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Thursday September 15- Canyonlands National Park


We were out the door by 8:30, ran in to Moab for the USA Today, then went west to Canyonlands National Park. It was a scenic 30 mile drive to the north park entrance at ‘Island in the Sky’. 001-1

Our first stop was at the Visitor Center where we stamped our National Park Passport.

Our second stop was at the Shafer Overlook.


Not only does this overlook Shafer Canyon, it also overlooks the White Rim Road. You can see the road in the pictures and we saw this road all over the park. 003-1





Shafer Canyon was named for a rancher who used this road and canyon to ‘winter’ his livestock in the canyons. This area was also heavily mined for Uranium prior to the park becoming a part of the National Park System in 1964.

We continued through Grays Pasture, which was grazing land surrounded by canyons to the east and west. We stopped at Mesa Arch and hiked out to look at this arch. 008-1

We turned right to go to the Green River Overlook. 011-1


Then continued on to the end of the road at Upheaval Dome. We hiked up to the top of the dome, over some very rough terrain. There are two theories of how the dome was created. One is that it was a salt dome that collapsed. The second is that millions of years ago a meteor hit the ground at this spot. The done is 2 miles wide and 3/4 of a mile deep. The geology is not the same as the rest of the canyons, sparking the scientist interest in how it was formed. We ate our picnic  lunch in the Upheaval Dome picnic area. 015-1

We had to backtrack to the main road and continued farther into the park. We stopped at Buck Canyon Overlook and hiked out to look at the canyon, 019-1



then continued on to the Orange Cliffs overlook. 023-1

We completed our tour at the Grand View Point Overlook.




This completed our tour, and we turned around and headed back out of the park. We drove back to Rt. 191 and headed south, through Moab. We drove 4 miles south of town and turned left onto Golf Course Road, taking us to the Golf Course Rock Art. The art is in a sub-division of pretty nice homes. These are Petroglyphs. A Petroglyph is a motif that is pecked, ground, incised, abraded or scratched on the rock surface. The brochure states that the art is between 5500 BC and 500 AD.




This first place is from the formative period, 1 AD to 1275 AD. the panel runs from ground level up to approximately 30 feet on the high rock wall. Designs cover an area about 90 feet wide. There are human figures including the ‘Moab” man, elks, canines, and bighorn sheep. There is also what is called a reindeer and sled on the right side. 

We returned to Rt. 191, and headed north, back to Moab. We turned left at the Mickey D’s, and stopped in to use the facilities. We also bought ice cream cones! Then we headed Kane Creek Blvd. to Moon Flower Canyon where we were able to see more art, this time from both the Archaic ( 5500 BC to 1 AD) and the Formative Period ( AD 1- AD 1275) . 035-1



This was sits behind a “tall protective fence” Huh? It was a little wooden fence that came up to my waist.  this little guy was sitting on the fence. 043-1

Anyway, this is one of the most vandalized sites. We had to look closely to see the petroglyphs vs the graffiti.



We continued down the road 1.2 miles to a big rock. We could not find these petroglyphs, so we continued on to the next site. We searched and searched, but could not find the rock that was listed in the brochure. So we turned around and headed back .This time we could see the second site, as it was facing the direction that we were traveling.



We were driving along Colorado River at this point, and it was pretty muddy!

We returned to the motor home, and happy dogs. It was supposed to have rained today, but it didn’t. We woke up this morning to 60 degrees, and it was 58-60 most of the day, and cloudy. We finally, at 5 PM hit a high of 72 degrees in the sun. 

We decided to go out to dinner. We went to a Mexican place called La Hacienda. Bob’s tamales were good, but my Chili Relleno was mediocre. After dinner we walked walked along the shops downtown. Nothing that really interested us. 

One Response

  1. Where are you guys camping at?

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