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Friday, February 05, 2010

Spring in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks has this interesting article about visiting Arches and Canyonlands national parks during spring. Below are excerpts.

Arches and Canyonlands national parks are colorful siblings that are great to visit any time of year, but to spare yourself the high heat of summer one of the best seasons to visit is Spring.

Spring in the parks? Odds are great that the weather will be warm -- typical daytime highs in the parks are in the low 80s, nighttime lows in the 50s -- and sunny, so you'll definitely want shorts, T-shirts, a broad-brimmed hat, and sunscreen. Beyond that, hiking gear from boots to daypacks, water bottles or hydration systems and hiking sticks, perhaps some nice casual outfits for dining in Moab, and a shell jacket to deal with any rain or cool days that might arise.

These parks are almost like Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to negotiating them in a vehicle. Arches is small, not quite 80,000 acres, with one main paved road winding through it past most of the major geologic attractions. Canyonlands, by contrast, is a sprawling 337,598-acre park cleaved into three districts -- Island in the Sky, Needles, and the Maze, (four if you consider the Green and Colorado river corridors) -- that are somewhat far-flung and require a bit of windshield time to visit if you're traveling from one to another. None of this windshield time is boring, though, as the landscape you drive through is almost as stunning as that that lies within the parks' borders.

Spring-time activities run the gamut in these two parks. Certainly, hiking is the main attraction with endless miles of trails between the two. Some of the more popular hikes in Arches lead to Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Park Avenue, and the Windows Section. In Canyonlands, exploring the Island in the Sky with its trails to Whale Rock and ancient granaries on Aztec Butte can fill up half a day, while longer treks in the Needles District can fill several days and more. Traveling to the Maze District is more involved, as noted above, but if you have the time a hike down to the Great Gallery is certainly worth the effort.

Read the complete article.

Note: The Great Gallery is not located in the Maze District, but is an isolated canyon not off contiguous to any other part of the park. It is well worth the visit.


  • At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Personal Injury Utah said…

    I highly recommend a river rafting trip through the Canyonlands during the spring. I took an organized three-day trip on the Colorado and Green Rivers last year and it was beautiful. Serene and pleasant, with some rapids to spice things up along the way.

  • At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Lego Party, SLC said…

    We did a spring trip to Arches a couple years ago and loved it! The weather was just perfect - except at night. We got a little cold, so if you camp, make sure you take plenty to keep you warm!


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