On the road again…one of my favorite things to say. I had a few days to play so I decided to go check out Moab in the snow. First I visited the southern part of the Canyonlands National Park outside Moab, Utah.
Canyonlands National Park is one out of 5 National Parks in Utah and has two entrances, one is a short drive north of Moab and one is about 65 miles south of Moab. Some areas of the park require hiking, boating or high clearance vehicles in order to access. The north entrance is the most popular and is the more scenic drive of the two. However, the southern part of the park is worth the drive as you will pass through a historic site called the Newspaper Rock and Indian Creek. You can also take a side tour and go visit the Needles Overlook.
As you drive to the southern part you will pass “Hole in the Rock” with a Jeep standing on top of it. It’s a cool place to stop and check out. A little further from there you will pass Wilson’s Arch. It’s a short hike from the road, maybe a hundred yards. Just make sure to put on good shoes as you need some traction to get up. The view from Wilson’s Arch is amazing and you have a 360 degree view of its surroundings. The photo that is on my front page is Wilson’s Arch.
As you continue south you will see a sign saying Canyonlands National Park that also say Newspaper Rock. You do feel as if you are driving in the middle of nowhere and it’s easy to wonder if the road is really leading anywhere. Don’t fret. The drive is worth it.
A few miles after Newspaper Rock lays Indian Creek. This is a visual treat even if you are not a climber. Indian Creek is a world famous place for crack climbing. Climbers climb up a tiny vertical crack and has to use hands, fists, feet, knees, finger tips or anything they can in order to get up the crack. Even if you have never climbed you will be amazed at what they can do. Plus its a beautiful area.
After Indian Creek you are only a few miles from the park entrance. Visiting in the winter it’s even more desolate than it is in the summer. There is one campground available and in the winter it’s free. The visitor center may be closed but you can find maps and information outside the entrance. You can also get information at the visitor center in Moab.
The southern part of the park is completely different than the northern and contain longer hikes in order to get to some areas. It’s a beautiful drive but you don’t have the same overlooks as you do in the northern part unless you go to the Needles Overlook.
I can’t wait to go back in the spring, try a few climbing routes at Indian Creek and hike into some of the areas I took photos of. After my morning at the Needles Overlook I headed back to Moab via the La Sal mountains…but that’s for the next post.