Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grand View Point

Canyonlands is one of two national parks that are near Moab, Utah. The closest to town, the more famous, and the much more highly visited is Arches National Park. I say let the crowds go to Arches, as I think Canyonlands is by far the better park.

Don't get me wrong, Arches is neat, but Canyonlands is incredible.

When I got to the Moab area last month I hightailed it to the Island in the Sky unit of Canyonlands and set up my tent in the Willow Flat Campground there. That gave me a base that was within 6 miles of several amazing sights and locations I wanted to photograph. None of which was more high on my list than Grand View Point.

This is an amazing place at the very tip of the mesa that makes up Island in the Sky. It overlooks the canyons where the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers meet (although you cannot actually see that).

The view from the tip is some 270 degrees. It takes in both the canyons of the Colorado River as well as the canyons along the Green River. There is a view to the distant Henry Mountains in the west, the Abajo Mountains in the south, and the La Sal Mountains to the east. It is a location good at both sunrise and sunset. In ten sunrises and sunsets in Canyonlands, I was here six times.

It is that good!
Here are a few images to give you an idea of what the view is like. All three of these are sunsets, although they are on different days.

The top view if from the very tip of the Island overlooking Junction Butte at sunset. This was the sunset I got the day I arrived in the park. Leaving Tucumcari at 3:30am paid off!!

The middle image is the view east over the Colorado River Canyons and what is known as Monument Basin.

The bottom image is the view west over the Green River.

Each direction offers something different and I could not wait for more!!

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