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Travel Journal (7/13/2020): Exploring Canyonlands National Park

Aside from summiting my first fourteeners, the thing I was looking the most forward to on this trip was to visit Canyonlands National Park and get another shot at photographing the iconic Mesa Arch at sunrise. I had visited Canyonlands a few times in the past, but the weather, my schedule, and other circumstances had prevented me from being able to get the sunrise shots that I wanted.

The good news is, the stars aligned on this trip and I was finally able to get the sunrise shots at Mesa Arch that I wanted. The experience of being able to witness the sun rise at that viewpoint and capture it with a crowd of other like-minded national parks enthusiasts and photographers was amazing.

I also got to explore the famed Dead Horse Canyon State Park, which sits just outside the entrance of the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. I have long wanted to visit this park, but haven’t had the opportunity in the past. It is a breathtaking park that is a must-see if you are in the Moab area and have the time.

The Day’s Itinerary

If you would like a detailed look at my day’s itinerary, I have included a link to my itinerary below for you to review.

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2020 National Parks Trip – Day 6 Itinerary

Dead Horse Canyon State Park

It is really difficult to fully describe the beauty of Dead Horse Canyon State Park. The canyon is every bit as beautiful as the canyons you see in Canyonlands National Park. If you have a annual or lifetime pass to the US national parks, you won’t be able to use them as it is a state park. However, the $20/private vehicle fee is well worth the beauty of this park.

Canyonlands National Park

What can I say about the beauty of Canyonlands National Park. The beauty is out of this world. I had spent quite a bit of time hiking and exploring the Needles district in the past, but both weather and travel schedule had prevented me from spending a lot of time in the Island in the Sky district of the park. Thankfully things worked out this trip and I was able to put aside enough time to do so hiking and exploration in this beautiful section of the park. It was 106 degrees during the day, but we didn’t let that deter us.

As you can see above, I was also able to finally get my sunrise shots at Mesa Arch. I have been wanting to get these pictures for years and cannot tell you how good it feels to finally get them. The only thing left for me to do at Canyonlands is some overnight, back-country hikes in the Maze district of the park. That will have to wait until next time.

Photo Highlights

If you would like to see some of the other photographs that I took at Canyonlands National Park, I have included a number of the photographs I took with my phone below. I will be adding some of the photographs I took with my camera to my Canyonlands National Park guide in the coming weeks.

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