If you're looking for an opportunity to discover the mystical quality of the American West, then Canyonlands National Park is an ideal place to get lost in history, time, and the natural wonders of the earth.
Carved out by the Colorado and Green Rivers, this rugged landscape is located just south of Moab, Utah, and beckons tourist visits by the thousands every year. In part, the sheer diversity of the landscape is enough to keep you snapping photos. Add to this the ability to engage in hiking, climbing, camping, horseback riding, and even four-wheel drive excursions, and you've got yourself a packed schedule.
Mighty plateaus and breathtaking vistas are tied together in the park's five main regions. The Needles District offers sites like Elephant Park, Chesler Park, and Confluence Overlook, where sandstone spires pop up from around the landscape, offering color and majestic beauty that is typical of Canyonlands. Or, for evidence of some of America's earliest rock art, head over to Horseshoe Canyon where The Great Gallery highlights life-size human-like figures with intricate details painted by ancient inhabitants of the region.
4x4 routes – ranging from extremely difficult and technical to moderate – span the wilderness around Canyonlands. The 100-mile long White Rim Road offers expansive views of the Island Mesa from your 4x4 vehicle. The exposed sections of the Shafer Trail, Lathrop Canyon Road, Murphy's Hogback, Hardscrabble Hill, and the Mineral Bottom switchbacks make the White Rim loop an exciting route by vehicle and a challenging bike ride as well.
Unique opportunities for exploration are divided among the main regions of the park, though all bear similar qualities in terms of natural wonder. Between the Maze, The Needles, and The Island in the Sky, you'll be amazed by the power of time and natural forces that have created such a fascinating landscape. With multiple outdoor excursions arranged daily, you'll find options that suit people of all ages and with varying physical needs.
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