A Heart of Stone
Ultimate Utah, Day 5: Monticello, UT to Blanding, UT
Having visited Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in 2012, we are skipping the Moab area on this trip. However, we couldn't resist checking out the Needles District of Canyonlands, some 75 miles south of the area we saw around Moab. We set out north on US-191 from Monticello this morning and turned west on Utah-211. At the intersection we saw what is known locally as Church Rock.
|What appears to be a small opening at the bottom is actually 16 x 24 feet.|
|Petroglyphs are created by scratching or carving into a rock surface; pictographs are painted onto the rock.|
|Cave Spring Trail|
After planting a Love This Park letterbox just outside the park boundary, we returned to US-191 and drove north a few miles to the turnoff for the Needles Overlook, thinking from the name that we might get a view of the needles formations. Though it is not a part of the park and doesn't overlook the needles, the BLM site offers an excellent vantage point over the canyons of Canyonlands National Park.
WEDNESDAY, 26 APRIL 2017
• Ended in: Blanding, UT
• Miles driven: 208 (total 2,425)
• Weather: 32° to 60°, sunny to partly cloudy
• Letterboxes: Found 2, Planted 1 (total: F10, P4)
• Walked: 4.25 mi (total 20.81)
• Spires: 8,235
• Buttes: 378
• Balanced Rocks: 12
• Mushroom Rocks: 201
• Potholes: 826
• Brave little boys: 1
• Wary old women: 1
Loved: We thought it was an odd name when we saw a reference on the park map for the Wooden Shoe Arch overlook. It all made sense when we saw it, and we had a great laugh.
Lacking: Agility (and courage?) to hike a trail over elevated rocks
Learned: Open range livestock aren't nearly the hazard one would expect. We've driven through many areas with warning signs about unfenced cattle and have seen hundreds roadside. Only rarely do we see any in the road, and those along the shoulder are cautious about oncoming cars. And even though we've all heard about the cow that jumped over the moon, these lumbering beasts aren't as likely to leap in front of a car as deer are.