Canyonlands NP

Tuesday September 8, 2020

I woke up to rain hitting the roof this morning. Current temperature is in the upper 60’s which is the high for the day. Once the rain stopped for a short while I took Berkley out for his walk and I think the temp had already dropped 20 degrees. It was windy, cold and sprinkling off and on.

I pulled out of the paid campground at 11am. It was 45 degrees. It was about 85 this same time yesterday and it is snowing in areas about 1.5 hours from here. What an incredible difference.

The drive from Moab to Canyonlands was very scenic. I would’ve loved to be a passenger rather than the driver. There was just so much to see. I stopped at three scenic view areas to take pictures. I love storms and the combination of the dark clouds and stunning views had me all happy.

Once I got to Canyonlands NP it was really raining with a little hail missed in, super cold and just plain old nasty out. I decided not to do any exploring today and just went to the campground. I put some warm comfy clothes on and just tried to stay warm the rest of the afternoon.

Wednesday September 9, 2020

Berkley laying in front of the heater.

I woke up to temperatures in the upper 30’s and a very chilly 42 degrees in the van. It is windy and gray outside. Dosen’t look like it is going to be a nice day.

I start the day with a hot chocolate and turn the heat on. It is hard to believe that just a few days ago it was over 100 degrees.

I head into the park again to see if I can see any of the views. I stop at the Shafer Canyon Road overlook. It is a 18 mile thrilling scary off road driving experience, that I decided not to attempt in the van. A different vehicle maybe, the van definitely not. I watch from high above, on the canyon wall, as a couple of vehicles descend a portion of the steep downhill switchbacks. They are proceeding very slowly. It is hard to see in the picture just how steep it is and the sheer drop offs. The wind is blowing and it is to cold for me to watch for long. So I head back to the van, thinking whoah that looks insane.

I proceed over to the Green River overlook. It has started to rain again. I wait in the van hoping it will stop soon, but it continues. Now there is snow mixed in with the rain. Everyone else seems to be just trudging through it, what the hell, why not join the rest of the crazies. I head out to the overlook which is just a short walk through the rain/snow. The fog is thick here and you can’t see the Green River far below. What am I thinking? It is nasty out and I get pretty wet. I look like a Florida girl. I have 4 layers on up top, two on the bottom, plus a buff and hat on. While one guy exits his vehicle in SHORTS!

I continue on like the rest of the tourists. Next stop is a short hike to Upheaval Dome. The cause of this abnormality is not know for sure. It is thought to be a large impact crater that later had rock erupting from the bottom.

It starts to rain on my way to Grand View Point Canyon overlook and trail. It is pretty nasty out. I make some lunch and just watch the rain and fog. I decide to lay down in the back and take a nap. When I wake up the rain has stopped, but the fog is still here. Oh well, I’ll make the best of it and head for the trailhead. The fog moves in and out and I do take some pictures, but again the Green River can’t be seen.

I hike most of the 3.5 miles, but decide to turn back before reaching the end. I can see some dark clouds and don’t want to get rained on.

I call it quits for the day. I decide to see if there are any spots in the first come first serve campground. I get the last spot for $15. There are no amenities except a pit toilet.

Thursday September 10, 2020

Sunrise is pretty this morning. It looks like it is going to be a much better day.

I wasn’t going to spend today in the park, but since I didn’t get to see Mesa Arch yesterday it is on today’s agenda. It am so glad I didn’t go yesterday. This is one site you want to see with the sunrise. I didn’t make sunrise, but I think having the sun lower in the sky makes an impressive view.

This arch is right on the edge of a cliff. There is nothing behind it except for a nasty first step.

7 thoughts on “Canyonlands NP

  1. You are Southeast of me. Currently in a Walmart parking lot in Boise preparing for my work day.
    Is the smoke reaching you? It’s been crazy smoky from the panhandle all the way south in Idaho.

    I highly recommend 95S between Winchester, ID and down into Riggins, ID. Runs alongside the Salmon River, and is some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve experienced. Some grades as you descend into Hell’s Canyon Rec area, but plenty of spots to pull over at the end and take deep breaths, lol. Safe travels. I hope to get time when I’m finished driving to write and post about the bus and our maiden journey into Hope, ID.


    1. Hope all is well with the bus. I am currently trying to get rid of mice. They woke up at 4:30 this morning. They have been such a pain this trip. It is the only time I have ever had a problem with them. I am in Utah now and there is only a smoke hase wayoff in the distance. I have been lucky and only had a few smokey days.


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