Moab became our rest haven after hikes in midday summer heat. A local paradise bore the name of the Mill Creek trail. It was a short hike into the tiny canyon with a hidden waterfall and a swimming hole.
That day there was a dust storm nearby, and during sunset we could see a ton of dust particles in the air. They made quite an unforgettable scenery.
We headed South and Canyonlands lay right there on our way. In contrast to highly developed and regulated Yellowstone and Arches, Canyonlands was just a vast natural wilderness, if you could call a giant canyon so. The immense scale of this place takes the breath away.
The park is comprised of 3 large parts: the Island in the Sky in the North, the Maze in the Southwest and the Needles in the Southeast. This vast area became Canyonlands thanks to erosion by Green river from the West, and Colorado river from the East. On the map, Green river merges into Colorado river approximately in the middle of the park’s territory.
Canyonlands wasn’t issuing any backcountry passes because of COVID-19 and we didn’t have enough time to explore this park in it majestic entirety – so we focused on its most popular area – the Island in the Sky. It exceeded all expectations (it’s hard to have any if you haven’t seen anything like it before).
The Island in the Sky floated above the vast canyon that went as fas as we could see. The giant numerous steps of it kept falling lower and lower, as if they had no limit and no end. An infinite staircase down to Green river…
The only proper hike we were able to do in such a short time was the one at Grand View Point. The trail marked by rock cairns goes along the rim for a little bit, before crossing over to the opposite side of the Canyon. There were no people on the trail and the whole hike was simply surreal.
It felt like we were only able to see a tiny droplet in the ocean of what Canyonlands has to offer. The park has numerous backcountry roads and is absolutely perfect for a multi-day of -week backcountry exploration.
Watch out Canyonlands! Next time we pay a visit, we’re gonna be driving a 4x4 vehicle with lost of clearance and bringing a ton of water with us. :)