The Canyonlands National Park is the preferred destination for not just hikers and backpackers but also for mountain bikers and four wheelers. One of the several reasons why everyone loves this national park is the diverse and stunning topography of the land.
Understanding the Lay of the Land
The Canyonlands National Park extends over more than 527 square miles. It is essentially divided into four separate zones. This includes the dramatic Island in the Sky, the wild and rugged Maze, the Needles and the rivers Colorado and Green. Each district is unique and holds a special appeal. Whether you are looking for the adrenaline rush of white water rafting or prefer to discover the ancient and revered lands of the ancestral Pueblo people, you will find plenty to do here.
The Island in the Sky and the Needles districts offers hikers and backpackers many different trails. The terrain is both a challenge as well as pleasure to explore. It is important that you come well prepared and carry backpacking packs that are appropriate for the hike you have in mind. Do choose hiking clothing that is appropriate for the season and is comfortable and well fitting. Do not forget your survival paracord bracelet at home. The versatile bracelet is the most convenient and stylish emergency gear that you can invest in and offers multiple use. It is useful to mountain bikers, hikers, backpackers and kayakers alike.
A Thousand Stars for You
Sleeping under the stars with no artificial lights to disturb your view is one of the top reasons why people like to go to the Canyonlands. Being surrounded by the wide expanse of land around you and the sky above is a thrilling experience. Head to the Maze or the Needles district for unforgettable views. You will go home with memories for a lifetime. Do go well prepared as the closest convenience or hiking store will be far away. Make sure you have adequate hiking gear and your survival bracelet is on your wrist.
To explore the Park off the beaten track you could opt for a raft, canoe or a kayak. The solitude and startling natural beauty that you will witness is indescribable. You could choose a day long rafting trip with one of the many companies that offer resources and river guides.
Or you may prefer a self-guided river journey. Do ensure that you do adequate research before you plan your trip and also use a backpack that is right for you and the activity you have in mind. You could do a half day or a day long trip, though most rafters and kayakers would recommend that you spend several days on the Green and Colorado rivers.
Not Just One of the Crowd
Every year more than 500,000 visitors to the national park enjoy resplendent views that mesmerize. That said, do keep in mind the enormous area that the park covers. You will not have to worry about jostling crowds or tourists with selfie sticks. It is important that you choose a trail or a section of the park that you wish to visit based on your interests. Do remember that the districts are not connected from within the Canyonlands National Park, and you would have to leave it in order to enter a different zone.
People who enjoy Camping and Hiking go for the experience, rather than the amenities. In other words, scenery, the quality of trails, and access to scenic camping sites.
Shenandoah National Park offers all these aspects of camping and hiking, for those who frequently enjoy outdoor adventures. Those who have never visited the park should read on, for 5 reasons that every loves Shenandoah National Park, in the heart of Appalachia.
1. Watching the sun rise or set
The park and main road running through it run North and South. Visitors can choose from one of several summits or vistas, to watch the sun rise or set.
Visitors interested in a mountain top view will typically have less than a mile to hike, to watch the sun rise or set. The view and fiery colors of the sun are worth a short one mile trek.
2. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails
Many people go camping so they can take advantage of hiking opportunities. Some enjoy making their own way and have well refined navigation skills, allowing them to go off the beaten path safely. Others rely on marked trails used by other hikers. This doesn't mean they are walking on paved paths.
Dirt trails are maintained and hikers can find any type of challenge they're looking for. Simple trails, some rock climbing, crossing rivers, and traveling through tunnels are some of the experiences hikers can enjoy on the park's many trails. Over 100 miles of the Appalachian trail run through Shenandoah National Park.
3. Water features
Throughout the park, there are waterfalls, river, creeks, and swimming holes. The water features provide opportunities for all kinds of recreation, including fly fishing, swimming, or simply wading in a clear creek on a warm day.
Waterfalls provide plenty of scenery and make excellent backdrops for nature photography enthusiasts.
4. Dog friendly/camper friendly
The park is dog friendly. Many people who enjoy the outdoors take their dogs with them on adventures. The trails are maintained, so dogs can walk easily along the trails with their owners, without fear of becoming tangled in brush or getting injured by obstacles. The camp grounds offer sites for both tent and RV camping.So, those who prefer camping in comfort can bring their pets with no worries.
Hookups are not available. But, water and dumping stations are available throughout the camping areas. Some camp grounds open as early as March. Reservations are recommended for weekends and holidays, though some sites are first come, first served.
5. Plenty to do in every season
Though camping is limited to Spring, Summer, and early Fall seasons, visitors can enjoy the park year round. Swimming, hiking, and fishing can be enjoyed in three seasons.
Visitors who come to the park in the Winter can enjoy frozen waterfalls and can navigate any of the trails they are comfortable with. Some visitors may be able to use snow shoes or cross country skis. There is no shortage of places to see and trails to hike, in Shenandoah National Park.