Hiking Canyonlands and Arches National Parks
by Bill Schneider (Falcon Guides)
© 2017 Bill Schneider/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
I had one day in the Needles district and decided on a long day trip loop: Lost Canyon and Elephant Canyon. The terrain was extraordinary - the camera was coming out so much it delayed my finish to dusk. The Lost Canyon segment was suprisingly wet, as advertised. The turnoff out of Lost Canyon was also as hard to notice as advertised - I walked right by it. Once I found it and surfaced onto the ridges that surround the canyon, a whole new level of photo taking began. The terrain was entirely unique to anything I had ever seen. It was eye-boggling. Following the cairn trail along the rock ledges and down into the other canyons was tricky soemtimes. At one point I searched for my next cairn and did not realize that the cairn I 'found' was the one I had already past. The sinuous canyon and the overcast day did not reveal my error uuntil I tried to photogragh the same cottonwood that I had shot 10 minutes previously. I reoriented only with difficulty, disbelieving my GPS. A long but wonderful trip out of Elephant Canyon, complete with scrambling through fissures in the ridge capped a perfect day. I could not do the side trips that a backpack trip would have allowed, but as a day trip, A MUST. Do it.
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