Canyonlands National Park: Island in the Sky & Mesa Arch

September 23.

We admired Dead Horse Point in the (fairly) early morning light  and then raced to Canyonlands, hoping to catch some  more of that morning light.

But at Aztec Butte I noted ‘too tired’ on our map. There was a trail leading into the area and then you had to climb up to see the ‘Aztec’ version of a built-in kitchen. But we were still wiped out by our hike in Arches National Park two days earlier and too burnt-out to climb.
A twisted tree at Island in the Sky sandstone formations at Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USAWe had lunch No. 1 at Upheaval Dome where we met a couple who told us they had been stunned by the red sky the previous night, which they had watched from a supermarket parking lot in Moab.
Canyonlands Sign to Upheaval DomeUpheaval Dome, the view from Lunch Spot #1.
Rock Textures in Canyonlands National Park, Utah Beside us a man commented, “That’s a damn big hole!” At one point a man was sitting on the edge of this ledge with his wife yelling at him to get off; then Al had to do the same damn thing!
Utah Canyonlands National ParkThis red sandstone canyon carried on into the distance.Island in the Sky sandstone formations at Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USAThe formations were unusual, but then so were all the formations in this area. Island in the Sky sandstone formations at Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USAMy notes say, ‘Mesa Arch, best at dawn; we didn’t make it’. By the time we arrived at Mesa Arch it was after lunch so there was no watching the sun rise under the arch. Still, it looked pretty good.Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, UtahMesa Arch at Island in the Sky sandstone formations at Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USAMap of the day’s routes.

Canyonlands North Entrance Map

Canyonlands North Entrance Map

From here we drove back to Dead Horse Point to catch the evening light and spent the evening in Moab having an unmemorable meal.

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