Monday, July 25, 2016

Canyonlands National Park

I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon and we have chosen to not visit it on this trip as we believe we need more time; therefore, I cannot imagine it being more awe inspiring than the canyons that make up Canyonlands.  I struggle to describe the absolute vastness, ruggedness and wildness of this park.

These canyons were formed over millions of years by the forces of the Colorado and Green Rivers. They are made up of numerous layers of different types of stone.

While on hikes I had to work hard to contain my nerves of Harris walking along cliffs that dropped 1,000 feet.  As my family can attest, I wasn’t very successful.

The first morning of our time in Canyonlands we hiked the trail called Grand View and a grand view it was indeed!  The trail led to the tip of the Mesa top and overlooked the canyons formed by the Colorado and Green rivers.

Canyonlands is often described as one of the wildest parks and well suited to exploring in a 4x4.  Therefore, we decided to take a Jeep tour!  We had a knowledgable, young guide  who took us for a wild ride through the desert and canyons.  I had to sit in the middle because I about died when I looked out the window and saw the sharp drop off of the road that we were on.  It didn’t bother either of the children one bit and, in fact, they loved it!  

With our guide we visited Mesa Arch within Canyonlands and the Green River Overlook.

Our guide also pointed out Petroglyphs on the wall.  I'm fascinated by these, who drew them and what were they trying to communicate, if anything?

We also hiked Upheaval Dome, which is believed to have been made by a meteorite striking the earth.  Whale Rock was also a hike with a rock scramble at the end.

Throughout much of the parks we’ve visited there has been a motto, “Don’t Bust the Crust.”  The soil here is cryptobiotic and is what allows the dessert to support plant life; if it weren’t for the microorganisms in this soil these desserts would be more like the Sahara Dessert, devoid of plant life.  This bumpy soil takes hundreds of years to develop but is easily crushed by a footstep.  


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