Down the Colorado River to Canyonlands
On the way to Arizona, my daughter and I took numerous detours to take in the sights as she has never been in this part of the country. In Utah, we took the road from Cisco to Moab, down the Colorado River before it enters Canyonlands. This view of the La Salle Mountains in the distance, framed by the red buttes and rock towers is a stunning one and though I've taken pictures of it before, I couldn't resist another one.
Near Moab, the rock walls tower over the road. The river was the color of chocolate milk on this day.
We decided to take a side trip to see Newspaper Rock. What a stunning site to see the variety and number of petroglyphs on this large slab of rock!
Deciding that we were too close not to take advantage of the opportunity to see part of Canyonlands National Park while we were there, we headed on down the road. What a beautiful drive it was!
We really had little idea what to expect of the Needles Area of Canyonlands. The view from the entrance sign was gorgeous!
After a stop at the visitor center, we drove to the end of the road where the rock piles up in strange formations. So different from what I've seen in other areas of the southwest.
We took a short hike through an area known as the Potholes. Here the rock is pitted and in places the water lingers in shallow pools. Some of the potholes have accumulated soil and plants forming Pothole Gardens.
This large pothole near the edge of the escarpment had water plants growing in it. The potholes can support various forms of animal life including tadpoles and little brine shrimp!
As we headed back towards the car, the trail led through these large rounded rock formations. Some of them reminded us of flying saucers, while others made of think of mushrooms and Smurf houses!
As we prepared to leave the park, we spotted this squirrel standing sentinel on top of the rocks. At first he was so still, he appeared to be a statue, but then he flicked his tail, turned his head and wiggled his paws. We watched him for a while and then drove on. A little further down the road we saw another squirrel in a similar pose on a different mound of rocks!