Friday, April 05, 2013

Canyonlands - The Day the Weather Came In

Our first trip into Canyonlands National Park was a little bit reconnaissance mixed with some hiking.  We stopped at the park visitor center and picked up our five day park pass for $10.  While there we asked a few questions and then decided what we would do next.

Newspaper Rock
The paved part of the park leads you to several short hiking trails and it also acts as the jumping off place for a large number of longer canyon hikes. We chose to stay close and drove to a trail called Slickrock.  This 2.6 mile hike led you in a circle following the edge of the canyon rim.  It was a nice hike and we had a great time exploring.
After that we went to an area called The Pot Holes and hike around it.  The draw of the Pot Holes area are the rock divots that collect water.  When they are full a special type of pink shrimp hatches from the dirt in the bottom.  The Ranger at the park headquarters was very excited when she talked to us about these shrimp.  She said she thought that the pot holes still had water, but when we arrived we found that all the water was evaporated leaving the pot holes muddy.  We found no shrimp so we had to change our lunch plans back to sandwiches.

From The Pot Holes we drove to a short hike called the Cowboy Cabin loop.  It lead us past an area that has old items left when cowboys used the area for camping.  There were some pictographs on the rock faces and the trail led us up two wood ladders as we hiked.  It was a nice hike and was located in some real cool rock formations.  As we hiked we looked out to the southwest and noticed that the weather was changing and we could see snow clouds moving quickly into the Canyonlands region.

She has just about got it!
As the weather turned we headed out of the park and drove south to Monticello to fill up the Jeep with gas.  The storm moved in and at one point we were driving in a complete whiteout.

We filled the Jeep and headed back to camp.  On the way back everything was back to normal, the sun was out and the snow was gone.  You gotta love spring weather no matter where you are. 

Along the Pot Holes Trail.

Cowboy Cabin Trail.


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