Canyonlands National Park is known for its dramatic desert landscape. The Island in the Sky district is a mesa on the north end of the park between the Colorado and Green river with many scenic overlooks. Despite our many trips to the Moab area, Chris and I had never explored Canyonlands. It was a first for our whole family!
Mesa Arch Trail
We took the short (1/2 mile) loop trail to Mesa Arch. When we started the trail, Calvin was NOT excited about being there. In fact, he was so unhappy that he literally flung himself onto the ground…. and into a cactus. OUCH! While it was a short, relatively flat hike with a beautiful view at the end, it definitely wasn’t one of Calvin’s favorites.
Whale Rock Trail
Despite the lack of enthusiasm on our first hike of the day, we decided to give Whale Rock trail (1-mile round trip) a chance. This hike was a great one! The trail is named for the giant rock that you climb, which resembles a whale. It’s a slick rock so you have to climb the “tail” of the whale and up it’s back to reach the top. Once at the top, the views are just fantastic! Chris, Calvin, and I loved scrambling up and down the rocks. There was evidence that there were once handrails at the top, but they weren’t there anymore. We didn’t quite make it to the head of the whale. We opted to stay on the whale’s back, because of the slick rock and the steep trail. It was still one of my (and Calvin’s) favorite hikes of the trip!
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