Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grand View Point Trail

The Grand View Point Trail is a 2.0 mile round trip along the rim at the south end of the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands NP in southeast Utah. From this trail are some of the most spectacular views of Canyonlands.

The three fingered area just below the trail head area is Monument Basin, featuring some tall spires. At the junction of the fingers is the tallest of the monuments, the Totem Pole. The White Rim Road can be seen snaking around the edges of the basin. This road is a favorite with mountain bikers for its endless scenery. The White Rim is about 1000 feet below this view point. The trail travels southwest from the main view point.
The views to the west are towards the confluence of the Green River and the Colorado River. According to the interpretive information, the Colorado River above the confluence was known as the Grand River until 1921, hence the name Grand View Point. The Colorado/Grand River has cut so deeply into the rocks that it is not visible here. In the Needles District of Canyonlands the 5.5 mile Confluence Overlook Trail leads to the point above where the two streams flow together.

At the end of the trail there are views back to the northwest with a glimpse of the Green River. The Green starts in the Wind River Mountain Range in Wyoming. There is a Green River Overlook Point near the Aztec Butte Trail about 6 miles north of this point where some of the same terrain can be viewed from a different angle. My hike on the Grand View Overlook Trail took about 1:00 hour for the 2 miles.

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