM South 191 to Wilson Arch Viewpoint 24 South 191 to County 133 Needles Overlook Rd 8 32 County 133 to Needles Overlook 22 54 Needles Overlook to UT 191 22 76 North UT 191 to Lopez Arch Viewpoint 6 82 North UT 191 to Moab 26 108 5:30 PM Moab 7:00 PM Dinner