Thursday, April 21, 2016

4/19 Dead Horse Point State Park & Canyonlands National Park

Dead Horse Point State Park is located next to Canyonlands National Park.  Since Canyonlands has no campgrounds with electric service, this was a logical place to stay.  The campground is located at 5,900' in elevation on a high desert plateau that forms a point of land with spectacular views.  The tip of the point where the main viewing area is located is only about 1/3 miles from the campground.

This high desert plain has a lot of short cypress and pinion pine that are stunted by both the high elevation and desert conditions.  It also is very windswept. 

 

This wizened old tree is only about five feet tall.
 
The river below is the Colorado.  This looks a lot like Grand Canyon, but is only 2,000 feet deep.

This view back to the parking area at one of the scenic pullovers shows how much the mesa is solid rock.

 
 More views. Note the small zigzag in the road below.  There were a lot of 4-wheel drive vehicles down there, plus a few bikers.

The tiny dots on the road just before the zigzag and where the other road joins the main road are three people riding bikes!   

The river makes several oxbow turns visible from Dead Horse Point.

There are also some boats down below.  You can see them better in the second photo.  Apparently they are motorized rafts full of tourists.  I would really like to take one of these raft trips and will check into that on my next trip.

 
Look at this road or path going up the slope on the opposite side.
 
The mountains in the distance are the La Sal mountains.


Canyonlands National Park is about 10 miles down the road.



The park service uses old trees to keep people from walking on the fragile desert. 

Very pretty view, and the Colorado is somewhere in the distance, but you cannot see it from this area.  Next few photos were taken from the main canyon viewing area.




 
Tomorrow, I head for Arches National Park for a very quick visit.  I originally had planned to spend several days here, but had to cut them short because of family medical issues.  I will be back next year, however.

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