Thursday, November 01, 2007

Canyonlands NP hiking

The most interesting hike I took on my visit to Utah was in the Needles District of Canyonlands NP, the Chesler Park overlook. I did not do any of the loops, I didn't have a topographic map and wasn't sure how difficult the loops would be so opted to hike in and out. The trail was well marked with good signs at trail junctions and cairns well placed, also enough hikers that if I got lost I could easily find someone to put me back on track. An interesting trail for someone used to mountains and forests. I liked the narrow passage in one spot, barely big enough for a backpack to pass. Weather was great, sunny but not too warm and a nice breeze. I had fewer difficulties than last year following the trail but still ended up circling around the last cairn I saw a few times, even on the way back. I met a couple who were concerned I was hiking alone and who offered to let me tag along. Very nice but they were doing a loop and were faster hikers than I am.

The next day in the Island in the Sky section, I hiked the Neck Spring loop. Weather was turning, with some rain and hail and I didn't meet anyone else. The trail was easy to follow but also had side trails I was concerned about becoming sidelined on. It would have been hard to become too lost but easy at times to lose the main trail. I also didn't like having to walk along the road at the Neck with traffic at the end. I was also concerned about lightning and was glad to finish the trail when I did.

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