National Park Service’s 100th Birthday is August 25, 2016!
Durango, located in Southwest Colorado, has been my home for more than 26 years (if you don’t count the two short years spent in Jackson Hole), and I’m still in love with this place. To honor the National Park Service’s upcoming 100th birthday this summer, I wanted to write about our recent getaway weekend to Canyonlands National Park in Utah, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2014. This Park is an easy, scenic 3-hour drive from Durango. Beautiful farmland and snow-capped mountain vistas dotted the landscape along the way.
We joined our wild and crazy Durango friends at a group site for “glamping” (glamour camping) and hiking. It was another great weekend of friendship, laughter, delicious dinners, and hiking the many layers of sandstone in The Needles area of the Park. The air was clear, clean, and warm, and the desert was greener than usual and blooming with spring color. The views of the colorful spires and surrounding terrain were truly spectacular. Although I missed it, some hikers in our group witnessed a rather large, but harmless, snake on the trail.If you have not seen this area of the country, you absolutely must make it a bucket list item.
Here are some tips for when you visit Canyonlands National Park:
- Entrance fees: $25/vehicle, $15/motorcycle, $10/individual
- Avoid the hot summer months if you plan to hike
- Wear a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen
- Carry lots of water and snacks, and don’t forget your camera.
- Camping sites are first-come, first-served. Group sites in the Needles may be reserved in advance at www.recreation.gov
- You should be able to find lodging in the nearby towns of Monticello or Moab, Utah.
Plan a trip to the Four Corners Region where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah connect and the desert and mountains meet. In addition to Canyonlands, there is so much to explore here, no matter the season. You will witness sights you could never imagine and be reminded of how special life is on this amazing planet. I’m grateful to call this place home.