Just how old is the artwork in the "Great Gallery" of Canyonlands National Park? It's a question that long has dogged archaeologists, and which recently produced a new, much more recent, time period assigned to it.
Geology factors into many units of the National Park System, but there are some parks that rise above all others if you have an interest in the geologic past...and present. What follows is a short list of some of the most geologically fascinating parks in the system, though we're sure you can add others.
If you and your dog are inseparable, don't let the National Park System's pet rules stop you from taking a dog-centric vacation to our national treasures. A growing assortment of pet sitters, upscale boarding facilities and dog-friendly people hotels are making it possible for pets and humans to have unforgettable adventures in and around popular national parks.
For mind-blowing scenery, vast vistas of eroded stone, and rugged topography, Utah is the place. The Beehive State is home to five national parks (Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Zion) and five national monuments (Cedar Breaks, Grand Staircase-Escalante (managed by the BLM), Rainbow Bridge, Natural Bridges, and Hovenweep) for good reason. It’s the greatest earth on show.
Canyonlands National Park is divided by the Green and Colorado Rivers into three distinct districts. Needles, Island in the Sky, and the Maze. There are no roads connecting them because the rivers and some very deep ditches are in the way. Island in the Sky is about a two-hour drive north of the Needles. The Maze is another matter. It can be reached only via a very long and circuitous route.
It’s hot here. Welcome to the beginning of summer in the Southwest. Two days ago it was raining and near freezing and I was complaining about it at Mesa Verde and now it’s sweat time. But those rains have turned the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park into a veritable flower garden. Everywhere I look there are blooms.
Summer can pose a difficult problem for national park travelers: Where do you go and what should you do? Traveler’s Facebook audience had some great ideas for family hikes in the parks, and we’re happy to share them with you.
If you're planning to mountain bike the White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park in July, know that a short stretch of the road will be closed for a few days to all travelers.
Though remotely located in the mountains of northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument goes through days when the air quality is almost as bad as you'd find in major metropolitan areas.