Septembre 1st., Labor Day. We start the day with a breakfast made by our AirBnb host, Larry. We chat about what to see and do today. We leave the house around 9am, we have 40 miles to reach Dead Horse Point: an incredible overlook on top of the mesa, with a view on the canyons of Canyonlands National Park. Breathtaking.
Dead Horse State Point and the Colorado River
En route to Canyonlands!
Island in the sky
We stop first at the visitor center, I buy a few postcards, we ask a ranger what to do. There’s a tiny exhibit about wild animals. Scorpios fascinate me. We are in the northern part of the park, called Island in the Sky: there’s just one road that goes on top of the mesa. It’s a different feeling that at the Grand Canyon, it’s less massive and compact, probably wilder. The same river made this landscape: the Colorado River. I’m surprised to learn that some parts of the park are still uncharted. We walk a bit, the heat is killing me, though usually I like it.
Upheaval Dome: a huge crater.
It seems that the pic was taken from a plane but nope, we took it from a cliff.
There’s a canyon within a canyon and that gives a feeling of great depths.
Each overlook offers a little something more
The road to nowhere
Check the dots: those are SUV
Manu sees on the map a road where 2-wheels car can go. Great. We drive on the mesa for a while, and then the unpaved dusty road falls down a canyon, with many switchbacks. I am scared but I trust Manu… I don’t trust the uneven road and the big rocks on the side. Manu stays focused. We arrive at the bottom of the canyon. There’s only silence. We have 2 options: drive in the middle of the canyon – though the road is really dirty – or go closer to the river. There’s no way we are gonna drive in another canyon. It seems that Manu already forgot the Death Road we just took! So… we head back, very slowly, very carefully. Fortunately we don’t see any other car going down.
I checked online if Mineral Road was really open for cars like ours: not really, it’s supposed to be one of the most dangerous roads in the US!
From the top of Mineral Road, it looks fine…
All right, we made it to the bottom.
Canyonlands was awesome: huge, red wild lands, silence, heat. We didn’t stay long, there’s so much to see in the 2 other parts of the park: The Needles and The Maze. I would like to go back for a week, hike and camp. It seems like it’s an heaven for nature and loneliness.