Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting the Boot from Canyonlands

Well actually, it is called the Wooden Shoe formation, but you get the idea.IMG_6158

Still in the Needles area of Canyonlands National Park, the hike from the end of the road ends up on a point overlooking the canyon.  It looked like a great place to have some lunch, so I found a nice rock on the edge with a great view.  It wasn’t till I was done and walking around when I realized that I had been on a 30 foot overhang!  It’s been like that for a million years give or take a millenium, but that didn’t stop me from walking softly when I went back to pick up my pack.



I was reading Edward Abbey’s ‘Desert Solitaire’ which is based in this general area at the time, so it was quite fitting to be travelling in some of the same places and seeing the things he describes.

Eventually it was time to hook up and head out, so reluctantly we did so.


Several well weathered structures were along the road as we headed back out to the highway and Monticello, where a grocery and propane stop was in order.IMG_6164IMG_6163

Continuing south we stopped in at Goosenecks State Park (Utah), and were disappointed to see that they are now trying to get money out of those who stop there.  Really? There is nothing there but a great view, a single parking lot, pit toilet.  The lot is so small that big rigs would have difficulty turning around.  As for camping, there are a half dozen lonesome picnic tables and a fireplace or two on the rim.  Seriously, it would take most people longer to find the money and fill out the envelope than they would spend enjoying the view.  I’m sure it’ll be popular for tour buses to stop here – at around $10/minute for the stop


Don’t get me wrong, these are great boondocking sites (if the wind isn’t blowing), but I’ve camped in far better places charging $3-4.  Not sure if the unpaved, wide open space down along the canyon rim is in the ‘park’, or if it is still open BLM camping?

Moving south across the San Juan river we were heading down into the Monument valley.




  1. On the way to the Needles overlook there is a campground called Wind Whistle & we tried to fit ourselves into one of the tiny campsites on our way west last month but no go. I debated whether to turn left out of the campground & head for the Needles overlook spot but decided to head on down to Monticello where we found an overnight spot behind an old abandoned building. I have Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire book but maybe I'll re-read it on my Kindle because I can't remember what it was about.

    1. I was considering checking out WW as well, but never made it up to that road. It'll be on my list for the next trip through that area.

  2. I truly enjoy your pics! Blessings...