We decided our first hike in Canyonlands National Park would be the Syncline Loop around Upheaval Dome. When we got to the trailhead, it said it wasn’t recommended in July or August but we decided to go ahead anyway. It turned out to be a fantastic, although extremely tough, hike along a deserted trail. We didn’t see anyone all day which was a very nice change over our hikes at Arches National Park. We even got to see a couple more Desert Bighorn Sheep but they didn’t stand still long enough to get a picture.
After we had started down into the canyon a mile or so we stopped to look into one of the small pools. As we were looking around, we noticed that this big rock was right there all shattered with clear scuff marks where it had fallen. It was kind of interesting because the small rock shards were still there so it must not have been that long since it had fallen.
We knew there was a big elevation change on this hike – 1300 feet. We came down it in a very short distance scrambling over rocks. Here is Alan sitting right on the trail:
See the marker to the left of Alan – they had to add this since you really couldn’t see the rock cairns over head if you were coming up the trail. We didn’t avoid a climb taking the trail in this direction – we just got it at the other end!
This is the view looking down the trail:
We took the Crater branch off of the loop to have lunch in the center (but I’m putting that hike into the same category as Dark Angel – not much bang for your buck after a long hot hike!) There used to be some controversy about what caused the very round and symmetrical upheaval but recently discovered evidence has supposedly resolved the issue – it was a meteor. And by the way, there is any dome . . . don’t know why they call it an Upheaval Dome!
We had to take a lot of breaks hiking back out of the crater. Most of the time, I was too hot and tired to bother getting out the camera but this one spot was a great place to hang out:
I was wishing we were closer to the top at this point but we still had a couple of miles to go. We made it back to the car an hour or so later . . . without any water left! We each had over 100 ounces but that wasn’t enough for a 90+ degree day. Another lesson learned – probably one that we will need before we get back home after a summer of hiking in the high desert.
Miles Hiked on Saturday: 11.5
Total Miles Hiked on this Trip: 85.5
National Parks Visited Today: 1
Total National Parks/Monuments Visited on this Trip: 6