As I stood atop a scenic view I questioned why it took until 1964 for Canyonlands to become a national park. Grand Canyon is one amazing canyon, but in this place there are non-stop mystical canyons everywhere.
After getting our feet wet on the Jeep trails Jim found one called Gemini Bridges that we could take from Moab into the park. We came right off the highway and started climbing up a cut-into-the-side of a mountain small dirt road. I never have been thrilled with heights, so looking straight down thousands of feet was not my idea of fun. (Very scary) But once down the opposite side we had an interesting ride to the bridges. Two arches left huge holes in the mountains. We were on top of them so you could walk across the narrow stone tops. There was a memorial in a rock wall by the drop dedicated to a man from a jeep club. Jim learned later that people go out there and try to jump across the bridges and sometimes miss. Oh, brother.
After touring the park including Grandview Point we returned to a finger of the cliff to take pictures of Schafer Switchbacks, the trail he had planned for our return home. I stood back on safer ground to look over the high walls and saw a tiny trail carved into the wall of the cliff I was standing on. Surely we weren’t going down there. I got the trail book out that described each place.
Features: This trail makes a 1,500 foot descent on a series of switchbacks in just over a mile…
Was he kidding? When he got back all excited by the beauty and the amazing road we were about to travel I read the words to him.
“It’s a road,” was his response.
So off we went across the top of the cliff. Sure enough it turned to go down the road that hugged the walls of the same cliff we had been standing on. The road dropped dramatically and each switchback was on the opposite side of the same cliff a little lower down. It turned completely in the opposite direction to go to the other side of the same rocks. Very, very scary! I wasn’t having fun.
Finally, at the bottom we enjoyed more amazing scenery. We drove along the muddy Colorado River, and the potash evaporating pools. I didn’t know there was such a thing. And saw the rock climbers practicing their skills.
And so, that is our experiences on the Jeep trails in Utah. We didn’t even do any of the really hard ones in our little stock Jeep.
Traveling Blessed USA