Canyonlands National Park was quite a site- unexpected, undervisited and, I suspect, underrated. I loved it. The Grand Canyon is a distant memory, as I last visited when I was a wee lass of 9 years old. But it is my great suspicion that this park is, in many ways, grander. Why? Because there were so many fewer people and the beauty was similarly spectacular.
At the Island in the Sky district which we visited in the morning of our second day in Moab, we enjoyed views of the canyons from above. There are 2 rivers- the Colorado and the Green- that meet up to form a larger version of the Colorado. These rivers along with the wind have sculpted unreal scenery. We could see layers of and etchings in the rocks. My favorite were the buttes which seem to come out of nowhere and reach far into the sky. I suspect that at some point in our future we will take one of the 4 by 4 tours that goes along the White Rim Road in the depths of the canyons.
On our way out of Moab heading towards Monument Valley, we visited the more distant and, in my opinion, even more rewarding, Needles District of Canyonlands. The drive to the park was lovely. This portion of the park allows you to view the canyons from within. We started our visit with a brief hike that was as fun as it was pretty. It entailed walking below an overhang, viewing petroglyphs, climbing up two ladders, and walking along the top of slickrock formations. From the top of the formation, we could see the needles structures in the distance and all of the canyon valley. Later, we had lunch in the most unique place. We sat on these very beautiful mushroom rocks and all around us there were more of them. We were the only ones there. It was so quiet and peaceful, a perfect end to this journey.