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EXPLORE AMERICA: Canyonlands National Park

Sculpted rock formations at Canyonlands National Park

Seeming to be an illusion where nature, art and science meet, these plateaus look like they have been sculpted, carefully. They set a regal touch to this rugged landscape in Canyonlands National Park. At once, both pristine and primitive, they almost look like ancient ruins left from some past civilization. Born of trapped seawater from millions of years ago, the plateaus were gently shaped by nature’s own artists, the water and the wind.

Standing like guardians of the Canyonlands National Park, the plateaus almost dare someone to climb them, get married there or make a car commercial. There is something eerie about them. Like they have the secret to the moon, the stars, if there is life on other planets. Like you might find or lose yourself if you camp there for a night. The landscape was described by author Edward Abbey “as the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth.”

The park is known for its standard of tough camping. Bates Wilson, the first superintendent of the park warned visitors to “Come to our wilderness, but be ready to ruff it.” It’s not the sort of place you bring your sister who can’t stand the notion of leaving the house without her makeup. The place has maintained its strips of wildness. It has limited roads and insists that if you leave a mark with your foot or vehicle, you must clean it up.

Canyonlands National Park is located at 2282 S West Resource Boulevard, Moab, Utah. Telephone (435) 719-2313. http://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm

Photo credit: ©Corel

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