Spring Journey – Canyonlands National Park – April 2017 (16)

April 16th is Easter Sunday and as I go for a morning run on the Chisholm Trail at Horsethief Campground, I think about the significance of that and what it has meant to me over the years. Thoughts to ponder.

Morning run on the Chisholm Trail

Clifford suggests taking a day off from his studies and going sight-seeing in nearby Canyonland National Park – Hooray! What a great place to spend Easter Sunday!

Such diversity as we head to Canyonland National Park! Notice snow-capped peaks in the far background

After stopping at the Visitors’ Center for water, we continue on to Grandview Point and hike the trail along the rim. From this vantage point, one can see far into the canyons below and see the rugged outlines of the even deeper channels carved by rivers over eons of time.

Great mesas of Canyonland National Park
Looking down into the river-carved canyons
Along the trail at Grandview Point
Clifford on the trail ahead of me
On the rim trail at Grandview Point

From here we retrace our route and stop at the Orange Cliffs viewpoint for a short hike along the rim here.

Rim trail at Orange Cliffs viewpoint
Life at the Orange Cliffs

Then onto Upheaval Dome. We had a picnic here last October, but I was sick and couldn’t do the hike to view the dome. But today is a great day for it and we hike the half mile or so to the first overview and then continue on upward on a rather sketchy trail to a viewpoint further along the caldera rim. The cause of the dome is not certain, but it is certainly unusual and scenic.

Kiosk at Upheaval Dome
Overview of Upheaval Dome from the trail
Close-up of the unusual formation in the center of the dome
Cairns are essential to find one’s way on these “trails”
The rather sketchy trail ahead of me – Clifford is up there somewhere
Carol and Clifford together at a windy highpoint
In this stark landscape, the bright rich color of Indian Paintbrush is especially enchanting

Upon our return to the parking/picnic area, we are fortunate to find an available picnic table for our lunch. After we enjoy a little repast, we drive back to our campsite, but since this is such a good day to explore, we head out again.  We drive to Mineral Bottom Road, which somewhat parallels the Mineral Point Road that we explored a few days ago. This road appears to go all the way to the Colorado River, and although we don’t go out that far, we go far enough to see some new country and find ourselves, once again, on roads that are nothing but jeep trails in the wilderness.

This is NOT the sketchy part of the drive – LOL
Seeing new country

Back at camp, while Clifford naps, I make a campfire and enjoy the last moments of a day spent in nature, appreciating the beauty and diversity that surrounds us.

A campfire in the evening finishes out this special day

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