Canyonlands National Park

Day One Hundred and Fifty Four. And Day 11 of our Epic Cross Country Road Trip! Canyonlands National Park is an extremely underrated park. Being completely honest, I hadn't even heard of it until I started planning this trip. But, being directly across the road from Arches National Park, it afforded us a luxury we had yet to experience on this road trip: staying in the same hotel two nights in a row! According to all of the guide books, you're supposed to be at Mesa Arch at sunrise. Well, neither of us particularly enjoyed the view of Bryce Canyon at sunrise, so we decided we weren't going to enjoy the view of Mesa Arch at sunrise either. Would I have been able to get a better shot at sunrise? Probably not. What the guide books don't mention, but is immediately obvious after looking at just a few of the many pictures of Mesa Arch at sunrise, is that you need to be there at sunrise in the summer. The classic shot of light beams streaming through the rock formation framed by the left side of the arch requires the sun to be north of the park. Seeing as how it's November and the Earth's orientation has the sun rising south of the park, nothing was missed by not being at the arch for sunrise. That aside, this park is stunning. Its vastness rivals that of the Grand Canyon. I wish we had a four wheel drive vehicle and several months to explore its outer reaches. Also, I'd like to thank Mother Nature for providing some nice cloud cover at sunset :)

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