Canyonlands National Park
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Arches National Park was absolutely incredible and luckily enough, right across the street was Canyonlands National Park. Home to "337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah’s high desert," according to the National Park Service (NPS). Knowing that we would only have the morning in Canyonlands before driving 6.5 hours to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, I decided to check out Mesa Arch at sunrise.
Canyonlands is divided up into 4 districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and The Rivers. Mesa Arch is located on Island in the Sky, which is the most visited district in the Park according to the NPS. The pictures that I had seen of Mesa Arch at sunrise, were potentially the most beautiful sunrise pictures I'd seen while searching for sunrise locations in Utah.
The drive up to Mesa Arch was like something out of a movie: Long switchbacks that took us to this major plateau (Island in the Sky) where you could see for miles. The beauty of the landscape was majestic and tranquil. After what I remember being about 45 minutes of driving we arrived at the Mesa Arch trailhead. As Becca continued to sleep I got some warmer clothes on and began the 15-20 minute hike. Mesa Arch was fairly crowded as it was early August, so it always felt like I was dodging someone to get a good shot. I was fortunate to get these pictures, but the best part was that Becca woke up and came out a little later to watch the end of the sunrise! It was an incredible experience that we had together and can't wait to see it again.
Our stop here at Canyonlands was short but sweet. Spending more time in both Bryce Canyon and Canyonlands are my two of my three top priorities when visiting Utah next - my third being snowboarding!
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