The best of Moab: Canyonlands National Park

Those who have been around for most of my America posts the past couple of months may have already noticed that the Moab area has so much to offer when it comes to beautiful nature. I’ve already told you my experience at Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park, but aside from those two already amazing parks, there is another park in Moab that is just begging to be discovered; Canyonlands National Park.

They always say to keep the best for last, so that’s what I’ve done here. While the other two parks are beautiful, this park has most to offer in my opinion. It has views, hikes and just stunning places to see. It was one of those parks of which I didn’t expect a lot, but that totally exceeded my expectations!

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Canyonlands National Park is a really big park with three different areas; the Island in the Sky, the Needles and the Maze. All areas are pretty far apart so unless you have a lot ot time, you’ll have to choose.

On our drive to Moab, we already took a turn off the Highway 191 onto Highway 133 to go see the Needles Overlook.That’s the only view we were able to do of the Needles, but it’s definitely worth the detour. The view is spectacular. Sadly for us the weather was getting stormy at the time, so the pictures don’t really do it justice.

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Then we drove on to the one part of the park we were going to explore a bit more; Island in the sky. This is the most accessible part of the park, which is also why we choose that instead of the others. It has a scenic drive, lovely hikes and great views.

After our visit to the Visitor Center (which is always our first stop), we started the 34-mile scenic drive through the area. That route brings you to all the beautiful places and heads of the trails, but the drive itself also offers beauty.

The first hike we tackled was the hike to Mesa Arch. This only takes half an hour for little less than a kilometer and the view is just mindblowing. You get the lovely arch and then through the arch you can see an amazing wide view. It was one of my favorite views of our trip.

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We had only planned to do one hike in Canyonlands but since this park ended up exceeding all expectations, we decided to squeeze in another one; Upheaval Dome. This trail is a bit heavier, but we only went up to the first viewpoint. This takes about 30 minutes and is about 1,5 kilometers. It’s a pretty intriguing view so it was an amazing surprise.

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And then we finished the rest of the scenic drive to what seemed a very promising view point: Grand View Point. And it truly was grand! There is also a three kilometer trail starting from there, but since we had already done the Upheaval Dome extra we didn’t really have time for an extra one. Luckily the view was already more than worth it to drive all the way to the end of the scenic route.

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What. a. truly. magnificent. park. I really wish we had had more time for Canyonlands as it turned out a lot more interesting than we expected. It was definitely my favorite of the Moab area!

Canyonlands National Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. Entrance is included in the America the Beautiful pass.

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