Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, & Zion Treks

February 25 - March 4th - 2006

n 1869, Major John Wesley Powell led an expedition from the Green River of Wyoming, through the Grand Canyon in Arizona. During three months of exploration, Powell mapped the rivers and recorded information about the natural and cultural history of the area. At a stop in what is now Canyonlands National Park, Powell entered a passage into his journal: “... The Landscape everywhere away from the river, is of rock - cliffs of rock; plateaus of rock; terraces of rock; crags of rock; - ten thousand strangely carved forms ---”. What an apt description for an area that is of such surreal and unique beauty.

Human visitors to Canyonlands dates back as much as 10,000 years when the ancient Puebloans and the Fremont Peoples inhabited the region. In the 1770's the first Europeans in the area were the Spanish missionaries searching for a route between New Mexico and California. Then came the trappers in the mid 1800's, hunting for beaver and river otter. The Mormons established a settlement at the town of Bluff, followed by settlements at Moab, Blanding, and Monticello. Most of those early settlers made their living as farmers, ranchers, and/or prospectors.

Today, the farming and ranching continues, but the prospectors have all but vanished. In their stead, Moab has become a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, off roading, river rafting, biking, and hiking, being just a few of the activities enjoyed in the area.

Canyonlands preserves one of the last relatively undisturbed areas of the Colorado Plateau, a geological gem that encompasses much of the Colorado River and its tributaries.

Carved out of vast sedimentary rock deposits, this landscape of canyons, mesas, deep river gorges, and spindly stone needles, possess remarkable natural features and beauty that are part of a unique high desert ecosystem.

Bob and Kolleen - The Trailpair