Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 22, 2010 - Moab & Canyonlands National Park - Needles District (Utah)

We got a leisurely start on Saturday and left the RV about 10am to drive the 74 miles Southwest to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.  It took us about an hour and a half to get there.  On our way there, we passed the Newspaper Rock State Historical Monument (click on the name for more info).  It was an amazing collection of petroglyphs just right off the road into Canyonlands' Needles District.

Don't forget you can click on this photo (or any other photo) to get a larger view of it to actually read the sign.
Would you look at how many toes they had back then???  ha ha!!!

We then continued the drive into the Needles District at Canyonlands National Park.  The park itself is divided into three districts, Island in the Sky (all of our previous visits), Needles (today's visit) and the Maze (no roads available into this district so we won't see it this trip) by the Colorado and Green rivers.  We stopped by the visitors center for a short film and then on to have a picnic lunch at the picnic area near Pothole Point.  After lunch, we drove a short distance to the Slickrock Trail and hiked the 2.4 mile loop all over slickrock.  It took us to several viewpoints and was a really neat trail with it constantly going up and down over the slickrock.  I think I should mention that it has been incredibly windy here with winds gusting to around 50 mph.  We were glad the wind was out our faces instead of our backs as we viewed out over the overlooks!  We were still struggling to stand upright at times though...

We then drove back along the main park road to do the short .6 mile walk around Pothole Point.  Needless to say, we haven't had any rain since we've been here so this hike is better left for when there is actually water in the potholes.  Off we went to explore the .6 mile Cave Spring trail.  This one was really neat due to the cowboy artifacts left behind in one of the alcoves.  A couple of small ladders and we climbed to the top of the hill for a great 360' view of the area.  Our last stop in the park was to do a very short .3 mile walk to the Roadside Ruin.  It is a very intact grainary located in a cliff.  Its estimated date is again 1200 AD. 

We made the 1.5 hour trip back to Moab and had a nice quiet dinner at the RV.

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