Utah’s Canyonlands are so diverse that you find beauty everywhere. As the largest national park in Utah, its grandeur is beyond your imagination. The most economical way to get there is to pass by the Island in the Sky district, located 32 miles (51.5 km) from Moab. Hiking trails and four-wheel-drive roads are easy access to the areas of the backcountry where you can spend days of adventure.
Canyonlands is divided into 5 districts each offering different opportunities for sightseeing and exploration.
1. Island in the Sky
Island in the Sky is your initial taste of adventure as it is the nearest district. Along its scenic paved drive are several trails for hiking and a moderate four-wheel drive that takes you to White Rim Road where atop sits Island in the Sky on a massive 1500 foot mesa. Twenty miles (32.2 km) of the paved roads bring you to witness the most amazing vistas in Canyon Country.
From these lofty viewpoints, you see over 100 miles (161 km) in any given direction panoramic views that covering thousands of square miles of canyon country. After you take a short day-hike and relax in the late afternoon, you cap your day watching the setting of the sun. Whether you decide to stay for a few hours or a few days, Island in the Sky provides an unforgettable Canyon Country experience for you and your entire family.
2. The Needles
The Needles is another district in Canyon Land. A distant away in the back country; Needles can be reached taking a vehicle as the distance is too far to walk. More breathtaking views are in store for you.
3. The Maze
Further in back country is the Maze. Being a remote district, you require more time and self-reliance to get there. Aside from experiencing nature’s beauty, you can see the Orange Cliffs on the western boundary. National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are co-administrators of Orange Cliffs.
4. Horseshoe Canyon
Located northwest of The Maze, Horseshoe Canyon is worth all your effort in hiking. Feed your aesthetic sense with the stunning Native American rock art panels.
5. The Rivers
Two rivers, the Colorado and Green Rivers traverse the heart of Canyonlands as they cut through layered sandstone forming two deep canyons. These two Rivers are ideal for watersports as they are calm upstream of Confluence. You can boost your skills in canoeing, kayaking and managing other shallow water crafts. Right below the Confluence, both rivers combined their flow spilling down Cataract Canyon with remarkable speed and power. They create a world-class stretch of white water. Enjoy a flatwater trips on the Green or Colorado rivers and take a whitewater trip to Cataract Canyon. These are extraordinary thrills await the adventurers as they spent a number of days boating in the river.
Photo Credit: John Fowler on flickr
Maze Photo Credit: Mike Renlund on flickr