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.
With bears present in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, backcountry travelers heading into the district will need to use bear canisters to store their food and garbage.
It’s just two days on the river, but the section of the Colorado River that flows through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park is one of the best not only in the West but in the entire country for whitewater aficionados and admirers of spectacular red rock scenery.
The National Parks Conservation Association is urging Congress to repay those states that made it possible for a handful of national parks to open for business during last October's shutdown.