Thursday, August 29, 2013

Canyonlands–The Needles

Although Canyonlands National Park is not all that massive, the main access roads are quite far apart.  It was 35 miles north, west, and south from our campground to the visitor’s center for Island In The Sky.  The visitor’s center for The Needles was south, west, north and west a total of 75 miles from the campground.  But then it isn’t easy building access roads into a land of canyons.

Along the way was an impressive arch right along the main highway, Wilson Arch and a petroglyph wall with 2,000 years of etchings called Newspaper Rock.


100_8359Whereas we were on a mesa looking down into two levels of canyons at Island In The Sky, we were on the intermediate level at The Needles.  You are looking up at mesas and mountains in the distance and also looking down into the lower levels of the canyons.

100_8344So why is this district known as the The Needles?  Because of these formations where their softer rock has eroded away leaving these harder “needles” still standing.



Our favorite formation in this district was one called Wooden Shoe Arch.  There were also a lot of formations that looked liked mushrooms or stacks of pancakes.


100_8401We took a couple of shorter hikes and were eyeing some of the longer trails, but we had to cut our trip a bit short as the sky became very threatening.  You don’t want to be caught hiking in a canyon during a thunderstorm.  And for that matter, the roads are no place to be either as they don’t always go to the expense of building bridges.  They just let the water in the washes run over the roads.

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