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3 Flags - Day 8

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Start Location: Moab, UT
Ending Location: Blanding, UT
Miles Today: 262
Trip Miles: 2275
States Visited: 6
National Parks/Monuments: 7
Low Temp: 70 degrees
High Temp: 87 degrees
Min Elevation: 3975'
Max Elevation: 7150'

Route Map:

We left Moab this morning under clear skies, a bright sun, and a temperature that was already in the 70s and headed for Canyonlands National Park. The roads to the park were very scenic and we reached Canyonlands in no time at all. We stopped first at the visitor center to find out a little bit about the park. The park is divided into 4 sections but only 2 are accessible by paved roads. We entered the Island in the Sky section which is essentaily a huge mesa surrounded by the canyons carved out by the Green and Colorado rivers. Even the roads in the park are incredible. In the park are numerous overlooks with each one more incredible than the next. It's almost impossible to capture with a camera but heres one view, and another, and another. We'll post the others in an album accessible from a link on our home page.

Linda laso found a little friend at one of the overlooks who was kind enough to pose for a picture.

After completing our ride through the park we headed south towards Natural Bridges National Monument. We had driven by the Natural Bridges on a previous trip but it was late in the day and we didn't have time to stop. Although we saw numerous arches yesterday in Arches National Park, we saw this one today just along the side of the road. It was an interesting day with the temperatures constantly fluctuating sometimes as much as 10 or 15 degrees in 10 or 15 minutes depending on the altitude and cloud cover. We drove in and out of overcast skies through the afternoon and got a very small amount of rain but never enough to stop or put on rain gear. Here are two pictures taken just a few minutes apart. First the overcast skies and then clear skies.

We finally reached Natural Bridges and again made a quick stop at the visitor center. The park has three large natural bridges which are located along a nine mile, one way, loop road. The bridges have been given Indian names - Sipapu Bridge, Kachina Bridge, and Owachomo Bridge. It was definitely worth the stop. Finally, on the way out we drove through this canyon that must have been created by blasting out the road.

Tomorrow we head for Colorado and Mesa Verde National Park.