Canyonlands National Park
If you are planning a visit to the state of Utah, then it may be worthwhile to consider visiting Canyonlands National Park. This park is located in the southeastern region of the state, and is known for its dramatic desert landscape. The park is carved by the Colorado River, and is home to many interesting sights. These include Cataract Canyon, Horseshoe Canyon, and the Maze district.
Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park is a wonderful place to visit. It is the home of petroglyphs and pictographs, and is considered one of the best prehistoric rock art sites in the United States.
The canyon has been occupied by Paleo-Indians from 7,000 to 9,000 years ago. Later, the Ancestral Pueblo people and the Fremont culture inhabited the area. However, by 1300 CE, the area was abandoned.
The rock art of Horseshoe Canyon includes some of the oldest and most intact examples of Native American art in the country. The largest collection of rock art in the world is found in this canyon.
The canyon is home to dozens of pictographs. These ancient paintings were painted by people standing on narrow ledges. Some of these designs are extremely intricate. This makes them vulnerable to erosion.
The best time to visit Horseshoe Canyon is in the spring or fall. Summer months can be very hot, with temperatures often reaching 100 degrees.
Cataract Canyon is located in Canyonlands National Park. Its walls rise to heights of about 1200 feet. This canyon is known for its spectacular red rock walls.
The canyon is a popular destination for whitewater rafting trips. There are many different outfitters that offer trips in the canyon. These trips vary in length.
Depending on the season, water levels may vary significantly. In mid-June, the water level is typically highest. From July through October, the water levels drop. This results in an easier time running rapids, and it also allows for camping in secluded areas.
During the high water season, Cataract offers big waves. In fact, the waves are the largest in North America.
Although the canyon is known for its powerful rapids, there are plenty of calm stretches to take in the scenery. Whether you choose to do a full-day or multi-day trip, you’ll get to see it all.
When choosing a trip, make sure to factor in your age. Children under 7 are not allowed to participate in most trips. However, there are some professional guides that accept children.
The Maze district of Canyonlands National Park is the most remote section of the park. It’s a wilderness of canyons and rock formations. You’ll need a high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle to get here, and you’ll need to plan for a long trip if you want to explore the area.
Backcountry camping in the Maze is restricted to the spring and fall months. To get there, you’ll need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle, a backcountry permit, a good map, and some knowledge of navigation.
The Maze is a thirty-square-mile puzzle of sandstone. Originally a hunting ground for elk and deer, the area was once known as “Under the Ledge” and was not thought to be a tourist destination. Before the 1950s, no roads existed in the area. Ranchers would drive to Flint Flat and descend into the canyons on horseback.
There are a few trails in the Maze, including the Maze Overlook trail, which is a 6-mile round-trip hike. This route has some steep sections, but it’s a popular choice. Several other options are available, such as the Doll House trail, which is less technical.
White Rim Road
The 100-mile-long White Rim Road is a scenic drive in the Canyonlands National Park. It is also a popular road for Overlanding. This is an adventure that requires off-roading skills and a support vehicle.
It is best to travel in the spring and fall months. If you plan on doing an overnight trip, make sure you have a permit. You can find out more at the visitor center.
In addition to the road, there are many hiking trails. Depending on the time of year, you can enjoy views of the Green River and Colorado River. For the best photos, you may want to drive around the canyon.
If you plan to do an overnight trip, you will need to apply for a backcountry permit. Towing bills out of the park can exceed $1,000. Make sure you leave your pets at home.
Although the road is mostly mellow, there are some steep parts. You will need to be physically fit and knowledgeable to minimize safety issues.