Canyonlands – Island in the Sky

While we were in Moab, Utah we visited Canyonlands National Park.  This park is separated into 3 districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles and the Maze.  The districts are separated by the Colorado and Green Rivers.  The Maze is not accessible by vehicle so we didn’t go there, but we did visit the Island in the Sky and the Needles on 2 different days.  The entrance and visitor centers to these 2 districts are not at all close to each other, so it’s not practical to visit them on the same day.

I will add another post about the Needles later, but I will mention that of the 2 districts, we enjoyed Island in the Sky much better!

Our first hike was to Grand View Point.  It reminded me a little bit of the Grand Canyon, on a much smaller scale.










Next we did the Aztec Butte hike.  We found out that Butte is pronounced “byoot”, not the way we had been saying it, lol!  However, even though we now know the correct pronunciation, my kids still like to call it “butt” because they think that is funnier of course. 🙂

It was a steep climb up slickrock.  We met some other hikers along the way that said our kids are like monkeys.  I’m not sure what they meant by that. 😉 Maybe it’s because Jesse was way up ahead of us, climbing like a monkey?


The views from the top were incredible, and it was a great place to stop for a snack break.




My people thought this cave looked like a good place to take a nap.


There were some structures from ancient peoples that lived there a few hundred years ago.



The next hike was on Whale Rock.  This one might have been our favorite.  It is made up of huge mounds of rock that from a distance could resemble a whale.



On top of the whale was the perfect place for a picnic lunch.


Nap time again?  I think I tired my people out with all the hiking while we were in Utah!



After lunch we did the Upheaval Dome hike.  That was definitely the hardest hike of the day.  Maybe it was because we could have stopped at the first overlook, but I insisted we keep going to the second overlook which involved a lot more up and down hill hiking.  By the end of this hike we were all exhausted.





But no matter how tired we were, we couldn’t leave Canyonlands without seeing Mesa Arch.  It was a short hike to a spectacular view!





New Junior Ranger badges!


Stay tuned for another Canyonlands post about the Needles.  Cheers!

Categories: National Parks, Utah | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Canyonlands – Island in the Sky

  1. Isn’t Whale Rock the best? We loved that hike, too! It’s so funny–I think we did the same hikes in reverse order. I’m bummed we missed Aztec Butte, though; it looks like your family had a great time doing that one. I’m looking forward to reading your Needles post! (though I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Island in the Sky more; I’ve always wondered if it was the right decision to choose Island over Needles.) Gorgeous photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You definitely made the right choice. I would tell anyone if you could only go to one of the Canyonlands parks, Island in the Sky is better. I’ll post the one about Needles later tonight probably. Thanks for comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Canyonlands – The Needles | 4 Radical Roadschoolers and a Fat Cat

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