Stunning Palette of Canyonlands National Park



Stunning Palette of Canyonlands National Park a Photographic Dream



Stunning Palette of Canyonlands National Park, Monet, Gauguin, And, yes, Vincent van Gogh. Upon visiting Canyonlands National Park, it won’t be difficult to envision these three ‘masters’ who loved color—creating works that went from the cool blues of the sky and ocean to the fiery red and orange of the sun—sitting in this locale and painting so furiously that their arms fell off.


No, this is not an exaggeration. At the heart of Utah’s high desert rests Canyonlands National Park, which boasts almost 338,000 acres that Mother Nature is responsible for ‘painting’. The landscape is rugged, yet sculpted; layers of stone and rock have become buttes, spires, arches, and some of the most colorful canyons in the entire world. Which is exactly why all lovers of the Great Outdoors need to view Canyonlands with their own eyes.


Not only is this a fun trip, but there’s always a sense of adventure – even a twinge of danger – as you explore carved-out canyons, sheer drop-offs, and barely-wide-enough-to-get-through paths that were formed between the red rock. Etched into Utah, this is also a spot where people who love the water can come and enjoy themselves. In fact, it is the Green and Colorado Rivers trisecting the Plateau that separated Canyonlands into four distinct areas.


Though they appear close on a map, there are no roads that directly link the four quadrants, and there are very few places to cross the rivers. But once your map is created, there will not be one of the four you’ll want to miss out on.


Island in the Sky bears the mesas that have been seen in movies, written about in books, and beloved by visitors. Looking like a mountain range cut by a sword, from Arthurian legend, perhaps, this area provides expansive views from many overlooks set along the scenic drive. Here, you can go on several hiking trails and also enjoy a four-wheel-drive excursion on the White Rim Road.


The second area of Canyonlands is referred to as The Maze. Like the popular book, this area is the least accessible; rarely do visitors spend less than three days in ‘The Maze’. The wildness, the remote landscape, and the fact that there are no amenities such as food, water or gasoline, could be seen as downsides. However, those who pride themselves on being self-sufficient will be able to take in some of the most stunning attractions in America. From the Land of Standing Rocks to the Golden Stairs; from the Orange Cliffs to the Maze Overlook, there are sites here that defy imagination.


The third area to visit forms the southeastern portion of Canyonlands National Park and the color palette is outstanding. In The Needles, hundreds of multi-colored spires of sandstone decorate the desert floor. Canyons, natural arches, and sheer-walled cliffs also add to the rugged landscape. If into your 4X4, some of the most challenging jeep trails can be found here. If you wish to strap the backpack on instead, lengthy hikes will bring you to popular locales, like Cave Spring, Confluence Overlook and Elephant Hill. Newspaper Rock is also there; covered with etchings left behind by various prehistoric cultures, it’s one of the many Utah State Historic Monuments you’ll find.


The final area is referred to as The Rivers, and for good reason. Here you can enjoy flatwater trips on the Green or Colorado River, and be thrilled by a whitewater adventure in Cataract Canyon. To experience this locale, you will usually spend two or more days boating and be inspired by the two large canyons created by these rivers as they wove their way through the Colorado Plateau.


Whether it be historic sites, breathtaking adventure, or hiking in this vast array of color, Canyonlands National Park is most definitely a trip you do not want to miss.


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