Canyonlands National Park
While Arches National Park is the most notable natural landscape, Canyonlands National Park has some scenic panoramas that are worth looking at. It’s located about 30 minutes west of Arches. It’s also located about 10-15 minutes from Dead Horse Point State Park.
There are a few lookout points and trails in Canyonlands but the Mesa Arch, Grand View Lookout, and the Shafer Trail Lookout hold some of the best views. There are also hiking trails at each spot that is worth doing. The Grand View Lookout trail is marked by cairns and stone steps but is not barricaded by any fence or wall except for at the beginning of the trail- so proceed at your own risk. Depending on how much time you want to spend there, It’s a quick walk and can easily be completed in about 5 or 10 minutes. The Mesa Arch takes about 15 minutes to walk to from the trailhead at the parking lot. There are uneven natural steps and a few hills. There is a stone wall barrier to one side of the arch but it is still prudent to use caution near the arch. The Shafer Trail Lookout is just across the street from the visitor’s center but the trailhead is just a few miles north. It’s just off the White Rim Road. If you’re up for an adventure, the White Rim Road loop is definitely that! Be advised that it’s a long loop (100 miles long) with steep sections and take days to complete. It’s usually a challenge taken on by mountain bikers or those with a four-wheel drive. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, check out their website for further fees and regulations.
The visitor’s center is really pretty small with a few exhibits explaining the landscape. The restrooms are clean with multiple stalls and actual toilets. The rest of the park has pit toilets. The staff is friendly.
There are a few picnic sites and some campsites depending on where you want to stay. The sites cost about $15-$20. Check the website for camping regulations or booking a site.
It is beneficial for you to have a national parks pass. Without it, you’re going to spend $25 for a 7-day pass. Honestly, you could drive through the park and do those couple of hikes in about 2 hours or less. So, get the parks pass and enjoy getting into all of the national parks.
For more information on Canyonlands National Park, check out their website at http://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm.