Canyonlands – Needles District

Canyonlands Needles-3231

October 16 was our last day in Utah’s National Parks and we made the long drive to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Given the long driving distance, we only had about four hours to visit the park, so we weren’t able to do any backcountry hikes that would have provided a close up experience with the "needles".
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Instead, we hiked the Slickrock foot trail where we spotted many of the same features we’d learned about at Island in the Sky: crossbedding, honeycombing and "desert varnish". Youngest GeoKid again enjoyed climbing the slick rock and increased his daily count of geckos spotted to something over 30 before we headed back to Moab.

The other short jaunts we made were to Pothole Point (only one pothole had any water, but the boys watched the snails and shrimplike creatures trying to burrow into the mud to "hibernate" through the coming dry spell), Cave Spring (the old cowboy camp and pictographs were interesting) and Roadside Ruin (a 250 meter walk to a Puebloan granary which was very well preserved).
Canyonlands Needles-3426
Canyonlands Needles-3432

There are no earthcaches in this section of Canyonlands and the few virtuals are accessible in the backcountry, so we came away with no geocache finds from this outing. Fortunately there were a few roadside caches along the way which we stopped for on our return drive to Moab.

Supper tonight was at Milt’s Diner; we enjoyed takeout burgers / chicken strips / fries at the nearby Rotary Park. Oldest GeoKid announced that Milt’s serves "the best fries ever".

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