Part of the large wilderness in south eastern Utah, Canyonlands National Park is covering the entire eastern part of the state. It’s so large and relatively inaccessible that even today there are no roads that fully transverse the park creating a large area that must be bypass either on the Interstate 70 in the north or in the Navajoland in the south. The roads that come from either east or west are sort of deflected by this wilderness.
Because the numerous canyons that cross it, the park has three separate areas, unconnected to each other. The western side of the park, The Maze, the one closer to the Robbers’ Roost, the hideout of the Wild Bunch is still almost as wild as in the old days. To get in this area you need to camp and the access is limited only to 4X4 vehicles. On the eastern side there is Island in the Sky, its northern side, very much visited being the closest to Moab. Its southern side, Needles, see fewer visitors but the hikes are spectacular.
You can deep yourself into this forest of needles, colorful peaks that look like holding the sky, and hike among them by climbing boulders surrounded by tall red walls of sandstone. There are all sort of formations and even some arches on the hike that brings you in about two hours to the Chesler Park Overlook on top of an amphitheater where you are surrounded by needles as far as you can see around you. Back on the park road short hikes on slickrock done at sunset are almost an invite to meditation with the red rock lit by the glowing orange light and the snowed capped La Sal mountains in the background.