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I'm Terri and I love to travel with my kids. We have a goal of visiting all 50 states. Learn more...
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Utah – Canyonlands National Park

I had wanted to go to Utah for a very long time. The pictures I had seen were amazing. Technically, we could have crossed Utah off our list just by going to the Four Corners Monument, but that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to see the amazing rock formations I had seen in pictures, so after Four Corners, we headed to Canyonlands National Park. Even the drive to the park was fascinating. If you use my itinerary from my ebook, you’ll follow this route too. Here’s a little of what you see along the way.

Drive to Canyonlands collage-001Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Canyonlands National Park is divided into four different districts by rivers that run through the park. There are no roads or bridges that connect the districts, so it takes hours to drive between districts. What that means for visitors is that you must be strategic in your planning. Because we approached the park from the south, we planned to visit The Needles District the first day and the Island in the Sky District the second day, bypassing the harder-to-reach Maze district and Horseshoe Canyon. We stayed on track the first day, but the second day we made an impromptu change of plans and we never did make it to Island in the Sky.

Canyonlands National Park Sign

Our first stop was the Visitor Center where we learned about the type of rock formations in the park.

Canyonlands rock formation exhibit

We also got a hiking trail recommendations from a park ranger. We decided on the Slickrock Foot Trail. This trail starts in a part of the park with a lot of mushroom formations.

Slickrock Foot Trail - Canyonlands

The 2.4-mile trail is known for its expansive viewpoints. There are side trails to four viewpoints along the way. The views are amazing. You can see for miles and miles.

Viewpoint from the Slickrock Foot Trail - Canyonlands

I read that bighorn sheep are frequently spotted on this trail. We looked down into the canyons, hoping for a glimpse of one, but we didn’t see any. The canyons themselves were stunning on their own.

Slickrock Trail - amazing view

 

Gorgeous Canyonlands

This is one of the prettiest hikes I’ve ever been on.

Canyonlands - Slickrock Trail

It was designated as an “Easy” hike, but there were enough rock formations for my kids to climb on to keep them happy.

Climbing rock formations on Slickrock Trail at Canyonlands

Kids love Canyonlands

The rock formations and views were the main points of interest, but not the only ones. Check out this twisted tree.

Twisted tree - Canyonlands

Another interesting thing to note about this trail is that much of it traversed vast expanses of rock; it wasn’t a dirt trail through the woods. The trail was marked by cairns–small piles of rocks. You can see a couple of them in this picture.

Cairns mark the Slickrock Trail

We lost the trail only once. :-)

OK, just a few more pretty pictures.

Enjoying the view at Canyonlands

Hiking at Canyonlands

You can barely see the Needles formations in the distance in this picture.

Canyonlands - hiking the Slickrock Trail

We didn’t get very close to the Needles on this trail, but there were other trails that got much closer. After we got back to the trailhead, we finished driving the scenic drive and got some great views of mushroom rock formations.

Canyonlands - Mushrooms 1

Canyonlands Mushrooms 2

We were able to get up close to a couple of them.

Canyonlands Mushroom Rock Formation

So, so pretty! Can you see why I fell in love with this place?

Canyonlands National Park - Mushroom Rocks

Ready to visit?

 

Canyonlands National Park
Moab, UT

Open year-round, 24 hours a day, see website for Visitor Center Hours

Entrance fees: $10 per vehicle

 

This attraction appears in my e-book, How to Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips.

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