Friday, April 28, 2017

Leisurely Drive Through the Indian Creek Valley.

Scenic Highway 211 is the access road to Canyonlands National Park - The Needles District.  Those in a rush to see the park, and only that, miss out on the breathtaking landscape along the roadway.  I wonder sometimes, do they purposely put on blinders; is the idea of not sticking to a strict travel schedule that frightening???

To those of you who wander the roads looking for everything and anything; you'll appreciate the photos I'll share in this posting.  To those who raced to the National Park, now you can see some sites you missed out on; and have a great excuse to come back.

Driving forward on a roadway, don't you ever wonder what it looks like behind you?  We often like to stop, get out, turn around and see; depending on the lighting, it won't be the same in the morning as it is in the evening.

Those are the La Sal Mountains north of Monticello, Utah with Lisbon Valley in the foreground.  Can you really say this sight doesn't take your breathe away?  Imagine if you were personally standing there and taking it all in!?!

The sun was beginning to travel westward by the time we drove past Newspaper Rock and stopped at the trailhead for Shay Canyon (1.8 miles west of Newspaper Rock).  Definitely on our to-do list to take that hike, even if just to the opening of the canyon, and getting up close and personal to that jug handle arch.  Warm weather had come, snow melting, and water flowing through the Indian Creek (see video).

Trail downward.

Pretty soon the narrow walls of the Newspaper Rock area open up into a grand vista of the #1 crack climbing walls in the world; beyond you can begin to see Bridger Jack Mesa and the North and South Six Shooters.

The Dugout Ranch (owned by the Redd Family) is along Highway 211; if you drive the road to Beef Basin/Elk Mountain, you can truly see the vastness of this ranch.  There are petroglyphs and ruins located on the ranch, and I hope to get an invite to visit out there one of these days...yes Redd family, that is a huge hint!!!

Now did we go into the park, why yes we did!  We spent three hours hiking around and enjoying the solitude; the Needles District is never as packed as the parks located up in the Moab area.  This, of course, will be a separate write up on this travel blog, so hope you have patience.  We left the park as sunset was approaching, so now you get to see many of the same places I've just shown you, but in that different lighting I mentioned.

Now a real treat, a herd of horses heading on home for the evening; definitely one of those sights that promotes the spirit of the Old West.

Well I've either brought back some fond memories for you; or you're kicking yourselves in the butt for not taking the time to slow down and look around.  Remember, life is short, so don't go through it with your senses closed down and in a rush to get nowhere.

Mary Cokenour


  1. We has two mines on the DugOut Ranch. Worked there the Summer of '78. Threw away all the geodes, because they just got in the way and dulled our drill bits. Who knew?!

    1. I would so love to go out to the ranch and see the petroglyphs and ruins; one of these days I hope. :)