Early morning at Cowboy Camp
We stayed several nights at a BLM camp just outside of Canyonlands National Park. Exiting my tent early one morning,I was greeted by this beautiful morning sky.
View from the Murphy Trail
The first part of Canyonlands National Park that we visited was the Island in the Sky unit. Like Deadhorse State Park,it sits atop a high mesa and trails descend down to the rugged valley floor. One such trail that we hiked here is the Murphy trail. After descending the cliff face via many rugged switchbacks,it leveled out on the desert floor.
Hiker on the Murphy Trail
Pinnacles seen from Murphy Trail
Cyclist on the White Rim road
The Murphy trail ended at the White Rim road---a 100 mile desert road that encircles Canyonlands. Cyclists and Jeep riders use it for 1 or multi day trips. In center of photo,a cyclist can be seen descending a hill on this road.
interesting octagonal rest room at the Murphy Hogback campground. Several such campgrounds dot the White Rim road allowing for multi day journeys along it.
Tired Canyonlands hiker
Photo blurred a bit but it shows Wes relaxing in the warm desert sun. After reaching the end of the Murphy trail,we hiked a short distance along the White Rim road to a mesa at the Murphy Hogback campground. This was our lunch spot on a beautiful early Nov day.
Wes at our lunch spot
Cyclists on White Rim road
while resting at our lunch spot,these cyclists pulled up. They were doing the entire 100 mile White Rim road in a long day`s ride!
Hiking the White Rim road
Hiking back to the Murphy trail along the White Rim road. Next time that we are here,I may do an overnite hike,just have to be careful of rangers as we were "stealth" hiking!
Murphy Trail junction
the trail crosses the desert floor to the distant cliffs then ascends them via switchbacks.
Hiking back along the Murphy trail
Rugged Canyonlands landscape
Looking down from the Murphy trail switchbacks
Sunset from Murphy overlook
about a mile from the park road,the Murphy trail splits,one fork descending to the desert floor and the other leading about another mile out to an overlook. After hiking up the switchbacks,we detoured out to the overlook.
Wes at Murphy overlook
View of the Green River
The Green River flows into the Colorado in Canyonlands.
Grand View point
The main road in Island in the Sky ends at the aptly named Grand View point. A short trail continues on for about 1 mile.
White Rim road from Grand View Point
the curving thin line to the left is the 100 mile White Rim road
Needles from Grand View Point
after our hiking at Island in the Sky,we drove on to the Needles district of Canyonlands. One trail that we hiked here led thru this narrow slot canyon.
Wes and Needles
Macro shot of cryptobiotic soil,a desert ecosystem composed of microscopic organisms.
after our hiking in Canyonlands,we explored an area of BLM land along the Green river known as Mineral Bottom
Hiking a rutted and sandy jeep road beside the Green River at Mineral Bottom. It is called the horsetheif trail.
Adjoining Canyonlands National Park is BLM land along the Green River. A rugged switchback road scarcely more that a lane wide descended the cliffs to the valley floor where we hiked beside the Green River. The area was called Mineral Bottom.
View from Anticline Overlook
A long gravel road departs from US 191 south of Moab,Utah and winds its way up to a spectacular desert overlook. In the distance could be seen Dead Horse State Park where we had been hiking previously.
Morning sunlight Anticline overlook
the winds were really gusting up here on this Nov morning,we had stayed at a BLM camp further back on the gravel road
Cliffs and desert road
from the heights of the overlook can be seen a narrow dirt road snaking its lonely way thru the Utah landscape.
this is the gravel road that led 30 some miles from US 191 to the Anticline Overlook.