A Where’s Where of Amazing Places
Be it a long road trip or an afternoon spent in the kitchen
Canyonlands NP, UT
My first real volunteer opp with NPS! I’m spending ten weeks at Canyonlands NP as a VIP working in the VC (Visitor Center) and roving about the park talking with visitor.
Located in the heart of red rock country in Southern Utah, Canyonlands is one of the big 5 NP’s in the area. It is divided into three sections bordered by the Colorado and Green Rivers. The Maze is the most remote and west of the Green, Needles is east of the Colorado and readily accessible and Island in the Sky sits between the Colorado and the Green Rivers. That’s where I’m located. We call it I-Sky for short! At 6,000 feet high, the mesa where we sit atop canyons that rival the Grand Canyon surround us. Sure, the GC is deeper at over 5,000 feet–we are only about 2,000 feet deep–but I honestly think we are grander and definitely, much less crowded.
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Mount Rushmore NM, SD
Since I was little, I’ve wanted to visit Mount Rushmore. In 2013, I made the trip. It was so moving to approach the mountain and see Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. It had a reverence similar to visiting the Vietnam Memorial in DC.
I learned that the sculptures are not complete. The artists Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum intended each man to be a fuller sculpture beyond the shoulders shown. There is a model of the original design at the site.
Arches NP, UT
Definitely the hottest NP I’ve visited. Located in southern Utah, Arches is one of the big five NPs there.
I have not been to Death Valley but will say that the over 100 degree temps of Arches are warm enough. Little shade, all slick road and sand, it’s a scorcher for sure.
If you’ve seen Utah license plates, Delicate Arch from Arches NP is one of your plate options.
Sego Canyon, UT
Fremont Indian rock art can be found in several locations. This particular display is in Sego Canyon, also known as Book Cliffs, off I-70 near the town of Thompson.
Not only are there fascinating rock art displays but the area has a ghost town and boot hill cemetery.