Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Utah - Arches and Canyonlands

 Arches National Park
Arches is located just outside of Moab, Utah. It has the world's largest concentration of natural stone arches, estimated at  2,000 in this park alone. 
There are a variety of unique geological formations such as the group below known as 'The Three Gossips."

There are many examples of balancing rocks as well as leaning rocks.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands is also close to Moab. It has a colorful landscape that has been eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries. The majority of the park is viewed from on top of the Colorado Plateau. It  has been aptly described as "the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth—there is nothing else like it anywhere" by author Edward Abbey, a frequent visitor. We would have to agree.
The more remote trails and canyon floors can only be reached by hikers, backpackers, 4-wheel-drive vehicles and rafters. Brian took the 100-mile White Rim Road at one time and it took him two days. The road  loops around and below the mesa top.  I just look at the road amazement and wonder. The vehicles far below look like little toys.
The trip usually takes two or three days in 4-wheel-drive vehicles or three to four days by mountain bike.

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