Canyonlands National Park

Well, this post has certainly been sitting in the drafts folder for a while. Life has been a little all over the place the past several months. Simultaneously fast and slow, like there’s not much going on yet we’re somehow always busy. It’s been a few months since we arrived back in Arizona, but I still want to catch everyone up on some of our highlights from our time in Utah, namely the rest of our national park visits.

Canyonlands National Park is divided into a few districts. The only one we made it to was The Needles, located in the Southeast corner of Canyonlands. This part is relatively close to Moab, so although it is fairly remote, logistically it made sense as were already in the area to visit a friend and explore Arches.

For the sake of timing we opted to go in for only a day and hike one large loop to see a few highlights. I suppose that’s our classic approach: hike fast and fit as much as possible into one long day.

Our route took us up, over, around and through some of the most incredible rock formations. The layers were so distinct, so vibrant, and kind of unbelievable that they were somehow still standing.

The trail gave us a bit of everything as we made our way towards the canyon that would lead us out to the Druid Arch. Aside from a few stretches in sand, most of our miles were pretty smooth hiking.

The Druid Arch is located a few miles down a canyon, with a short, steep climb at the end to get up high enough to really see it. When we got to the top we passed two other hikers on their way down, but aside from that we had the whole area to ourselves. One of the benefits of getting a later start than most other visitors.

We reached it right as the sun was lowering behind it, giving it sort of a backlit glow not really captured in our photos.

On our way back to the parking lot we passed several of the backcountry campsites. Each one was in such a beautiful spot they had us wishing we’d planned ahead and gotten a permit. We’d love to go back and spend a night or two in the park someday, but mid-November was too late in the season to comfortably stick around much longer.

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