Friday, September 2, 2011

THE Trip, Canyonlands National Park, The Island in the Sky District

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

On May 4, 2011, after our visit to Dead Horse Point State Park Man and I headed for Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.  This district is huge, has over 15 hiking trails, ranging from 1/2 mile with a 100 foot elevation change to well over 20 miles with a 2000 foot elevation change.

There are miles and miles of 4-wheeling roads and a few miles of roads considered safe for 2 wheel drive vehicles.  Trouble I saw from the maps of the 2 wheel 'safe' roads is that you most likely were going to have to turn around and go back the way you came. To make a one way loop, would require your driving on a 4 wheel 'safe' road.  (By the way, seems that one way loop requires 2 to 3 days and backcountry permits.)

Now, Big Butt is not named "Big" for any reason other than, well, it is a BIG vehicle, with a very long wheel base, which translates into, Big Butt requires a lot of room to make a turn, especially a U turn. Plus Big Butt is not a 4 wheel drive truck.  The Shafer Road had been a suggested drive by several of our RVing friends.   These RVing friends all have smaller trucks than we do.  We discussed the road with the park rangers, and when they heard we were driving a Big Butt they said, nope, you cannot make the turns required.  So, we did not take a chance, we skipped driving the back roads of the park.  I have tentatively added such a drive to my bucket list for future trips.*

Below:  A beautiful photo, but, if you look close, you can see a road down there, a LONG way down there!

If you have trouble with heights and close ledges, the next few photos may make you a bit queasy, yes, Susan, I am talking to you!  Believe it or not, this did not bother my quaking knees too much, but, I was not leaning over the edge, eh?? LOL

Now, by benefit of a panoramic photo, you can see, LOTS!  This is one of those times when I highly encourage you to click on the photo to see it in a larger format, click your back button on your browser to return.

So, Man and I were limited to driving paved roads, if you can call driving about 20 miles of roads with spectacular scenery "limited".  First we headed out towards Upheaval Dome, stopping first near the area where the Alcove Spring trail is.  Another panoramic.  This area is so huge it takes a panoramic to try to capture it.

At Upheaval Dome we decided to get out and hike.  It was steep, the sign said it was .3 of a mile to the first overlook and .8 of a mile to the second overlook.   Here is a section of the trail.  Like I said, steep!

And, here is the dome, so so worth the climb:

Look a closer look, thanks to Sony's zoom.  Reminds me of sand art.

The National Park Service explains the dome and all it's wonder, here.  And, again, because this park is so large, another panoramic tries to capture the size, the magnificent views, and, yes, I'll say it again, the WOW! Remember, click on the photo to see it in the larger format.

Next, we will drive to the Green River Overlook, come on back now, ya hear!

*Ya know, after looking at those road photos real long and hard, maybe I'll just take that drive OFF my bucket list, whew, those roads are close to the edge, and that is a L*O*N*G way down if you get too close! WHEWIE!!

1 comment:

Susan Clark said...

AND you were right! But worth the gasp and looking away. This was one of the spots we missed in our abbreviated trip to Moab and one of the chief reasons we want to return. Another superb job, Carol!