Canyonlands NP is only about a 45-minute drive away from Arches NP making the ride there very short and enjoyable. We headed into the park, expecting to camp at a free campsite just outside the park. As we drove past the campsite, we decided to not set up camp yet, but instead head in and enjoy the park for a few hours. Little did we know, this was the best decision we could have made.
Canyonlands NP was unlike any other park we had been to. From the pictures in our book, we weren’t really expecting much beauty wise, but as we drove in and pulled off at viewpoints our breath was quickly taken away. This park is like a miniature Grand Canyon. We stopped first a Mesa Arch. This is a very small arch in comparison to what we had seen at Arches NP, but the view behind it was like nothing we had seen before. It was gorgeous. As we sat and enjoyed the view literally gasping to catch our breath, a guy next to us made the remark.. “You could sit here all day huh?!” This naturally started a conversation of where he has been and where he was going as well as where we had been and where we were headed. We told him about freecampsites.net and explained that we were more than willing to share our free campsite for the night with him and his buddy. After chatting with him for a while we got back on the road and headed to the canyon overlook.
Again, walking up to the railing we stepped back, caught our breath, and then looked again to take in the beauty of this place.. Canyons all around as deep and as far as we could see. What a beautiful thing the Lord created for us to sit and enjoy. We couldn’t help but think about what was spoken about in church the day before. The fact that there are so many beautiful things on Earth that God has made for us to enjoy, but that these things are just a taste of what Heaven will be like. Did you catch that.. Heaven is going to be more glorious, more beautiful, more filled with good than what we have seen and experienced here on Earth. And God did that on purpose.. If you have questions about it, or how to get there please ask us!!
After taking in God’s beauty here, we decided to get on the road and head to our campsite. As we were driving a HUGE, yes, HUGE storm was coming in.. Lightening, thunder, and lots of rain heading straight for where we were supposed to camp for the night. Yes, we said supposed to camp.. we ended up not camping there due to the storm. The storm was so pretty, we figured we would sit in a covered area at the visitor’s center, make dinner, and watch the storm pass. Dinner was great. We had a gorgeous view of the storm and enjoyed our taco soup burritos as we chatted about the beauty of the place we were in and how we would definitely not be camping where we were supposed to be camping for the night.
If you would like to get a sense of what it was like driving through the thunder and lightening storm, go check out the video here.
After realizing the storm wasn’t going to pass, and that it was actually getting worse, we decided to jump in the car and head down the mountain to find a place to camp for the night, so that we didn’t get stuck in the storm and flash flood zone. This drive was a horrible drive. We literally had to drive right through the storm. It was probably one of the scariest things we have ever done. We slowly got down the mountain and found a safe place to park on the side of the road to sleep for the night. We ended up camping in the car for the first time on a road next to a gas station in Moab.
In the morning, we got up and made our way through the rain to Mesa Verde NP in Colorado.