Twenty five miles from Arches is Canyonlands. Canyonlands is MUCH less popular and about five times larger (527 sq. mi. vs. 119.8 sq. mi.). I drove us into the main entrance, or so I thought, and to the visitors center. We asked a Ranger where the best place to walk through deep narrow canyons is and she replied “it’s a two and half hour drive away”. What?! Oh man! That’s too far! We only had about five hours till I wanted to head to Salt Lake. We would have to drive out of the park, back to the main highway, south through Moab and back to the park through a southern entrance. The area we wanted to go to is called “The Needles”. In the park it’s only a few miles from where we were (The Island in the Sky) but there is no roads or trails between them. The Ranger advised us to walk a near trail that was six miles and according to her “full of different views and changing surroundings”.
The walk was lame. It had a little bit of variety, but no good views until the end, right next to where we parked the car. 😐 Ram was pretty annoyed. I enjoyed it more, but it was kind of a waste of time and surprisingly hot! We walked along the sides of a, not impressive, canyon in desert trees and shrubbery the whole time. If we hadn’t just seen Arches the night before or spectacular views driving in, maybe we would be impressed. We’re a tough crowd.
After our successful hike, we drove to nearby view points. The views were incredible! There are layers of canyons inside of canyons! During the winter Ram and I want come back for a week. It will be MUCH cooler and probably almost empty. Ram did some research and found there is a 100 mile long trail! I’m very eager to go back when we have more time and energy. As of now we’re pretty beat, so we’re headed to my brother Seth’s house. Another drive, but 3 1/2 hours seems short now.