Canyonlands: Island In The Sky, Grand View Point

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At the end of the road through the Island in the Sky district, a Grand View awaits.  It’s so grand, in fact, that it’s hard to know exactly where to point a camera.  The southern tip of the “island” offers views to the east, south, and west.  The most prominent features are these small side canyons, that cut several fingers into the White Rim.

Junction Butte stands to the south of Grand View Point — it’s a smaller island that’s unattached to the rest of the mesa.  Several miles beyond it, the Colorado and Green rivers converge.  The rivers divide Canyonlands into the three districts.  Needles is on the eastern side of the Colorado River, The Maze is on the western side of the Green.  You can’t see the confluence from Grand View Point.  You can reach a viewpoint in the Needles district, but you’ll need a 4wd vehicle.

It’s a long drive from Grand View Point back to US 191 (about 33 miles), so it helps to be in the right state of mind. Don’t be in a hurry — the park road takes its time, winding around imaginary obstacles.

If you’re driving a 4wd vehicle, you don’t need to take the paved road.  There’s another option: Long Canyon Road.  Turn towards Dead Horse Point State Park (Utah Route 313) and follow the directions on the next page.

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