Canyonlands – Island in the Sky

Awoken by quite a bit of rain at five o’clock, I was kept awake as it fell for a couple of hours.  Morning riding plans of Porcupine Rim were consequently forgone & we eventually headed north out of Moab to the northern part of Canyonlands NP.  The park is separated in to three distinct areas by the confluence of the Colorado & Green Rivers.  Island in the Sky is the north section – a large mesa that lets you look down on canyons below.  We drove around the twenty-odd miles of road stopping at various view points & doing some small (best part of an hour).

The first area we spent any time was overlooking Upheavel Dome – set in a crater about two miles across, there is still speculation where this came from.  Was it from salt rising up from under the ground or a meteor crashing to earth?  Either way, the green colour was neat to look at.

We then waited around at the viewpoint over the Green River as the mist was taking a while to clear.

I amused myself by looking over the edge of the cliff & the interesting patterns on the floor.

Eventually, the clouds moved enough to shed some light on most of the canyon below. It wasn’t too hard waiting, even in the mist it was one of the best views we’ve had yet (as evidenced by the compulsion to keep taking photos before sitting back & just admiring it all).

A little further down the road, things still looked insanely big.

At the east end of the road, we had good views down to the Colorado & the White Rim Canyon surrounding it (there is a 100 mile 4WD/MTB trail that follows the canyon around – that would be an epic ride).

We took a walk to the end of the point & watched as storm clouds rolled in – on the way back we got decidedley hailed on before getting caught up in another (albeit much closer) impressive thunder & lightning show.

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