Heading into Canyonlands National Park from the southern entrance is pretty awe-inspiring. After turning off highway 191 and heading west there is a large expanse that separates the distant mountains. Then the plains give way to a flowering meadow and begins cutting into a canyon. Newspaper Rock is located just inside where the canyon opens and allows the cottonwoods to overtake the cut.
Heading past Newspaper Rock and further up the canyon the rocks towering the valley are bright red and grow more massive, before finally opening up to a picturesque desert scene, with the mesa’s in the distance and scrub brush and tumbleweed covering the layers of landscape.
Up ahead is Needles which is a popular attraction in Utah, and has a small outpost with fuel and groceries. Heading further towards Canyonlands N.P. I enter the park and decide to check out the visitor center.
Time sneaks past and after several conversations with folks and the nice lady at the visitor center steered me towards a hidden gem down in Butler Wash which is south of Monticello, Utah.
Making trails and dust clouds I dodge Canyonlands and head south to Butler Wash and arrive in time to check out the Butler Wash ruins before the sun falls lower in the sky.
The evening sun stirs all the colors from the landscape and mixes them in the sky creating a phenomenal sunset. I pull in to the parking area for Butler Canyon Ruins and am amazed to find out that they have cliff dwellings, that are intact, and easily accessible.
The park ranger at the Canyonlands Visitor Center was right. This is a pretty spectacular site, and after a short hike I reached an overlook area that was the perfect point at which to fully appreciate this site.
After a short stay and watching the sun set over the dwellings I was off to find a camping spot. I continued on highway 95 westbound and after crossing Bulter Wash and a small ridge of mountains cutting north-south I turned south on a dirt road leading into Comb Wash.
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