Springtime in Canyonlands
Canyonlands-a unique land so distinct and beautiful it is unlike any place else on earth! Nowhere else will you find the fantastic, awesome, inspiring red rock formations that are as much a part of this amazing land as the clear blue skies and the crisp, clean air.
Springtime in Canyonlands is a special time. The days begin to warm and the desert comes to life! While there is still snow on the forested mountain peaks, the flowers below in red rock country bloom, splashing color across the face of the land.
Spring run-off and sporadic but heavy spring rains can give away to some of the most spectacular waterfalls you will ever see. Potholes, often times deep with sand, fill with water before gushing over the sides of the steep, red cliffs sending red water tormenting hundreds, sometimes thousands of feet to the valley floor. One of the best places to see these waterfalls is on Highway 128 just north of Moab.
This region offers two national parks Arches and Canyonlands-with rock formations of red and white sandstone and thousands of natural stone arches slowly formed by the wind and water over millions of years; this is the largest gathering of natural stone arches in the world.
Dead Horse Point State Park, similar in appearance to the Grand Canyon, offers overlooks and vistas unsurpassed. Home to this region also, are two alpine studded mountain ranges. With a peak elevation of just under 13,000 feet, the Mantic-La Sal National Forest is the second highest mountain range in Utah.
The variety of recreational opportunities is as diverse as the landscape itself.
You haven’t mountain biked until you’ve biked “The Rock”-slickrock, that is. The Slickrock Bike Trail, situated just a few miles to the east of Moab and administered by the Bureau of Land Management, boasts some of the best mountain biking anywhere.
The 9.6 mile trail offers world-class biking. Located at the trailhead is a 1.7 mile practice loop. The slickrock with its gentle rolling, surface can appear tame, but looks can be deceiving. The loop is suggested for the inexperienced as well as those who may be experienced but unfamiliar with slickrock. Headgear is also recommended.
Another favorite with the locals as well as the visitor is “jeeping” or as some would call it “Four Wheeling.” A large percentage of the population in this area owns some form of four-wheel drive vehicle and there are a number of local businesses which rent four-by-fours from half a day to upwards of several days.
The Canyonlands offers a multitude of four-wheel drive roads. Most have existed for decades, many forged out by miners in the boom days of the 50’s. Whether you are a “Bonsai” four-wheeler or just enjoy getting off the highway and into some of the back country, this is the place to do it!
Orchestrated by members of Moab’s Red Rock Four Wheelers, the annual Easter Jeep Safari brings people from every corner of the globe.
Thousands of people gather each year in the town of Moab to meet new friends, reacquaint themselves with old ones and share an adventure! For an entire week these four-wheel enthusiasts venture out on trails with names like “Chicken Corners,” “Poison Spider Mesa,” “Top of the World,” and the ultimate—” Golden Spike.”
This annual event, led by experienced members of the club, is an excellent way to become familiar with this vast and majestic country.
With its many lakes and streams, hidden canyons and untamed backcountry, this area lends itself well to backpacking and hiking.