Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands became a National Park in September 1964 and is divided into four distinct districts. It is a large park covering over 250,000 acres, so if you want to see all of the sections, be sure to allow several days. We spent our time in the Needles section in the southwest corner of the park where the sandstone spires that look like needles are located. In addition, there are interesting rock formations, hiking trails and the arid, rugged expansive beauty of the desert.

As we were driving to the park, we went through Bears Ears National Monument and found it to be every bit as beautiful as the national park. The autumn colors are spectacular this time of year.

As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see. Vincent van Gogh

The narrow road we took is open range territory and we saw cattle grazing right next to the road, as well as deer. We even saw a flock of wild turkeys crossing the road.

Near Newspaper Rock in Bears Ears

Our first stop in Canyonlands was the Roadside Ruin. A short loop trail leads to the ancient structure pictured below.

Our next stop was Wooden Shoe Arch and Overlook.

Near Wooden Shoe

After that we stopped at Pothole Point, an easy hike that takes you over rocks and out to a canyon. When rain water accumulates in the holes, worms, snails and other small animals can be seen.

@theTravelsketcher near the potholes

Big Spring Canyon Overlook is a difficult, ten mile hike which will take you past cliff walls and many interesting rock formations, although you don’t have go very far to see these.

Everywhere you look you’ll see interesting rock formations.

This one looks like a grumpy woman.

This one looks like hands, with the fingers cupped.

The Needles

Autumn is a good time to visit since the park is less crowded, and it’s not too hot. However, be sure to come prepared with lots of water since it is easy to get dehydrated.

There is one small campground in this section of the park. Glamping Canyonlands can be found near Monticello, not far from the park. The closest hotels are in Monticello and Blanding.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it motivates you to visit Canyonlands someday.

As always, please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Stay safe and healthy,


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