When we were at Arches NP, we were up on a high plateau, but still looking up at arches, fins, and other rock formations. Not far away at the Island In The Sky district of Canyonlands NP we were back up on a high plateau, but this time we were mainly looking down into vast expanses of canyons.
Canyonlands was created by the erosion from two large rivers that drain a large section of the Rocky Mountains – the Green River and the Colorado River. The two rivers join together in the park for the Colorado River’s run on down through the Grand Canyon and beyond.
Canyonlands has three major districts. The Island In The Sky district reduces down to just a neck of land between the erosion fields of the two rivers. The Needles district, which we also visited, is down in an intermediate level of the canyon floors. The Maze district on the west side of the rivers is some of the remotest lands in the country. Butch Cassidy and his gangs used to hang out in that area as they felt no lawmen would ever follow into these canyons and risk never finding their way out.
Gary had not visited Canyonlands but has been to the Grand Canyon. He says I won’t see anything like the expanse of these canyons there. And by the way, we passed on the jeep path down to the next level of the canyon.