If you’d never been to the Grand Canyon, and you accidentally turned up at Canyonlands National Park by mistake, you’d probably think you just saw the real deal.
In many ways, what you see at Canyonlands is exactly the kind of experience you anticipate before a visit to the Grand Canyon: sweeping vistas, elaborately carved canyons, layered eroding rock. Rangers say many people are surprised to visit Canyonlands and actually like it better than the Grand Canyon. You can clearly see the far side, the river is evident from many vantage points (something that’s hard to do at the GC), it’s much smaller so you can get your head around it in a day. And the place is a LOT LESS crowded.
Like the Grand Canyon, views are best from up on the rim looking down, so most visitors spend their days driving from point to point, doing short little overlook hikes. But it’s possible to do long multi-day bike and 4X4 trails within the canyon.
One of the best vantage points isn’t even in the park itself but from Dead Horse Point State Park which overlooks a portion of the park. It’s an ideal spot for sunrise or sunset and it’s historic because it’s where Thelma and Louise drove over the cliff at the end of their movie.
Enjoy today’s five (OK six) favorites from our recent Utah trip!