Day 7: Canyonlands National Park and Moab

Trip Start Nov 14, 2008
Trip End Nov 23, 2008

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What I did
Poison Spider
Grand View Trail
Buck Canyon Overlook

Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today we got up a bit later since we didn't need to rush off anywhere. Donna had her interview in the morning and we decided to wait around in town for her to return before going to Canyonlands National Park.

Lindsay and I sat around and watched tv and checked our emails for a bit. I went to the Poison Spider Bike Shop to get Eric a hat and a sticker since he mentioned the place and I was going to see him on his birthday. The guys in the shop were really cool and helpful, they even helped me pick out a hat and talked to me about the local rivers since I mentioned that I was a river guide in PA.
A little while later Donna returned from her interview which she said went pretty well. We set off for Canyonlands National Park and decided to go to the Island in the Sky District since it was closer to Moab. The drive took a little over a half an hour from Moab.

We stopped in at the Visitor's Center so I could get some maps of the area and get my passport stamped.Canyonlands National Park is huge and divided into three main sections called the Island in the Sky, the Maze, and the Needles District. I thought Canyonlands looked the most like the Grand Canyon. You could actually see an area where the Green River confluences with the Colorado River.
First we decided to do a hike. We looked at the map and picked the Grand View Trail. The Grand View Trail is an easy 2 mile roundtrip hike on mostly even ground, it takes about an hour to do and takes you all the way to the end of the Island in the Sky mesa and has some wonderful panoramic views. We liked this hike, you could see many canyons and great views. Donna did a few handstands near the White Rim and we took pictures.

Next we drove to the Buck Canyon Overlook which offers so great views of the White Rim Canyon and the trails that used to be used long ago. We took a few pictures here and took out the map and decided to do a hike to Upheaval Dome.
The Upheaval Dome hike is rated easy, over fairly easy trail, is 2 miles roundtrip and takes about 45 minutes. I have to say I was disappointed in the view here. The guide books speculate that this may have been where a meteorite landed but all I saw was something that looked liked a pile of sand. The view wasn't that great and had I known this I would have opted for another hike or going to other viewpoints in the park. We took a few pictures and got back into the car.

Donna and Lindsay decided to do a short hike at Whale Rock. I wasn't feeling well so I decided to hang out and wait for them. The hike at Whale Rock is rated easy, 1 mile roundtrip and has some handrails and steep climbs. When they came back they said the view wasn't really worth is since it looked out over Upheaval Dome, they also said that the rocks were slippery. I took a few pictures while I was waiting for them. It was starting to rain a little and get dark and we were all tired so we decided to call it a day.

When we got back to town we went out to eat at Cassano's Italian Restaurant which is on the main street in town. The place is cute and the service was good. First we ordered a appetizer of bruschetta and it was excellent. I got a calzone and it was also excellent. The food here was great but a bit pricey but the portions were huge so I ended up taking more than half of my calzone back to the hotel with me.We decided to go to the Moab Diner to get some Butterfinger ice-cream for dessert. We ate our ice cream at the hotel while watching tv and packing up since we were leaving town the next morning. 

We decided to head to the Grand Canyon for the next few days.

Things learned on Day 7 out west:

1. Canyonlands National Park website

2. Canyonlands National Park is huge and divided into three main sections called the Island in the Sky, the Maze, and the Needles District. Island in the Sky is closest to Moab.
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