Canyonlands National Park, Utah
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Green River Overlook, Canyonlands

 

Photo by National Park Service

Canyonlands may be the lesser known of the Canyon Country parks but it is no less spectacular and it has far fewer visitors. But be forewarned, the grandeur of this U.S. National Park is difficult to ascertain on a whirlwind tour. Not only is Canyonlands the largest park in Utah much of it is remote and difficult to reach. What's more, at Canyonlands, no two views are the same. Lofty overlooks at Island in the Sky give way to varying panoramas. Canyons, spires and fins as well as the snaking, green-blue rivers roughly 2,000 feet below take on a different light at each bend in the trail. Upheaval dome, a favorite with the kids, is otherworldly whether it was created by a meteorite or underlying salt bed. The Maze, the most remote of the three districts at Canyonlands National Park, is a 30-square-mile sandstone puzzle of oddly shaped monoliths. The Needles with its red and white-banded pinnacles is an enormous rock garden intermittent with grassy green meadows. Cataract Canyon, as the raging rapids below the Confluence are known, offers a ground floor view not to mention a world-class stretch of white water. So when you plan your trip to Cayonlands with kids remember to slow down, take your time and discover. This is one of the last remnants of wild America after all.

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Canyonlands National Park

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