Miles traveled: N/A
States: 1 (Utah)
Camp: Willow Flat Campground, Canyonlands National Park
Originally, the plan for this day was to check out Canyonlands, Arches, and maybe Dead Horse Point State Park. That ended up not happening. I spent the entire day at Canyonlands.
My first stop was at Shafer Canyon Overlook across from the Island in the Sky Visitor Center when I first arrived. I walked out to the edge of the cliff and sat down for a while to take in the scenery. I ended up sitting there for almost an hour.
Initially I was kind of unimpressed with Canyonlands. After spending a couple of days in Rocky Mountain National Park, it’s hard for anything to compare. It’s really just a completely different experience. At Rocky Mountain, the scenery just towers over you. At Canyonlands it all rolls out below you from massive red cliffs.
By the time I was ready to leave the overlook, I had changed my mind about the park. There’s something incredible about looking out over the series of canyons and considering the natural processes that created them.
The campground where I decided to stay was right down the road from the Green River Overlook, so I went to check out the view there. The actual overlook had a paved path out to it, but I decided to walk around and see what I could find along the canyon rim.
The visitor center had a display that said Green River Overlook was the best place for sunset pictures, but the scene didn’t really deliver. However, I hung out until dark and got some good pictures of the stars before calling it a night.
Back at camp, a nice German family stopped by as they were walking around the area. We talked for a while about my trip and about their previous trips to the US and the National Parks.