Friday, February 28, 2014

Canyonlands: White Rim Overlook

Distance: 1.8 miles round trip
Elevation: 6,040 ft
Elevation Gain: 129 ft
Dogs: No, National Park
Bathroom at Trailhead: Yes
Date Hiked: 24 April 2014

Looking down on the White Rim Road from the White Rim Overlook in Canyonlands National Park
The Islands in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park is filled with short hikes to stunning overlooks that gaze down on the valley below. The White Rim Overlook is one of the most spectacular of these.

The Trailhead. The trail heads straight out over this large slickrock section.
The La Sal Mountains from a sandier portion of the trail.
Our journey to the overlook began uneventfully, with a typical stroll over red sands and short slickrock sections. At the end of the trail however things got a little dicey. My hiking companion decided to work on her fear of heights by walking out onto the sandstone mushrooms that extended from the end of the trail. These pizza shaped rocks extended out into empty space like over-sized stepping stones across a creek. In this case, however there was 1,500 ft of air between each one.

Skeleton of a Utah Juniper overlooks the edge
The rocks my friend was jumping out on.
Not so nimbly moving  from rock to rock, my friend inched her way further outwards. I don't know who was more terrified, she or I. I kept nagging her to come back when she wanted ME to join her on this crusade. My eyes bugged out and I started inching my way back up the trail. It is fine to desensitize oneself of a phobia and quite another to do it in a location where death hovers just a foot away. A sneeze, a gust of wind, or a collapsing wall would have ended this psychological experiment for good.

Nothing but drop offs and open sky
A much safer place to lounge
I finally convinced her to return to terra firma and we lounged about admiring the stellar views. I relate this experience for those with children who have no fear and no sense, who will be equally tempted to stroll out onto these rocks. Heck, you may be too and more power to you! The White Rim Overlook is definitely a place to visit but I'll do it with my back to a size secure rock!


Linda said...

I can feel the terror! The Pulpit Rock in Norway is my idea of Hell.

G-Dawg_Cooking said...

Gorgeous location. Just stumbled upon your blog, and super excited to have found it! We moved to CO almost 2 years ago, and my passion is hiking! Trying to convince the hubs and kid (16 years old) to tag along, can be difficult at times LOL. I love the layout of your blog, and look forward to using it to guide our spring/summer/fall of hiking!