Canyonlands National Park Facts



Interesting Facts about Canyonlands National Park

1. Interesting fact: Canyonlands is largely covered by cryptobiotic crust, a living soil, comprised of algae, lichens, and bacteria.

2. Fun fact: Cataract Canyon is a popular rapids section of the Colorado River. The highest recorded flow was in 1984 at 114,900 cfs, or cubic feet per second.

3. Daring fact: The first known successful rafting of Cataract Canyon was by the 1869 John Wesley Powell expedition.

4.  Scientific fact: Cataract Canyon may be one of the world's most actively filling canyons. Scientists discovered 260 feet of sediment below the water's surface.

5. Interesting fact: Naturally-occurring small depressions in sandstone called "potholes" collect water, which is a vital resource in this extremely dry climate.

6. Weird fact: Nineteenth century cowboys corralled wild horses onto today's Dead Horse Point State Park. Supposedly, one herd left on the point died of thirst.

7. Outlaw fact: The Robbers Roost hideout of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang is near the Maze district. This remote area was one of the last mapped sections of the lower United States.

8. Weird fact: In 2003, adventurer Aron Ralston became trapped alone in a slot canyon near the Maze district. He cut off his own arm to save his life.

9. Eerie fact: Nearby Moab's popular breakfast spot the Jailhouse Café used to be an actual jail. In the late 1800s the building was the area's first county courthouse, complete with jail cells.

10. Local pinyon pines produce delicious pine nuts, which can only be harvested every three to seven years.

11. Pictographs (ancient paintings on sandstone, called rock art) in the Horseshoe Canyon area show human habitation from as long as 4,000 years ago.

12. In December 2008, activist Tim DeChristopher attempted to save pristine public areas near Canyonlands from oil and gas drilling leases. 

Things to See in Canyonlands National Park

  • Arches National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Moab
  • Slickrock Trail
  • Canyonlands

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