Canyonlands-Island in the Sky

For our second day down in Southern Utah we went into Canyonlands to explore and hike. 

Saturday night after pizza and ice cream we tried driving around seeing if we could find ourselves and empty campsite….. since we didn’t find one close enough we parked just a little outside the park at a pullout and decided to ask for forgiveness first if anyone decided to come knocking on the van. 

We sat out for a bit under a canopy of stars until we could barely keep our eyelids open.  Early in the morning before the sun was up I awoke and peeked out my window watching as colors changed from night to day.  Peaches, oranges and purples lay against the red rock on the canyons ridges.  I listened to the birds as the chatted to one another and watched as the first of the park rangers came into work for the day.   I finally fell back asleep and woke when the sun was up and the fresh morning cool air was evaporating.

We finally got ourselves going and headed into the visitor center to fill up our water bottles, get information on trails and a little of a plan for the day.

We drove the paved scenic route and stopped first at Mesa Arch.  It’s a well maintained trail, easy to climb with stones layer out for stairs.

We then drove to Aztec Butte take the turn for Upheaval Dome at the fork.

Aztec Butte is a moderate hike with some hiking up slick rock and a bit of a scramble at the top.  At the top of the Butte you can then walk the loop.

The second half of the hike is another trail that goes to the canneries.  This is another scramble with slick rock and to get down to the two ancient canneries.

We rested had our snacks and chatted a bit about the canneries and how they were possibly used, who might of lived there and for how long.

Our last spot for the day was at the end of the road to Upheaval Dome.  It’s a geological mystery -two theories…. was it an ancient large meteor or an ancient sea bed?

We hiked the first view point… it says it’s a mile but it only felt like a half mile to the first spot.  The hike is easy with easily maintained stone slabs for stairs.

We sat looking out over the dome, admiring  the features that took place so long ago.  We discussed our own theories of how the dome was created also pondering how further generations will use the parks.

We staggered our tired and burnt selves back to the van taking one last ride back into Moab for a last treat of ice cream before the long drive back home.

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