We like to take winter trips to Moab to get out of the Colorado snow. We visited the Islands in the Sky district of Canyonlands for the fourth time. We discovered new trails and views, and thoroughly enjoyed the two day trips up here. We stopped by Deadhorse Point State Park on the way in. This is another great place for families and those who can't walk far. Beautiful views. Enjoy the pics.
Follow this link to see Arches National Park, and the other Utah parks we have visited: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, and Grand Staircase.
We arrived at Islands in the Sky our first day, after a quick tour of Arches NP. One of the first views you get is the Shafer Trail, a dirt road that climbs up from the Colorado River 2000 feet up to Islands in the sky. On our last trip, we drove the Shafer Trail in our Volvo Cross Country. There was snow in the shady corners. One of the sketchiest roads I have driven.
We came up to capture a time lapse sunset, and got the great late afternoon light.
It snowed the day before we came, and most of the trails were snow covered.
We could see this storm rising from down in Arches, so we headed to Islands in the Sky in hopes of a sunset.
We perched here at the turnout just before the Grand View Overlook and set up the Go Pro to shoot sunset.
with the last light of dusk
On our last day in Moab, we returned to Islands in the Sky. On the way up, one of the first views is of these two beauties.
We drove up early morning, after another sunrise in Arches NP. The early light splashes against the rock.
Our Norwegian friend Marit, the geologist, calls places like this Geo Porn. Millions of years of sediment exposed.
Our first stop was the State Park on the way out to Islands in the Sky. You look down on the Colorado in Meander Canyon, as it heads towards Canyonlands. We took a raft trip through Canyonlands and Cataract Canyon. We put in here.
We have floated the Colorado here and the Grand Canyon. This is not as crazy a ride as the Grand.
Here we see the Shafer Trail just one level above the Colorado.
You can see the dirt track winding up. If you look closely, you see it skirts around the first Canyon wall, then switchbacks up the next wall through the snow.
Had a nice stone bench at the edge. I propped the camera on a boulder and set the timer.
still can't believe we went up this thing.
There is hardly any current in this section of the river. Most day trips go 25 miles upstream to get some riffles and fast water. The big water comes after the confluence with the Green River in Cataract Canyon.
We came camping out here in March 1973 as part of a ten week trip out west six months after we married.
It is always special to see snow in the canyon and desert country.
The White Rim trail goes off the Shafer Trail and follows the edge of the White Rim.
When we came back into Islands in the Sky, we took the road to the Green River Overlook, since we had gone the other direction our first night.
Across the abyss we could see snow-capped mountains in the distance. We wondered what we were seeing.
Last winter when we visited Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef, we drove through Grand Staircase, up and over the Henry Mountains.
Snowmelt and rainwater run off the Colorado Plateau down through Bryce, Zion, Grand Staircase into the basins of the Colorado and Green River. From there, they drain into the Grand Canyon and head to the see.
We took the short circle hike through the snow to Mesa Arch, which we had not seen on our earlier trips.
This hike is a half mile loop with huge bang for the buck.
Our next hike was the 1.8 mile hike out the narrow peninsula to the White Rim Overlook.
Interesting formations below
Here is our destination, the White Rim Overlook.
The drop off was sketchy, vertigo-inducing.
You can see how the softer rock erodes leaving harder rock exposed on top.